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The Perils of Distracted Fighting

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“We lost almost the entire patrol,” said the lieutenant. “It was horrific.” “We walked right into an enemy ambush,” he continued. “They easily picked my men off, one by one, because they were looking at their screens.” Thankfully, the young lieutenant was not describing an actual firefight from Iraq or Afghanistan. It was a recent […]

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Trump’s Ukraine Mess Feels a Little Too Familiar

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Welcome to Ukraine-gate, the latest allegation of corruption in President Donald Trump’s administration and a uniquely confusing chapter in the commander in chief’s tense relationship with the men and women of the US intelligence community. The burgeoning scandal swept into public view 10 days ago with an odd, unexpected Friday night letter from House Intelligence […]

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Extreme-Risk Laws Reduce Gun Violence

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Last December, according to prosecutors, a man outside Seattle posted a video in which he brandished an AR-15 and identified himself as “Active Shooter 327.” The video followed prior online posts referencing attacks on students and Jewish people, and the man had also expressed interest in replicating the 2015 mass shooting by a white supremacist […]

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Red Flag Laws Are Red Herrings of Gun Control

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After 31 people were murdered in back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, last month, President Donald Trump declared, “Mental illness and hatred pulled the trigger. Not the gun.” His claim, a twist on the gun-rights adage that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” is a popular refrain, with little evidentiary basis. […]

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Cold War Analogies are Warping Tech Policy

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Stock your bunkers, America, we’re back in the Cold War. Or many Cold Wars, it seems. Pundits and politicians alike declaim that we’re locked in a “new Cold War” with China, that we’re in the throes of a “cyber arms race” with the rest of the world, and that Russia’s election interference is, of course, […]

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The Consumer Bureau’s Reckless Plan for Debt Collection

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We learn in email 101 that hyperlinks from unfamiliar senders are breeding grounds for scams. Microsoft has warned against clicking on foreign links for decades. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has repeatedly cautioned Americans to be wary of malware and phishing expeditions. Last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) alerted consumers to a new cyber […]

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Shh! No Hacking the Census in the Library

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The 2020 United States Census will be the first to request a majority of Americans to respond online. The benefits are obvious. A digitized census is more efficient than the 230-year-old paper method, streamlining the processing of individual data for a population that has increased nearly a hundredfold since 1790, to 330 million. But connecting […]

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Big Tech Needs to Use Hazardous Materials Warnings

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The technology sector has a hazardous materials problem, beyond the mountains of electronic waste it generates. More immediately, Big Tech fails to warn users when its products and services are hazardous. Users are long overdue for a clear, concise rating system of privacy and security risks. Fortunately, tech can learn from another industry that knows […]

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John Ratcliffe Is a Dangerous Pick for Director of National Intelligence

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The president’s intent to nominate Robert Mueller’s chief Capitol Hill inquisitor to head the nation’s intelligence community might just be the Trump administration’s most alarming personnel decision yet—even in an administration whose list of departed, disgraced, and indicted former top officials reads like a casualty list from Game of Thrones. The news Sunday that Trump […]

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How to Protect Our Kids’ Data and Privacy

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YouTube is currently under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission following complaints that the platform improperly collected data from young users. It’s unclear how much data this might be, but there’s reason to believe it could be a lot. For many kids, YouTube has replaced television; depending on how parents use online platforms, children could […]