Hour 1 - 3
Hour 1 -- Harris Kenny (Communications Manager of Aleph Objects) provides an update on their desktop 3D printers
Hour 2 -- John Whitehead (Rutherford Inst) provides and update on American Civil Liberties
Hour 3 -- Michael Belfiore (Author, Journalist) reports on the private space race
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December 5th, 2014
Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock
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2014-12-05 Hour 1 Harris Kenny (Video Archive):
Communications Manager - Aleph Objects
Harris has diverse management and enterprise technology consulting experience working with companies ranging from start-ups through the Fortune 500, spanning the professional and financial services, manufacturing and distribution, and education industries. Some of his print and media appearances include: The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, and The World Bank.
About Aleph Objects...
Frustrated by the status quo, Aleph Objects, Inc. began with the goal to allow people the freedom they need to get the job done -- specifically, the job of conceiving, creating, and manufacturing prototypes and projects. Built upon the philosophy of freedom, Aleph Objects, Inc., the parent company of LulzBot and based in Loveland, Colorado, develops and manufactures a line of open desktop 3D printers.
2014-12-05 Hour 2 John Whitehead
John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead's concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him, in 1982, to establish The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization whose international headquarters are located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Whitehead serves as the Institute's president and spokesperson, in addition to writing a weekly commentary that is posted on The Rutherford Institute's website (www.rutherford.org), as well being distributed to several hundred newspapers, and hosting a national public service radio campaign. Whitehead's aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties issues has earned him numerous accolades, including the Hungarian Medal of Freedom.
Whitehead has been the subject of numerous newspaper, magazine and television profiles, ranging from Gentleman's Quarterly to CBS' 60 Minutes. Articles by Whitehead have been printed in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and USA Today, among others.
Whitehead gained international renown as a result of his role as co-counsel in Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton. Whitehead continues to speak out in defense of a woman's right to be free from sexual harassment and frequently comments on a variety of legal issues in the national media. He has been interviewed by the following national and international media (partial list): Crossfire, O'Reilly Factor, CNN Headline News, Larry King Live, Nightline, Dateline, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, CBS This Morning, This Week with Sam and Cokie, Rivera Live, Burden of Proof, Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, FOX News Sunday, Hardball, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, National Public Radio, BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio, British Sky "Tonight" and "Sunday," TF1 (French TV) and Greek national television.
The author of numerous books on a variety of legal and social issues, as well as pamphlets and brochures providing legal information to the general public, Whitehead has also written numerous magazine and journal articles. In addition, he wrote and directed the documentary video series Grasping for the Wind, as well as its companion book, which focus on key cultural events of the 20th Century. The series received two Silver World Medals at the New York Film and Video Festival and is now available on DVD.
Whitehead has filed numerous amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also been co-counsel in several landmark Supreme Court cases as well. His law reviews have been published in Emory Law Journal, Pepperdine Law Review, Harvard Journal on Legislation, Washington and Lee Law Review, Cumberland Law Review, Tulsa Law Journal and the Temple University Civil Rights Law Review.
Born in 1946 in Tennessee, John W. Whitehead earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas in 1969 and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1974. He served as an officer in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971.
TOPIC: Update on American Civil Liberties...
On The Front Lines:
John Whitehead's Weekly Commentary:
TRI In The News:
2014-12-05 Hour 3 Michael Belfiore
Michael Belfiore is an author and journalist reporting on the innovations shaping our world. He has written about game-changing technologies for the New York Times, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian, Air & Space, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and many other outlets. He is an International Aerospace Journalist of the Year Award finalist and a recipient of the Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace Award for outstanding journalism.
I just had a chance to see the documentary about NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden. Citizenfour is an amazing look behind the scenes at the revelation that the National Security Agency has a number of programs for collecting and analyzing information on the emails, phone calls, and other electronic communications of millions of Americans as well as people beyond our borders.
It's thanks to Snowden that we know that the NSA has intercepted data from Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Verizon, and other conduits for our communications. The reams of documents snatched by Snowden on his way out the door at the NSA also revealed, embarrassingly to the President of the United States, that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's own mobile phone was tapped.
Fimmaker Laura Poitras was one of two journalists Snowden entrusted with the documents and his identity, and the film brings us to the Hong Kong hotel room where Snowden delivered the goods in June, 2013.
While watching the movie, I remembered a DARPA program that I had written about in my book, The Department of Mad Scientists, called Total Information Awareness (TIA).
That program, launched by then director Tony Tether in the wake of 9/11, got shot down by Congress in 2004 and almost cost Tether his job. The idea behind it, Tether told me, was to automatically collect the dots between bits of information already being gathered by various law enforcement agencies to flag human analysts about potentially suspicious behavior by possible terrorists.
From my book:
The idea that DARPA wanted to look into every U.S. citizen's private records was nonsense, [Tether] told me. What he and [program office director] Poindexter wanted to do, he said, was to develop sophisticated methods for sifting through the terabytes of data already being amassed by the various law enforcement, military, and intelligence organizations to spot suspicious patterns that might correlate to terrorist activity—before that activity turned deadly. "We never really meant that we are going to sift through the cyberspace of the United States. We were really always looking at the normal amount of information that the intelligence agencies collected as a matter of fact. But, boy, you know, I never could really convince people of that."
The amount of data being amassed by the NSA at the time probably wasn't as great as it is now. Even so, TIA, which was conceived as a way to automate the analysis of data already being collected, seems like a red herring now.
It's not the analysis of the data that should have people worried so much as its collection in the first place. And it seems that the objectives of TIA are now being met, with or without DARPA's help.
In Citizenfour, Snowden describes software tools that help human analysts grind through the massive amount of information available to them. Of course they have such tools. How could the data being collected be of any use without them?
Go see Citizenfour, and know beyond a doubt that you are being watched. What's to be done about it is anyone's guess, but the film makes clear that principled individuals thinking for themselves can make a difference, even within the machineries of massive organizations.
The U.S. government calls what Snowden did espionage. Snowden calls it informing a citizenry so that a democracy can function properly. What do you think?