TechDirt covered the bizarre behavior of Purdue University encountered by Bart Gellman at his national security, NSA, and Edward Snowden talk at a conference there. The article calls it "ridiculous" that it got this far in the first place.
We've talked about this a few times before, and the head in sand approach the government takes to pretending that publicly available leaked classified information is still secret. Government employees are regularly told they cannot look at such documents even if those documents are splashed across the pages of the Washington Post, the NY Times or other news sources. The rationale for this is that it takes away at least some incentive for people to force declassification by leaking documents. But it doesn't really.
Read TechDirt's full article on Gellman and the conference.
TCF fellow Barton Gellman recently spoke at Purdue University conference on the NSA, Edward Snowden, and surveillance. LIttle did he know, the video of his presentation would be destroyed following the event. Why? Because the university considered the content of Gellman's talk unsafe to retain. Inside Higher Ed wrote about Gellman's experience:
Sure enough, someone filed a “breach report” with the university’s research information assurance officer, who brought the issue to the attention of the Defense Security Service, a Pentagon agency that oversees nongovernment organizations working with classified material.
TCF's Barton Gellman recently gave a keynote presentation at Purdue University, only to later find out that the university destroyed the video of the event to comply with the institution's high security standards.READ MORE
Alabama officials have decided to close thirty-one driver's license offices located almost exclusively in African-American communities. According to TCF fellow Michael Cohen, this serves as yet another step that Alabama Republicans have taken in an attempt to disenfranchise the state's Democratic voters—and in particular, its African-American voters.
The state of Alabama has, by law, made it more difficult for voters in its state to vote. According to the Alabama secretary of state, about 500,000 state residents in 2014 didn’t have a photo ID (that’s 20 percent of those registered to vote). The law disproportionately affects poor people who would find it the most difficult to get a photo ID (Alabama helpfully raised the fee more than 50 percent for getting a driver’s license) and, in particular African-Americans, who voted in fewer numbers in 2014 in places where voter ID laws went into effect. In Alabama in 2014, the state had the lowest turnout in an election since 1986. Now Alabama is closing offices where state residents can get a license with a photo ID and doing it almost exclusively in places where black people live.
Learn more about the state of voting rights in Alabama at the Boston Globe.
Just in time for the day of the United Nations deadline, India has released its formal greenhouse gas emissions plan for the COP 21 conference. In a new article, TCF policy associate Neil Bhatiya discusses the promising aspects of India's proposal.
The renewable energy ambitions outlined are extremely significant and should be encouraged. Mobilization of the Green Climate Fund, the U.N.-backed mechanism for channeling financing from developed nations to developing ones to fight climate change, can assist with this. While the plan didn’t include a peak emissions year or national carbon pricing policy, as China’s announced plans do, that is not a reason to feel disappointed that something more ambitious wasn’t put forward. India has stated it has a desire to be a constructive player in Paris.
Read Bhatiya's full analysis of India's emissions plan in FP.
Of the world's major carbon emitters, India was the last country to submit its greenhouse gas emissions reductions plan. TCF policy associate Neil Bhatiya recently commented on India's proposal and discussed the promise that the plan holds.
Neil Bhatiya, a policy associate with the Washington-based think tank The Century Foundation, said India’s commitment to reducing emissions while underlining the issues they want to see addressed is an effort to avoid throwing a spanner into the works at the international climate change talks in Paris.
"In contrast to their attitude in the past, they’re willing to take mitigation action upfront and willing to sign on paper to do that, but they want to see the [developed countries] live up to their promises too," he said.
Learn more about India's emissions plan at Inside Climate News.
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