Friday News: Jewel v. NSA, Facebook tell-all, Seoul International Book Fair, and “essential” American books
Jewel v. NSA Moves Forward—Time For NSA To Answer Basic Questions About Mass Surveillance – And now we tune in to the ongoing saga of the US government’s attempts to block, delay, and otherwise frustrate one of the most important cases regarding unwarranted domestic surveillance in the history of the country. As this article notes, Congress should be doing much of this heavy lifting, but . . . not so much.
Not only does this mark the first opportunity to obtain evidence since the case was filed nearly eight years ago, but it’s also the first time any party has been allowed to gather facts about the programs’ inner workings from the NSA in a case involving the agency’s warrantless surveillance. . . .
We are now seeking answers to some basic questions that will provide enough clarification for a real judicial decision. For instance, we asked the NSA to describe the basic process by which it acquires, copies, filters, and searches Internet communications in transit over the Internet backbone without any warrant or court order authorizing it to do so. We asked the agency to describe how AT&T’s Folsom Street facility in San Francisco fits into its operations, and all the facts on which it bases its conclusion that it would be “impracticable” to get a warrant supported by probable cause before invading people’s privacy. And we asked the agency to provide documentation to support its answers. – Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Juiciest Parts of The New Facebook Tell-All Book – You know these tell-all books are so often sorry and sordid little affairs, but in the case of Facebook, the lack of corporate transparency does make it more tempting than other books of this type. In this case, though, Gizmodo warns that the author of Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley “is guilty of exactly the same kind of sickishness” he chronicles. And given the examples in this post, it’s a very, very, very low bar. The sexism alone is just gross, as this excerpt demonstrates:
Next was a warning to the womenfolk. Our male HR authority, with occasional backup from his female counterpart, launched into a speech about avoiding clothing that “distracted” coworkers. I’d later learn that managers did in fact occasionally pull aside female employees and read them the riot act. One such example happened in Ads, with an intern who looked about sixteen coming in regularly in booty shorts. It was almost laughably inappropriate, but such was our disinhibited age. – Antonio Garcia Martinez, via Gizmodo
An Editor Finds Her Seoul-Mates – South Korea imports many children’s books from international markets for translation, and many Korean publishers have opened within the past decade, demonstrating the robustness of the children’s book market there. Despite the HORRIBLE title of this article and the travelogue-ish style, it gives a broad overview of the Seoul International Book Fair, now in its 22nd year, and contains some good photos. The Fair draws many families and other members of the public, as some of the photos show, and the Coex complex, where the Fair is held, looks amazing. The editor is Mary Cash from Holiday House.
At the KCC [Korean Copyright Center] offices I met the staff of 19 people busily working in cubicles nestled among shelves of books. Separate displays of children’s and adult books sold by KCC currently on the Korea’s bestseller lists spoke for themselves. As the representatives for the big five publishers, numerous U.S. literary agencies and many mid-sized publishers, KCC is probably the conduit through which most American children’s books find their way to the Korean market. . . .
Although publishers come to the Fair from all over the world, the largest non-Korean contingents hail from Japan, Taiwan, China, and southeast Asia. Guest fellows of the Korean Publishers Association were from Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Taiwan, the U.K., the U.S., and Vietnam.- Publishers Weekly
12 Great Authors Pick Their Essential American Book – So, yeah, it’s the 4th of July here this weekend, which mostly means a lot of barbecues, beer, and pet-frightening fireworks. I thought this would be a cringe-inducing list, but once I saw that the first book was Louise Erdrich’s wonderful Love Medicine, I kept going and was not completely disappointed (some recommendation, right?!). And I’m curious about the Ben Winters book, Underground Airlines. Has anyone read it?