The US government’s web of surveillance is vast and interconnected. Now we know just how opaque, inefficient and discriminatory it can be.
As we were reminded again just this week, you can be pulled into the National Security Agency’s database quietly and quickly, and the consequences can be long and enduring. Through ICREACH, a Google-style search engine created for the intelligence community, the NSA provides data on private communications to 23 government agencies. More than 1,000 analysts had access to that information.
This kind of data sharing, however, isn’t limited to the latest from Edward Snowden’s NSA files. It was confirmed earlier this month that the FBI shares its master watchlist, the Terrorist Screening Database, with at least 22 foreign governments, countless federal agencies, state and local law enforcement, plus private contractors.
The watchlist tracks “known” and “suspected” terrorists and includes both foreigners and Americans. It’s also based on loose standards and secret evidence, which ensnares innocent people. Indeed, the standards are so low that the US government’s guidelines specifically allow for a single, uncorroborated source of information – including a Facebook or Twitter post – to serve as the basis for placing you on its master watchlist.
Of the 680,000 individuals on that FBI master list, roughly 40% have “no recognized terrorist group affiliation”, according to the Intercept. These individuals don’t even have a connection – as the government loosely defines it – to a designated terrorist group, but they are still branded as suspected terrorists.
I blinked at my phone, fighting simultaneous urges to hurl my phone across the room in anger and cry. Later that day, someone texted me my address — telling me they’d “See me when I least expected it.”
I haven’t been out to my car at night by myself since January 2nd.
My name is Brianna Wu. I lead a development studio that makes games. Sometimes, I write about issues in the games industry that relate to the equality of women. My reward is that I regularly have men threatening to rape and commit acts of violence against me.”
That is terrible and heart breaking on so many levels
Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Those are the countries. It will be drought-resistant species, mostly acacias. And this is a fucking brilliant idea you have no idea oh my Christ
This will create so many jobs and regenerate so many communities and aaaaaahhhhhhh
more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Green_Wall
it’s already happening, and already having positive effects. this is wonderful, why have i not heard of this before? i’m so happy!
Oh yes, acacia trees.
They fix nitrogen and improve soil quality.
And, to make things fun, the species they’re using practices “reverse leaf phenology.” The trees go dormant in the rainy season and then grow their leaves again in the dry season. This means you can plant crops under the trees, in that nitrogen-rich soil, and the trees don’t compete for light because they don’t have any leaves on.
And then in the dry season, you harvest the leaves and feed them to your cows.
Crops grown under acacia trees have better yield than those grown without them. Considerably better.
So, this isn’t just about stopping the advancement of the Sahara - it’s also about improving food security for the entire sub-Saharan belt and possibly reclaiming some of the desert as productive land.
Of course, before the “green revolution,” the farmers knew to plant acacia trees - it’s a traditional practice that they were convinced to abandon in favor of “more reliable” artificial fertilizers (that caused soil degradation, soil erosion, etc).
This is why you listen to the people who, you know, have lived with and on land for centuries.
The Great Green Wall, to resist the encroachment of the Sahara. Fascinating.
I’m so proud of my people.