NSAsurveillance by Shutterstock

NSA surveillance reform: What are the prospects?

There exists one implacable deadline with regards to NSA surveillance reform: in June 2015, legal authority for the agency’s data collection programs will expire. Beyond that, continuing substantive differences combined with political complexities make it impossible to predict just how the legislative process will play out.

Just over a month ago, I wrote in some detail about the current status of reform proposals: specifically, the somewhat surprising emergence of Chairman of the Senate Judiciary...

InternetDiet by Shutterstock

The latest miracle diet: The Internet (and it might really work!)

The personal and societal costs of obesity in this nation are broadly recognized. Just as well-known, however, is that losing weight and keeping it off is incredibly difficult. Deeply rooted habits, lack of access to healthy foods, lack of knowledge about exercise and healthy eating, the time crunch, and life in general all seem to sabotage our aspirations to live healthier lives, making initial weight loss difficult and weight loss management even harder.

There is...

NetNeutrality by Shutterstock

Jeff Eisenach testifies on net neutrality and the Open Internet proceedings

Today, Jeff Eisenach will be testifying in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing “Why net neutrality matters: Protecting consumers and competition through meaningful Open Internet rules.” His written testimony can be found below, and video from the hearing can be found here.

My testimony today advances three main points.  First, net neutrality regulation cannot be justified on grounds of enhancing consumer welfare or protecting the public interest.  Rather, it is best understood as an effort...

BitTorrentSharing by Shutterstock

BitTorrent Inc.’s business: More “piracy” than “privacy”?

BitTorrent, Inc. recently launched a new ad campaign aimed at branding their services as privacy tools. BitTorrent distributes various software programs over the Internet, but the most popular are BitTorrent-protocol-based file-sharing programs. For two reasons, those programs do not promote “privacy.”

First, (and no matter what BitTorrent’s “Distributed Manifesto” claims), BitTorrent-based file-sharing programs compromise their users’ privacy. When most users participate in “swarms,” they broadcast their IP address and online activities to anonymous...