90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Blackberry vs. World: Tech Freedom?

The Blackberry saga. The businessman’s handheld organizer is facing the heat from intelligences bosses worldwide. High tech vs. high security. Plus, Net neutrality and the Google-Verizon proposal.

A BlackBerry user displays a text message sent by his service provider notifying him of the suspension of services, at a mobile shop in Dubai, Aug. 5, 2010 (AP)

Around the world, national security, government control, and high technology do a wary dance in our era. Center stage right now – the Blackberry – the potent little handheld device that tethers so many businesspeople around the planet to their work.

Blackberry communications are highly encrypted. Governments don’t like that. Some say it can abet terrorists.

In recent weeks, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, India and more have threatened to shut down the Blackberry party in their countries. We examine the Blackberry saga and the debate — high tech versus high security.

Plus, later on, we look at Net neutrality and the Google-Verizon proposal that has raised eyebrows.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Matt Hartley, technology reporter for the Financial Post (Toronto, Canada).

Jonathan Zittrain, professor of law and computer science at Harvard University, where he’s founder and director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. He’s author of “The Future of the Internet — and How to Stop It.” You can hear his On Point interview on that book and also listen to his take on cloud computing.

Richard Falkenrath, former National Security Council staffer and Homeland Security official under President George W. Bush and ex-Deputy Commissioner of Counter-Terrorism of the New York City Police Department. He’s now a principal with the Chertoff Group, a security consulting firm. You can read his Op-Ed in the New York Times, “Texting with Terrorists.”

Peter Suderman, columnist and associate editor at Reason magazine and Reason.com. His column last week was titled “No More Net Neutrality?”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 5, 2015
A car passes a memorial for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson last summer, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Ferguson. A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson police department, with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report.  (AP)

The big Justice Department report finds a pattern of racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department. Now what? We’re back in Ferguson – and beyond — for answers.

Mar 5, 2015
One in four women use psychiatric medication. The reasons for the medication aren't always so clear. (Flickr)

Are American women being prescribed psychiatric drugs – anti-depressants, anti-psychotics — for normal emotions? We’ll hear out one psychiatrist’s bold claim.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 4, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

 
Mar 4, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP)

Hillary Clinton’s week of bad headlines: about her emails and foreign money going to the Clinton Foundation. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment