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Morning Reading List 06.11.13

Party spokesmen drop gloves on Twitter — Twitter often turns into a channel for digital mud-slinging, and here at FBDC, we love #TwitterFights. For this Senate election cycle, spokesmen for both parties have taken to the social network to bash each other in what Politico’s James Hohmann calls “an often juvenile game of Twitter one-upmanship.” NRSC communications director Brad Dayspring is at the front lines for the Republicans, while DSCC press secretary Justin Barasky is leading the fight for the Democrats. Though many Tweets concern Senate races or political issues, some are just personal jabs. Both sides, however, say the constant Twitter exchanges (both Dayspring and Barasky have posted to their profiles over 50 times in one day) are meant to drive a message and rally activists on their side. They’ve called each other stalkers, dogs, used insulting baseball metaphors and started pointed hashtags, along with much more. Dayspring says it’s not just about putting the other side down, but also giving an audience, however limited, a look inside the minds of Senate campaigns. It seems both sides are pretty intent to out-Tweet the other.

China’s claim of US cyberespionage gains credibility — China and the U.S. have been pointing fingers at each other over cyber attacks and network breaches of top institutions within their countries. As NJ’s Brian Fung reports, the U.S. blamed China for the hackers that breached the networks of NYT and the Wall Street Journal while a spokesperson for China’s defense ministry pointed out that 63 percent of attacks on the ministry’s websites come from U.S.-based IP addresses. China also said it had “a mountain of data” showing the U.S. is engaged in operations against Beijing that involve not just hacking but cyber espionage, a claim that as not received much traction in the U.S.  Now that the NSA’s sophisticated surveillance of Americans has been revealed, Fung points out that China’s claims are more believable. Adam Segal, an expert on cybersecurity and China, said, “there is no doubt, even before the weekend’s revelations, that NSA conducted espionage against China.”

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From high school drop-out to international hero — Columnist Roger Simon of Politico writes on NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s rise from high school drop-out to working for top defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton making $200,000, living in Hawaii and his quest to save the world. In the column, Simon points out that Snowden had been working for the contractor for less than three months, already making a more-than-healthy salary and had access to classified information. Simon rhetorically asks “is this the American dream or what?” But Snowden wasn’t satisfied with his job because he “has still not saved the world nor become an international celebrity.” Simon says Snowden’s life has turned into something like a comic book, with his use of the codename “Verax” and his dramatic emails to WaPo reporter Barton Gellman. Simon also questions Snowdens choice of fleeing to Hong Kong after leaking the information, which Snowden said he did in the name of transparency. Hong Kong is a “semi-autonomous” region of China, a country with famously limited transparency and press freedom, Simon says.

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