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New York Times/NPR articles that I wrote about:
> Read the "Facebook Inquiry" article
> Read the "Android Security" article
> Read the "How to Disappear" article
> Read the "White Supremacist" article
> Read the "Gay Marriage Tax" article
Well, the news is all about Syria, as it should be, and Britain not wanting to be a part of it. That's fine, and I care that it's going on, but I like to leave war politics to politicians. The first thing I want to talk about has nothing to do with Syria, but is definitely a war of sorts. It's the digital information war. The war that government is fighting against our privacy.
I'm one of those people who has nothing to hide from the government, but I support freedom of speech and a right to one's privacy. That being said, I was disgusted to see that Facebook released a report the other day, according to this New York Times article, outlining the government's requests for information on specific Facebook accounts linked to specific people. It doesn't list names, obviously, but I couldn't help wondering if I was one of the 37,954 people the requests pertained to. I'm clearly no threat, but what if something I said on Facebook used one or more of the keywords that the National Security Agency is looking for? I sure hope not.
Facebook said it didn't honor all of the requests, but didn't specify the criteria it used to approve and deny requests. How do you say no to the government? I guess when you're as big as Facebook, and everyone in the world has an account, you can do pretty much whatever you want. I don't think the agency is poking around in innocent people's information, I think they're looking for very specific people who have committed crimes, or conspired to commit crimes that were terrorist related. Still, what should be off limits, and what is fair game? After Facebook released their report, Microsoft and Google came forward and issued similar reports. I don't want the government accessing private information without my consent. I hope these three companies inform the people whose information is being requested. Otherwise, it would be like Big Brother watching us and tracking our every click. Maybe they're already doing it. Who knows? Meanwhile, the government issued a statement warning against security threats on Android phones. Gee, thanks. NPR just published a humorous article called "How to Disappear if Someone is Spying on You" which is appropriate to mention here.
Paul Craig Cobb made national news yesterday, with his plan to turn a small town in North Dakota into a town of white supremacists. Now, here's a guy the government should be tracking. Apparently, there are only about 25-30 people who make up the town of Leith, and as people moved or decided to sell some property, Cobb snapped it up and paid whatever the owners asked. He then took to Craigslist and began attempts to recruit people from "white power" message boards to buy homes and property from him. The townspeople told their one black resident to "leave town for the weekend and we'll take care of things." While that's a kind offer, I don't believe a person should be killed or badly harmed for his or her value system, no matter how off kilter it is.
What should happen is a town wide take back initiative. Drive him out of town. If he retaliates violently, he'll end up in prison where I think he belongs. Cobb said he wouldn't cause any trouble, but it's troubling to think that people still hold the belief that caucasians are the superior race. There is no such thing as a superior race. I'm not sure what should be done here, but I hope they come to a decision to evict him non-violently.
Next, Gays are in the news again! I feel so popular lately. The I.R.S. announced yesterday that it would recognize all gay marriages, no matter if their home state recognized them or not. This means that if two men or two women were married in a state where gay marriage is legal, and they went back to their home state where it wasn't legal, they could still file their federal income taxes as a married couple. The I.R.S. said it was going to try to figure something out with individual states to make it easier on gay couples to file. As it stands, they would still have to file their state taxes as individuals. Maybe it's not a perfectly planned system, but we're definitely headed in the right direction.
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My name is Nicholas Emeigh, but everyone calls me Nick, and I prefer it. I'm usually called Nicholas when I'm in trouble. I'm from the Philadelphia area, work in business, and fancy myself as a freelance graphic designer, writer, and artist. I have a passion for art in all its forms including music, but I restrict my singing to the shower and the car for the good of society. If you'd like to know more, just send me an e-mail. I really appreciate you stopping by.