In the lead-up to the G20 Summit in Osaka this summer, the American public called on President Donald Trump to take an aggressive (though somewhat retaliatory) approach; to discuss, in addition to ongoing situations in Syria and North Korea, Russian interference in US elections. However, contrary to the popular belief that diplomatic discussions between the US and Russia should revolve entirely around national security issues, it is crucial to consider the importance of entrepreneurial and academic innovation.

In order for the relationship between the US and Russia to improve, Russians and Americans need to collaborate in non-inflammatory areas, the most accessible of which is academic research. One successful example of such teamwork is the International Space Station, where American and Russian members of NASA and Roscosmos (along with representation from other nations) work in a shared environment for the betterment of humanity. Another cooperative academic project is the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), which was founded in Moscow, Russia, as part of a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Skolkovo Foundation. This unprecedented level of teamwork helped to create a new, cutting edge educational institution in Russia, and enabled researchers at both institutions to benefit from “new opportunities for intellectual exchange, network building, and shared research.” In addition to providing mutual benefits for both American and Russian programs, these projects are important steps in normalizing the concept of a US-Russia alliance, by beginning to familiarize each society with one another. …


(Hey, that title rhymes!)

Net neutrality, as defined by the ACLU, “means applying well-established “common carrier” rules to the internet in order to preserve its freedom and openness.”¹ In layman’s terms, this translates to disallowing Internet Service Providers (hereafter referred to as ISPs) from slowing, limiting, or otherwise interfering with your internet traffic. Net neutrality, as it exists in U.S. law today, is within the protections provided by Title II of the Communications Act of 1934,² which effectively classifies internet service as a public utility. …


In the midst of all of this infighting amongst the crypto community, this endless debate over whose plan is most aligned with our hero, Satoshi Nakamoto, I want to ask a simple question: Does Satoshi’s original vision matter? Should we, (at the risk of sounding like members of a cult) the believers in the base technology he built, care what he would do now?

In my opinion, we shouldn’t.

In the same way that, in the United States of America, legislators (and voters behind them) have continued to iterate on a Constitution that’s hundreds of years old, developers today are iterating on Satoshi’s original code. Some people approach this impasse (and future divisive issues) that we’ve reached by considering whether he/she could’ve foreseen it (probably), and what they might’ve planned. The only thing that matters is the future health and success of the technology. For different people, that means different things, and that’s okay. …


Ever since the beginning of the digital era, and the propagation of consumer electronics, governments and other parties have attempted to surveil the populace, with ranging degrees of extremity and success. This paper aims to argue that, over time, the relative level of privacy available to the average user has decreased, and continues to trend in that direction. Relevant legislation will be listed and examined, asking the question of whether electronic privacy ever existed.

One thing that’s important to clarify when discussing the idea of “privacy” on the internet is that such a concept doesn’t simply include the specific examination of one’s personal information. Privacy on the internet also means being on a level playing field — that the traffic of a Jane Doe in Texas won’t be treated any differently from that of Netflix. This concept of equality is known as Net Neutrality, and is effectively a question of whether the Internet should be considered a public utility (similar to water, gas, electricity), or a privilege that’s only granted to those who can afford it (and further separated by amounts paid for it). In the summer of 2014, the FCC received approximately 3.7 million comments supporting the idea of Net Neutrality, and in early 2015, “reclassified broadband internet access as a telecommunications service, thus applying Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to Internet Service Providers.” Shortly after, they also published the Open Internet Order, banning paid traffic prioritization, blocking of specific services, and throttling of speeds. Later that year, the United States Telecom Association sued, arguing that the reclassification was “an overreach on the part of the FCC.” In mid-2016, though, in an 184 page ruling, the earlier decision was upheld. However, in 2017, with the Trump Administration taking over, things started to change direction: In May, the FCC, under newly-appointed leader Ajit Pai, “voted to proceed with the motion to scale back the net neutrality protections put in place in 2015 under the Obama Administration.” Despite widespread public opposition to it, the motion seems to be continuing towards confirmation at the end of the year. Though somewhat susceptible to short-term changes, as it broke from the trend during the Obama Administration, like patterns in the stock market, the legislational direction seems to be correcting itself, resuming the long-term movement towards less privacy. …


Late, again, I know. Too late to save “privacy,” too late for the Internet, too late for freedom…or is it?

