Trending In Our News Feeds – NSA whistleblower reveals himself. The Guardian revealed the identity of the whistleblower responsible for unveiling the NSA’s massive data mining programs in a story published on Sunday. Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old defense consultant who has worked at the NSA for four years, says, “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.” The Guardian also released a video interview with Snowden. Here are some of the highlights:
On his decision to become a whistleblower: “When you're in positions of privileged access like a systems administrator for the sort of intelligence community agencies, you’re exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale than the average employee and because of that you see things that may be disturbing … Over time that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up and you feel compelled to talk about. And the more you talk about the more you're ignored. The more you're told its not a problem until eventually you realize that these things need to be determined by the public and not by somebody who was simply hired by the government.”
On the targeting of American citizens: “NSA and intelligence community in general is focused on getting intelligence wherever it can by any means possible … Originally we saw that focus very narrowly tailored as foreign intelligence gathered overseas. Now increasingly we see that it's happening domestically and to do that [the NSA] targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system … simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient, and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government or someone they suspect of terrorism, they're collecting you're communications to do so.”
On why you should care about NSA’s programs: “Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.”
U.S. and China make deal on greenhouse gasses. President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed over the weekend to wind down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas released by refrigerators and air conditioners. Experts say a push to limit the release of HFCs could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90 gigatons by 2050. “The China-U.S. agreement … will provide the single biggest, fastest, cheapest, and most secure piece of climate mitigation available to the world through 2020,” said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development.
SCOTUS to issue landmark opinion. The Supreme Court will issue a verdict this morning on one of five cases, around 10:00 a.m. SCOTUS does not announce in advance when it will decide a case, but the Daily Beast tells you everything you need to know about the cases the Court could rule on. The Court will issue opinions on affirmative action, gay marriage, civil rights, and gene patents by the end of the month.
Cory Booker announces Senate run. Newark Mayor Cory Booker officially announced he will run for Senate at a press conference on Saturday. While politicos expected Booker to run for Senate in 2014, he was forced to push up his announcement when Chris Christie set a special election for October 16. Booker emphasized the power political activism: “We all are the leaders who must now do more than ever to join in and fight, and lead the way forward.”
Apple kicks off Worldwide Developers Conference. Computer geeks are heading to San Francisco today for Apple’s Worldwide Developers conference, and this year’s event is a big deal. As The Verge reports, Apple’s stock is down, iPhone sales are slower than usual, and this year hasn’t seen any major updates; this is Apple’s chance to show it’s still on top. From iRadio to iOS 7, check out The Verge’s breakdown of what you can expect at this year’s conference. PolicyMic will liveblogging all the action here.
Status Updates – Mayura Iyer is our pundit of the week! Mayura loves traveling, trying new foods, and unwinding with the Stars Wars movies. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about Mayura in her interview with community editor Caira Conner.
Are you active in politics, art, or business? Let us know what you’re up to and we’ll feature you in this section!
Must Reads From PolicyMic – PRISM is a BFD, But It’s Not the Only Issue We Should Call Obama Out On (Frank Hagler, @bamatek) – The NSA’s data mining programs have liberal media outlets taking a harsher tone with the Obama administration. Here are three issues they should look at more closely, too.
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Thanks to Obamacare, the U.S. Might Catch Up When It Comes to Infant Mortality (Laura Gillen, @lauradrewgillen) – Worldwide milestones in the reduction of infant mortality rates this week served as a reminder of how far behind the U.S. lags behind other industrialized nations in terms of maternal health.
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10 Telltale Signs Your Job Interview is Actually a Creepy Date (Allie Van Dine, @allie_vandine) – Navigating the networking world can be tough for young women. Here's how you know that new business contact is looking for something more than your resumé.
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5 Signs Apple May Have Lost Its Magic Touch (T. Chase Meacham, @TChaseMeacham) – As Apple prepares for its developers conference next week, many customers and investors are worrying that the company may have lost the magic that once made it great.
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5 Broadway Shows That Take On Millennial Issues (Brooke Niemeyer, @RNYBrooke) – Last night’s Tony Awards were a big deal for the theater community. Here are five plays that show why millennials should care about Broadway, too.
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What We’re Sharing –- Who made that?? An illustrated guide to 48 innovations that changed our lives (NYT Mag).
– Find out how the guy who wrote The Wire responded to the NSA scandals (David Simon).
– How would you respond if Harvard asked you this really sexist question? (WaPo).
– 9 tweets that show why unpaid internships are really, really wrong (Sarah Kendzior).
– Watch this year’s 13 most inspiring grad speech quotes (TIME).
– This 14 year old’s self-portraits will remind you what it's like to grow up (Demilked).
– Hell yeah! Researchers have a developed a Harry Potter-style invisibility cloak (Mashable).
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