Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
Two participants who took part in the first meeting of a review panel, set up by the president to guide reforms to the NSA’s vast surveillance programs, came away unimpressed Spencer Ackerman reported for the Guardian Friday.
The interests of major tech firms dominated discussion, the participants (Robert Atkinson, the president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and Sascha Meinrath, a vice president of the New America Foundation) said, noting that reforms to better protect U.S. citizens’ privacy went unmentioned. Indeed, the review panel is largely composed of intelligence and government insiders.
“My fear is it’s a simulacrum of meaningful reform… Its function is to bleed off pressure, without getting to the meaningful reform,” said Meinrath.
The Obama administration and the tech firms involved have intimated that they are interested in changing the surveillance activities, although neither has committed to concrete steps.
That was how Obama portrayed the creation of the panel on 9 August, when he announced its creation in a press conference: “They’ll consider how we can maintain the trust of the people, how we can make sure that there absolutely is no abuse in terms of how these surveillance technologies are used.”
But critics have noted from the start that the panel is composed of intelligence insiders, former White House officials and Obama advisers.
…Meinrath said the technology industry’s concerns dominated the 90-minute session. He came away with the impression “they were going through the roles. It was almost scripted.”
Atkinson said the panel did not discuss the scope of NSA surveillance.
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email email@example.com.More Natasha Lennard.
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.