The futurist philosopher Yuval Noah Harari worries about a lot. He worries that Silicon Valley is undermining democracy and ushering in a dystopian hellscape in which voting is obsolete. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/09/business/yuval-noah-harari-silicon-valley.html He worries that by creating powerful influence machines to control billions of minds, the big tech companies are destroying the idea of a sovereign individual […]

During the Cold War, Washington feared that Moscow was seeking to turn microwave radiation into covert weapons of mind control. More recently, the American military itself sought to develop microwave arms that could invisibly beam painfully loud booms and even spoken words into people’s heads. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/01/science/sonic-attack-cuba-microwave.html The aims were to disable attackers and wage psychological […]

Top technology companies erased most of the posts and videos on their services from Alex Jones, the internet’s notorious conspiracy theorist, thrusting themselves into a fraught debate over their role in regulating what can be said online. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/06/technology/infowars-alex-jones-apple-facebook-spotify.html Apple, Google, Facebook and Spotify severely restricted the reach of Mr. Jones and Infowars. Mr. Jones and […]

The State Department has evacuated at least 11 Americans from China after abnormal sounds or sensations were reported by government employees at the United States Consulate in the southern city of Guangzhou, officials said. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/30/world/asia/china-sonic-guangzhou.html At least eight Americans associated with the consulate in Guangzhou have now been evacuated, according to one official, who spoke […]

Seeking to build an identification system of unprecedented scope, India is scanning the fingerprints, eyes and faces of its 1.3 billion residents and connecting the data to everything from welfare benefits to mobile phones. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/07/technology/india-id-aadhaar.html Civil libertarians are horrified, viewing the program, called Aadhaar, as Orwell’s Big Brother brought to life. To the government, it’s […]

The Department of Homeland Security wants to track the comings and goings of journalists, bloggers and other “media influencers” through a database. https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/homeland-security-to-compile-database-of-journalists-and-media-influencers/ The DHS’s “Media Monitoring” plan, which was first reported by FedBizOpps.gov, would give the contracting company “24/7 access to a password protected, media influencer database, including journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers […]

The Arlington County Police Department arrested Kevin Doherty, 46, after authorities say he used a firearm and wounded lobbyist Jack Burkman last week. Doherty once worked for the Profiling Project, an effort that Burkman started to investigate Seth Rich’s murder. http://www.newsweek.com/seth-rich-jack-burkman-kevin-doherty-arrested-854309 On March 13, as Burkman was retrieving what he said were materials from a source […]