90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Tech Companies And American Privacy

Beyond the N.S.A. Legal scholar Jeffrey Rosen says we need a constitutional amendment to protect our online privacy from Internet companies. He’s with us.

This undated file photo made available by Google shows the campus-network room at a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (AP)

This undated file photo made available by Google shows the campus-network room at a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (AP)

The country’s in an unresolved uproar over the NSA and super-charged government surveillance.  Constitutional law scholar Jeffrey Rosen says look around.  Our concern, he says, should not just be with the government.  Private companies, from Silicon Valley right across the country, are collecting data on us on a scale that would bewilder the founders.  The Fourth Amendment bars unreasonable search and seizure by the government.  Rosen says that should be extended to cover private industry.  Watch out Google.  This hour On Point:  beyond the NSA.  American privacy, the constitution, and private companies.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jeffrey Rosen, professor of law at George Washington Law School. Legal affairs editor of The New Republic. President and Chief Executive of the National Constitution Center. (@RosenJeffrey)

Adam Thierer, senior research fellow, Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. (@AdamThierer)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Madison’s Privacy Blind Spot – “The debate between Judge Leon and Judge Pauley echoes the one between Federalists and Anti-Federalists about the proper scope of government, one Madison, a moderate for his time, so effectively straddled.”

U.S. News & World Report: Relax and Learn to Love Big Data — “In recent years, concerns about our digital privacy have been exacerbated by the growth of ‘big data,’ or massive data sets that are used by companies and other organizations to catalog information about us. These data sets are used to tailor new and better digital services to us and also to target ads to our interests, which helps keep online content and service cheap or free. But some critics still fear the ramifications for our privacy of all this data being collected.”

Bloomberg Businessweek: Security Expert Bruce Schneier Says to Foil NSA Spies, Encrypt Everything — “There is some good news in the Snowden documents, Schneier said, and that’s that encryption still works. The NSA has often been able to get around it because other parts of the equation, like software or hardware, are insecure. Still, most current cryptography gives the NSA some trouble, and a lot of the data that the NSA snags isn’t encrypted. That means we’re making it too easy for the NSA to pursue its ‘collect everything’ mania. Schneier’s solution: encrypt everything we can, from the cloud to cell phones.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 30, 2014
St. Louis county police officers advance on protestors trying to shut down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP)

Police shootings, cop culture, body cameras. And the big debate over how to protect the public and the police.

Sep 30, 2014
In this Jan. 15, 2013, photo, Rosser Pryor, Co-owner and President of Factory Automation Systems, examines a new high-performance industrial robot at the company's Atlanta facility.  (AP)

Nicholas Carr says automation, all over, is turning us into zombies. Out of touch with the world. He’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 29, 2014
A 1597 map of Lesbos / Mytilene, Greece by Giacomo Franco. (Flickr / Creative Commons)

How Aristotle invented science. The great ancient Greek, and life on Earth.

 
Sep 29, 2014
In this March 8, 2012 file photo, Peter Thiel speaks in San Francisco. (AP)

Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel; the entrepreneur, investor and the PayPal co-founder’s call for deep invention.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 26, 2014
Friday, Sep 26, 2014

All of you love to listen to old broadcasts when we play them, and Taylor Swift loves the Internet.

More »
Comment
 
NPR’s Chris Arnold On Garnished Wages
Wednesday, Sep 24, 2014

NPR’s Chris Arnold took part in a remarkable new reporting series tackling the rise of garnished wages as a way to pay off debt. He talked to us today about the series.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment