Archives: Open Technology Institute Articles and Op-Eds

Why Obama Should Run Against the Supreme Court

  • By
  • Marvin Ammori,
  • New America Foundation
April 6, 2012 |

Recently, there has been considerable debate over whether President Obama should run against the Supreme Court as part of his reelection campaign. High-ranking Democratic Rep. James Clyburn has endorsed the idea, and Obama himself has seemed to test the waters with anticipatory criticism of a decision striking down his health-care law as unconstitutional.

The Real Problem With Google’s New Privacy Policy

  • By
  • James Losey,
  • Thomas Gideon,
  • New America Foundation
February 15, 2012 |

When Google announced impending changes to its privacy policy, users and the media alike were focused on one thing: the inability to opt-out, short of deleting your account. Though Congress keeps pushing Google for more clarification, many users have grumpily acknowledged the Gmail notifications and moved to new privacy concerns like an iPhone app that copied and uploaded users' contacts.

Mobile Phones Will Not Save the Poorest of the Poor

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • New America Foundation
February 9, 2012 |

Entrepreneurs, businesses, NGOs, and governments exalt mobile technology as a game-changing tool to fight global poverty. But what if our eagerness to connect the world is inadvertently exacerbating the global economic divide?

The Difference Between Online Knowledge and Truly Open Knowledge

  • By
  • C. W. Anderson,
  • New America Foundation
February 3, 2012 |

In "Too Big To Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room", the simultaneously fascinating and frustrating book by Berkman Center senior researcher David Weinberger, there is a wonderful moment where the mechanisms of "fact-building" are laid bare.

"It's 1983. You want to know the population of Pittsburgh, so instead of waiting six years for the web to be invented, you head to the library," Weinberger begins.

Digging Deeper Into The New York Times’ Fact-Checking Faux Pas

  • By
  • Lucas Graves,
  • New America Foundation
January 19, 2012 |

Once in a while the cultural fault lines in American journalism come into unexpectedly sharp relief. Jon Stewart’s now-legendary star turn on “Crossfire” was one of those moments; the uproar over NPR’s refusal (along with most major news outlets) to call waterboarding torture was another. The New York Times may have added another clash to this canon with public editor Arthur Brisbane’s blog post on fact-checking last week.

Recession or Depression — Are We Really Better Off Than in the 1930s?

  • By
  • Kat Aaron,
  • New America Foundation
January 6, 2012 |

Some call this moment the Great Recession. As the hardship has lingered, others have begun calling it the Little Depression. But equating the hard times of the 1930s with the hard times of today is mostly overblown rhetoric. Or is it?

On the surface, the comparisons are obvious: a period of great wealth and exuberance, followed by a stock market crash. After the crash, widespread economic pain. Millions of people out of work, thousands of homes lost. Families going hungry.

The Internet’s Intolerable Acts

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • James Losey,
  • New America Foundation
December 8, 2011 |

The United States of America was forged in resistance to collective reprisals—the punishment of many for the acts of few. In 1774, following the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament passed a series of laws—including the mandated closure of the port of Boston—meant to penalize the people of Massachusetts. These abuses of power, labeled the "Intolerable Acts," catalyzed the American Revolution by making plain the oppression of the British crown.

Whose Drug War?

  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
November 10, 2011 |

In 2006, Mexico’s newly elected president, Felipe Calderón, declared war on his country’s drug cartels. He militarized and intensified a conflict that had been managed by his predecessors through an opaque strategy of accommodation, payoffs, assigned trafficking routes, and periodic takedowns of uncoöperative capos.

Cyberspace and U.S. Competitiveness

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • New America Foundation
October 17, 2011 |

For millennia, trade routes defined the very foundations of civilization and empire. Today, the Internet backbone and the spread of broadband connectivity are as fundamentally important to the future of civil society and the twenty-first century economy.

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