A little background first — last year, the FCC implemented a new set of rules, intended to protect the privacy of the average American, preventing Internet Service Providers from selling data and browsing history collected from their customers. However, in the last week or so, Congress voted to repeal those rules.

Before jumping into it, let’s step back for a second — Congress voted to repeal these rules, intended simply to protect the common man. One may argue that, if it is possible to protect oneself, or even opt-out of such a program, it must not be a big deal. Why should we have to go to such measures, though? Personally, I was always taught that the government’s job was to represent the people — to protect its constituents — especially our Congressmen and women, who are directly elected. According to the US Government’s own website, visitthecapitol.gov, Congress “serves as the voice of the people…in the federal government.” Why, then, is Congress taking actions that not only weren’t requested by the people, but were widely opposed by them? …


In two days, the Department of Justice will effectively be granted the ability to hack into anyone’s computer, worldwide. The best part — they don’t have to do anything for the “update” to be implemented.

The amendments to Rule 41, according to the official documents, gives “a magistrate judge with authority in any district where activities related to a crime may have occurred has authority to issue a warrant to use remote access to search electronic storage media and to seize or copy electronically stored information located within or outside that district if: (A) the district where the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means…” To understand what this means, we have to understand who this implicates as a potential target, and the fact that nothing is explicitly stated gives the DOJ more freedom to interpret it differently in a range of situations. Take a second and imagine you’re trying to come up with an excuse to get into someone’s computer — Tor and VPN users aside, even those who use fabricated information on social networks could be targeted. You signed up for a facebook account with your spam email?! …


Only three days ago, Google launched their new phone(s), the Pixel, along with its bigger brother, the Pixel XL. It’s easy to get lost amongst the bullshit. Both versions of the phone are touted as having the “best camera ever.” They ship with Google’s new “Assistant,” something users of Allo may know of, a Siri/Alexa/Cortana-like humanoid version of Google Now. But what they don’t advertise is their new target audience.

In a world dominated by iOS devices (High school in an affluent, largely white area), I’ve long been a proponent of Android devices. However, it’s becoming harder and harder to advocate for the switch, as the previous promise of an experience easily tailored to the power user, while still far greater than Apple’s, is becoming more and more distant. The Pixel ships with Google’s newest version of Android, Nougat 7.1, where they introduce their new two-partition system, adding another hurdle to the already increasingly-complicated process of rooting. Additionally, the partnership with Verizon, while they are my carrier, is practically vomit inducing. How can Google expect to provide a clean, stock Android experience with a carrier known for cramming as much bloatware as possible into their phones? The answer is, they can’t, and they don’t. A simple comparison of the Pixel and Nexus sites confirms it — While the Nexus page emphasizes “The Ultimate Android Experience” and “Pure Android,” the Pixel site talks about the quality of the camera (If you check out the iPhone 7 page, they do the exact same thing), and the “all-new” Siri clone that Google introduced with their completely unnecessary Allo app. Further inspection reveals the new speakers, which now reside on the bottom of the phone. Who in their right mind would remove such a beneficial feature? I’m guessing that, in their effort to sway the technologically-incompetent masses, whoever designed the Pixel figured it’d be easier to just fucking clone the iPhone, right down to the antennae lines. (Yes, I do realize they’ve been a staple of HTC’s previous phones too, so it’s not crazy they’d put them on their newest phone, the HTC “Google” Pixel…just let me rant.) Let’s not forget another prominent new feature of the Pixel — the price. With a flagship price and one model year on it, the Pixel must be far better than the Nexus 6P, right? I’m not so sure. Even with everything I’ve mentioned so far, it continues to disappoint, with the XL sporting a 5.5 inch AMOLED, whereas the 6P offered a 5.7 inch AMOLED. …

Max Perrello

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