The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.
Officials yesterday defended the retention of highly personal data on travelers not involved in or linked to any violations of the law. But civil liberties advocates have alleged that the type of information preserved by the department raises alarms about the government’s ability to intrude into the lives of ordinary people
Archives for September 2007
I just picked up two books by ‘the’ Naomi’s today.
I saw them in the book shop and I was compelled.
1) The End of America: A Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot
by Naomi Wolff
Naomi Wolff is on the Colbert Report
We don’t have a lot of time free societies close down very quickly she points out and we need a democracy movement to restore the rule of law.
2) The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
by Naomi Klein
This is a short film about the topic of the book.
3) I recently was pointed to the Century of the Self a film by the BBC. it is a documentary about the role of psychoanalysis, marketing, and public relations in the united states. The concluding installment covers the application of these techniques in the “democratic” political process.
It is well worth watching and is on the Internet Archive.
An MIT student wearing a device on her chest that included lights and wires was arrested at gunpoint at Logan International Airport this morning after authorities thought the contraption was a bomb strapped to her body.
Star Simpson, 19, was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and approached an airport employee in Terminal C at 8 a.m. to inquire about an incoming flight from Oakland, according to Major Scott Pare of the State Police. She was holding a lump of what looked like putty in her hands. The employee asked about the plastic circuit board on her chest, and Simpson walked away without responding, Pare said.
“She said it was a piece of art and she wanted to stand out on career day,” Pare said. “She was holding what was later found to be playdough.”
Affixed to the front of her black sweatshirt was a pale beige circuit board with green LED lights and wires running to a 9-volt battery. Written on the back of the sweatshirt in what appeared to be gold magic marker was the phrase “socket to me” and below that was written “Course VI,” which refers to the electrical engineering and computer science program at MIT.
According to the MIT website, Simpson is from Kihei, Hawaii, and is a sprinter on the school’s swim team. On Simpson’s personal website at MIT, she says she is studying computers and enjoys tinkering in a student-run machine shop.
“In a sentence, I’m an inventor, artist, engineer, and student, I love to build things and I love crazy ideas,” the website says.
So where the whole incident started from was the security gaurd who thought her art was suspicious. From my experience with those kinds of people in airports or otherwise they were likely not that educated – certainly not aware of the ways of computer geeks and how this sort of art would be really not be a-typcial. Seems like we have some ‘diversity training’ needs of our own as a culture.
So for all of you coming to the scenario planning ‘exercise’ on Sunday for the DIDW panel on the Future of Internet Scale Identity we will be meeting in the Lobby of Tower 1 of the SF Hilton at 2pm.
With the numbers we have currently signed up I think this will do just fine as a meeting spot. If we move from this location go there and look on the middle desk in that lobby and we will leave a note about where we are. You can also text me at 415 425 1136 if that doesn’t work.
I have my final planning meeting with John Kelly tomorrow. I am hoping he can join me in facilitating the exercise either way we are good to go. We have about two dozen “event’s” that could happen in the future. Those who come will get to create more events. From there we will look at how the relate, and cluster. There is a bit more to it and then we will present what we discern on Monday. It should be a lot of fun.
Feel free to come even if you have not signed up or pinged me via e-mail.
I am producing another unconference this fall. It is for women working in technology called She’s Geeky. It is October 22-23 in Mountain View at the Computer History Museum.
I would encourage you all to let women you know in tech know about the event either via e-mail or blogging.
I am working with a great organizing team including Mary Hodder from Dabble, Susan Mernit from Yahoo!, Julia French from Covered Communications, Deb Roby a BlogHer Blogger, Melanie Swan, Heather Vesent from the Purple Tornado and Laurie Rae.
We have three simple goals with the event.
- Exchange skills and learning from women from diverse fields of technology.
- Discuss topics about women and technology.
- Connect the diverse range of women in technology, computing, entrepreneurship, funding, hardware, open source, nonprofit and any other technical geeky fields.
What is the value of coming? It should be a great networking opportunity to meet other interesting women who you or your company might do business with. In this format you will get to learn more then you would just having interesting meetings in a hallway like you do at typical conferences that cost a lot more.
We have aimed to make it affordable and accessible for women costing $125 (until Sept 30). We have some great sponsors so far to help make up the difference Google, The Nonprofit Technology Network, Atlassian, Purple Tornado, Citizen Agency and are actively looking for other sponsors who would like to contribute to the event. Please contact me if you are interested.
It is an event where women can get exposed to new and different skills in industry niches they don’t normally work in. The unconference format is a perfect format to build community and relationships across niches. – I talked to a developer yesterday who was one of 12 women developers out of 600 people attending Ruby Conf. It can be lonely in one little niche – reaching out to women who share technical passion but are not in your niche is a needed thing.
I love the Identity Community and have lots of friends here. There are also not that many women in our little field. I have been really lucky to hang out in a few tech niches (Web 2.0, Open Source, NonProfit Tech) I noticed that there was often very little overlap between the people in these communities so part of the goal is to mix between niches and hopefully create some new friendship and business opportunities.
I personally have had very few ‘issues’ in being a women working in the industry – in fact it has been great. I also have been hanging out on several women in technology mailing lists and I feel really lucky to be in a community with a healthy culture that is welcoming and encouraging. This is not always the case.
With this event we have an opportunity with an all women’s space to dive deeper into the issues arising for women working in this field. The timing is opportune on the heals of the O’Reilly Women in Technology series that is running this month. There is a lot of intense commenting following those articles regarding the issues raised. In open space we do the same thing but face-to-face. My article was posted today: Process Geekiness: The Role of Face-to-Face Collaboration in Thriving Tech Communities
There is another fact about women in technology that inspired me to pull this event together. Many women who work in technology do so ‘accidently’ and therefore don’t have formal training in the sector – creating opportunities for next steps to deepen knowledge and skills on a career path is especially important. So the skill sharing is an opportunity for us accidental tech workers to learn something new and broaden horizons for next steps on a career path is another goal for She’s Geeky.
You can’t just show up and present anywhere – you can at She’s Geeky. At regular conferences and the other women in tech programs have formal themes, committees and selection processes. This is a great opportunity to show up and try something out.
If you are a women working in tech please join us if you can.