But federal authorities recently screwed up and revealed the secret themselves when they published a cache of case documents but failed to redact one identifying piece of information about the target: his email address, Ed_Snowden@lavabit.com. With that, the very authorities holding the threat of jail time over Levison’s head if he said anything have confirmed what everyone had long ago presumed: that the target account was Snowden’s.

As Green puts it, “Your computer is now only as secure as that database of keys held by Microsoft, which means it may be vulnerable to hackers, foreign governments, and people who can extort Microsoft employees.”

Remember CISA? The "Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act"? It's getting much, much worse, with Congress and the administration looking to ram it through -- in the process, dropping any pretense that it's not a surveillance bill.

After years of warning that the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership would be devastating for Internet freedom, intellectual property experts have finally gotten to look at the final draft of the proposed treaty.

And they say it’s as bad as they feared.

The leaked papers appear to show that drone strikes were often carried out based on insufficient and unreliable intelligence and when executed, often compromise further gathering of intelligence.

The documents reveal that in Afghanistan, drone strikes on 35 targets killed at least 219 other people.

Very often, new palm oil plantations result in the clearing of rainforest. Researchers at Princeton University have shown that more than half of the palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia are located in areas where there used to be rainforest. So by choosing a specific product, the consumer unwittingly has an impact on deforestation of rainforest and the fate of endangered species like orangutans or tigers.

To those of us who were accustomed to thinking of the internet as a glorious, distributed, anarchic, many-to-many communication network in which anyone could become a global publisher, corporate gatekeepers had lost their power and peer-to-peer sharing was becoming the liberating norm, Labovitz’s brusque summary comes as a rude shock. Why? Because what he was really saying is that the internet is well on its way to being captured by giant corporations – just as the Columbia law professor Tim Wu speculated it might be in The Master Switch, his magisterial history of 20th-century communications technologies.

Instead, for most of the postwar period, criminal trials have been decided by professional judges, who are notorious for convicting over 99 percent of defendants. By contrast, the prewar jury system acquitted in about 17 percent of cases (though judges could order a new jury trial if they considered a verdict inappropriate). This stark discrepancy is one of the reasons why a small but dedicated group of activists such as Isa wants to revive the jury system.

To Isa, the system of lay judges that started hearing trials in 2009 is nothing like a jury. Under this system, randomly selected citizens with no legal expertise (“lay judges”) and professional judges hear and make decisions about culpability and punishment in trials involving serious offenses such as murder. This may sound a lot like what a jury does, but there is a huge difference between a system in which judges and laypeople decide a case together and one in which the laypeople act alone.

Inevitably, perhaps, debate on the new law has been viewed through the prism of the Fukushima crisis, which revealed disastrous collusion between bureaucrats and the nuclear industry. Critics say journalists attempting to expose such collusion today could fall foul of the new law, which creates three new categories of “special secrets”: diplomacy, counter-terrorism and counter-espionage, in addition to defence.

TEPCO has become a symbol of everything that is wrong with the nation of Japan: cronyism, collusion, gentrification, corruption, weak regulation, and entropy. Despite being in the spotlight for the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, TEPCO continues to engage in questionable labor practices, and has escaped bankruptcy in closed-door meetings with politicians, and through denying culpability has shifted part of the reparations burden onto taxpayers – deeds which testify to the extent to which TEPCO still has plenty of political power, if not as much nuclear power.

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