Photo: Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/GettyImages

By Mitchell Baker

Last Thursday, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg broke her silence on the Cambridge Analytica scandal and said, “We’re open to regulation.” Founder Mark Zuckerberg made similar comments to CNN the day before.

And earlier this month, Google announced a $300 million initiative to address the rise of false information online. “The last thing you want as a search engine is to see the open internet become a race to the bottom,” Philipp Schindler, Google’s Chief Business Officer, declared.

“Techlash” is having an impact. With growing awareness of threats to privacy, access and innovation, as well as increasing suspicion…


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By Clay Cane

Originally, I had decided not to watch the reboot of “Roseanne” because of Barr’s vocal and bizarre worship of Donald Trump.

What’s bizarre about Barr’s affinity with working class Americans like her eponymous character — or her being on the road to becoming the next Ted Nugent — is, among other things, that she has been a multimillionaire for a long time. In the last two seasons of her show’s first iteration, she was the second-highest-paid woman in show business, after Oprah Winfrey. …


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By Jonathan Cristol

On Tuesday, Korea-watchers were surprised by the news that North Korean President Kim Jong Un had made the 24-hour journey to Beijing on his armored train to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. While Kim attended a German-speaking school in Switzerland as a boy, this was his first trip abroad since becoming North Korea’s leader in 2011.

The context of the visit is important: in just a few weeks, Kim will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in for the first time. …


Photo: Matthew Henry

By Bruce Schneier

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, news articles and commentators have focused on what Facebook knows about us. A lot, it turns out. It collects data from our posts, our likes, our photos, things we type and delete without posting, and things we do while not on Facebook and even when we’re offline. It buys data about us from others. And it can infer even more: our sexual orientation, political beliefs, relationship status, drug use, and other personality traits — even if we didn’t take the personality test that Cambridge Analytica developed.

But for every…


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By Julian Zelizer

Republicans should be worried about Anderson Cooper’s “60 Minutes” interview with the porn actress Stephanie Clifford, who performs as Stormy Daniels, coming days after the CNN anchor interviewed former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

As they listen to the women recount stories of relationships they say they had with the married Donald Trump (affairs which he denies), they may not be able to avoid thinking about what it will mean at the ballot box in November.

In special elections, Republicans have been struggling to retain vacant seats even in solidly red districts, as the Trump effect starts to…


Artist impression by NASA / Barcroft Media /Barcoft Media via Getty Images

By Don Lincoln

Chicken Little was right. In a very literal sense, the sky is falling. Not today and not tomorrow, but eventually. NASA has announced that on September 22, 2135 (which happens to be a Thursday, if you need to check your schedule), there is a small chance an asteroid a third of a mile across (named Bennu) will slam into the Earth with an impact energy equivalent to the currently deployed arsenal of US nuclear ballistic missiles.

Needless to say, if that happens, it will definitely be a bad day for everyone.

But, not to worry, NASA has…


Photo: Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images

By Lawrence M. Wein

In this ongoing #MeToo moment, there is a group of people who also deserve our attention: the victims of rape whose sexual assault kits, hundreds of thousands of them, are languishing untested in police department storerooms throughout the United States. If these kits were tested, DNA might be recovered that could be compared to the samples already stored in the national DNA crime database called CODIS (for “Combined DNA Index System”). A match, or in law enforcement parlance a “hit,” to CODIS could lead to a conviction.

The National Institute of Justice, the agency tasked with…


Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

When the next pick to head the CIA comes before the Senate and the nation for her confirmation hearings, it will not just be Gina Haspel — a three-decade veteran of the agency — in the witness seat. It will be the entire history of America’s effort in the post-9/11 intelligence-gathering arena.

And with it also the question, far bigger than any one individual, of whether the United States has yet reckoned with what it asked of its intelligence officials in the immediate aftermath of the September, 11, 2001, attacks.

In that shadow of the ashes…


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By Ford Vox

Vengeance is not a public health policy. But it’s implicit in a policy measure coming out of the White House, which would attempt to solve the opioid crisis with a plan that includes sentencing some high-intensity traffickers to death. It may feel good, and for some segment of the population, vengeance may even look good.

The death of those deemed to be problematic is how some strongmen leaders that President Donald Trump has embraced keep their hold on power — such as Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte, who is following through on his pledge to kill every drug…


Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

By David A. Andelman

After the weekend’s election in Russia and the expected coronation of Vladimir Putin as president yet again, some 20% of the world’s population and 17% of its entire land mass could be ruled by two individuals serving, unchallenged, for life.

For the people of China — where Xi Jinping won such a mandate last week — and Russia, this will mean a transition back to an era that few under the age of 40 will have known: the absolute rule of Mao and Brezhnev or Stalin.

Their victories have been possible because many of the people…

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