Posts by SB Anderson

TSA carry-on gun confiscation data 2013

(Jan. 05, 2014)

Example of a local story done with our TSA data. Data below compiled from weekly TSA Blog updates on the number and type of weapons confiscated during carry-on searches at airports. Data is updated weekly (current data through Dec. 31, … Continue reading

Fissures in support for the Surveillance State

(Jul. 29, 2013)

Last week all but certainly will be looked back at as a watershed week in shifting support for the Surveillance State by not only U.S. citizens, but members of Congress.

For those who’ve been eyes-half-open mode because it’s Summer and watch to catch up, The New York Times today has a must-read on the politics and cross-party partnerships behind last week’s surprising oh-so-close vote in the House that would have killed funding for the National Security Administration’s telephone data collection, exposed by Edward Snowden.

Meantime, new research data shows the opinion shift among Americans. Almost half of those polled from July 17-21 said their “greater concern about government anti-terrorism policies is that they have gone too far in restricting the average person’s civil liberties,” Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reported on Friday.

That was a 15-point jump since 2010, when the question was last asked. “This is the first time a plurality has expressed greater concern about civil liberties than security since the question was first asked in 2004.” Continue reading

Global Warning wins prestigious Online Journalism Award

(Sep. 24, 2011)

 Global Warning, a Medill National Security Journalism Initiative graduate student project, has won a prestigious 2011 Online Journalism Award. Winners were announced on Sept. 24 at the Online News Association annual conference in Boston. Global Warning was a finalist in … Continue reading

The Privacy Project

(Sep. 06, 2011)

At the request of the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative, journalism graduate students at Northwestern University’s Medill School spent 10 weeks this summer exploring how to best connect consumers with important online content in new and innovative ways. The team … Continue reading

New more favorable FOIA focus at Defense Department?

(Aug. 16, 2011)

Getting documents from the Department of Defense might get a little easier, thanks to an updated DOD directive (see document below) that declares a “presumption in favor of disclosure” for Freedom of Information Act requests.

The directive says DOD will “respond promptly to all requests in a spirit of cooperation” and will “take affirmative steps” to maximize what’s made available.

President Obama in an executive order on Jan. 21, 2009 ordered “presumption in favor of disclosure” and asked agencies to “harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public.” Continue reading

Highlights from NSJI’s 2011 conference on military beat coverage

(Jul. 11, 2011)

[field name=”photogal400″] Journalists who cover the military beat around the country participated in briefings at the Pentagon and panel discussions and presentations with a variety of experts on topics ranging from medical care for veterans to national security law during … Continue reading

2011 Conference Agenda

(Jul. 08, 2011)

Agenda the from June, 2011 “Covering the Military At Home and Abroad” conference in Washington.

Tools to monitor governments shutting off the Internet

(Jun. 04, 2011)

On Friday, Syria joined the Arab Spring uprising trend of besieged government bureaucrats temporarily shutting down the Internet to try and mute protests.
The first news I saw on this was early in the day in my Twitter feed — but it wasn’t a tweet of a news story or someone quoting a news story or government official.

My news came from a tweet based on raw Google data.

In my feed, @BrianBoyer of the Chicago Tribune retweeted fellow Chicagoan @therealfitz with news that Syria had apparently gone dark, based on Google data — and that was two hours before Google itself tweeted about it.

The source: Google’s Transparency Report, which shows near- real-time data for use of Google services by country/region and “visualizes disruptions in the free flow of information, whether it’s a government blocking information or a cable being cut.”

Continue reading

Global hot spots for Internet filtering

(Jun. 02, 2011)

A new United Nations report aggregates a number of efforts to measure Internet filtering by governments around the world and concludes “national regulation of the Internet is taking place on a wide scale, despite ambiguity over appropriate policy and uncertainty over its implementation, and risks to freedom of expression.”

Not surprisingly, East and Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa were found to house states with the most filtering. The most extensive filtering of the 47 surveyed nations was found in China, Cuba, Myanmar (Burma), Oman, South Korea, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen. (See full interactive map).

Government interference with the internet has been a very high-profile issue in recent months, particularly with the Arab Spring uprisings and the role of the internet in the unrest (and government attempts to stop or inhibit the internet as an enabling tool). The report from UNESCO (United Nations Education, Cultural and Scientific Organization) does not cover political filtering alone, however. The studies it cites also measured filtering for social (e.g., pornography), security and other reasons. Continue reading

National Security Watchdog Workshop sold out

(May. 23, 2011)

Registration has closed for an intensive one-day hands-on training workshop for national security reporters, focusing on data, documents and the Internet. The session, featuring trainers from IRE’s National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting, will be hosted by Medill’s National Security … Continue reading