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Posts Tagged ‘NSA’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Flipboard Buys Zite | BBC3 to Go Online-Only | Egypt Tries AJ Staff

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CNN Sells Zite to Flipboard (CNNMoney)
CNN has sold its news reader app, Zite, to Flipboard, a social magazine application. As part of the deal, Flipboard has also teamed up with CNN to launch custom magazines for CNN shows anchored by Fareed Zakaria, Jake Tapper and John King. The deal could be valued as high as $60 million over time, taking into account future advertising revenue, said a source familiar with the deal. TVNewser The sale occurred less than three years after CNN acquired Zite for $20 million. CNN and Flipboard’s partnership will allow CNN to expand its mobile reach and take advantage of Flipboard’s technology and mobile sales strategy. Re/code Zite itself will shut down, but CNN says most of its 20 employees will go to work for Flipboard. Zite CEO Mark Johnson will not be joining them. Forbes / Jeff Bercovici The deal merges two apps that let users aggregate news stories from all over into a single magazine-like experience. Of the two, Flipboard has been considerably more successful: It’s currently ranked No. 5 among free iPad news apps in Apple’s App Store, while Zite is No. 39. Flipboard will absorb the machine-learning technology that Zite uses to personalize news feeds for its users. Mashable The move also divests CNN of one of its most high-profile acquisitions while putting it in front of Flipboard’s users, which according to Johnson number more than 100 million.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Logan Back at 60 Minutes | Judge Questions NSA | USA Today Expands

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Lara Logan to Return to 60 Minutes (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Lara Logan and Max McClellan, the 60 Minutes journalists who were put on a leave of absence following their now-retracted report on Benghazi, are set to return to the program early next year, Politico has learned. Logan and her producer, who had unfinished projects in the works when they left in November, have started booking camera crews for news packages, network sources said. Their return could come as early as next month. TVNewser CBS News chairman and executive producer of 60 Minutes Jeff Fager held a meeting with show staffers on Dec. 5, according to Politico, where he answered questions about the botched report and indicated he didn’t know how long Logan and her producer would be off-air. 60 Minutes spokesperson Kevin Tedesco tells TVNewser: “Lara Logan’s return has not been scheduled. Beyond that, we do not comment on speculation.” Mediaite This news came on a day when the long-running newsmagazine faces another round of flak for a piece on the NSA widely panned as uncritical. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media CBS’s 60 Minutes has had a terrible year: Logan’s now-retracted Benghazi report was the sort of black mark that will take the newsmagazine years to live down.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: More NSA Stories to Come | Breaking Bad‘s Finale | More Patch Sites to Close


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Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill Working on New NSA Revelations (HuffPost / AP)
Two American journalists known for their investigations of the United States’ government said Saturday they’ve teamed up to report on the National Security Agency’s role in what one called a “U.S. assassination program.” The journalists provided no evidence of the purported U.S. program at the news conference, nor details of who it targeted. Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to The Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of Dirty Wars, said he will be working with Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about U.S. surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. RT USA “The connections between war and surveillance are clear. I don’t want to give too much away but Glenn and I are working on a project right now that has at its center how the National Security Agency plays a significant, central role in the US assassination program,” Scahill said in Rio de Janeiro, as cited by Associated Press. NYT As the nation’s spy agencies assess the fallout from disclosures about their surveillance programs, some government analysts and senior officials have made a startling finding: The impact of a leaked terrorist plot by Al Qaeda in August has caused more immediate damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the thousands of classified documents disclosed by Snowden.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Baldwin Show Greenlit | Finke Wants Out | NSA Secrets Revealed


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Alec Baldwin’s MSNBC Show Announced: Actor Will Host Up Late (HuffPost)
Alec Baldwin’s MSNBC deal is official, the network said Thursday. The actor will be hosting Up Late With Alec Baldwin at 10 p.m. Friday nights, starting October. The network confirmed the news on Twitter on Thursday. Baldwin will discuss current events and culture on the show. TVNewser “After two seasons of my WNYC podcast, I’ve developed a fondness for hosting a show that involved talking with smart, talented and engaging people in every imaginable field,” Baldwin said in a statement. “I’m grateful to MSNBC for helping me bring a similar show to television.” NYT The network said that Baldwin — most recently the star of the comedy 30 Rock on the news channel’s sister network NBC — would host a show where he would conduct interviews related to current events and culture. THR / The Live Feed Certainly Baldwin’s liberal politics are an organic fit for MSNBC, which has been making changes to its primetime and early prime lineup with the addition of Chris Hayes at 8 p.m. and Ed Schultz at 5 p.m. Baldwin is a frequent critic of conservatives and conservative media. He told THR some days he feels as if he were “born” to spit on Rupert Murdoch and his media empire, which includes the New York Post and Fox News. He also engages in frequent Twitter battles with detractors.

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New York Times and Guardian to Publish New Edward Snowden Documents

The New York Times is finally getting in on the Edward Snowden action. Snowden had previously avoided giving the NSA documents he obtained to the Times because he was scared the paper would cooperate with the government. However, BuzzFeed reports that things have changed because of Snowden’s information that links the NSA with its UK counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). A spokesperson for The Guardian sent the following email to BuzzFeed:

In a climate of intense pressure from the UK government, The Guardian decided to bring in a US partner to work on the GCHQ documents provided by Edward Snowden. We are continuing to work in partnership with the NYT and others to report these stories.

The discussions between the papers was carried out in person between Guardian editors and Jill Abramson, the Times’ executive editor. Rumor has it that Scott Shane, a national security reporter for the Times, is currently working on a set of stories based on Snowden’s information. The articles will be published jointly with The Guardian.

By publishing new Snowden documents, the Times is guaranteed to get a lot of unwanted attention from the government. The Times, meanwhile, gets its hands on a huge story.

This is going to be fun.

[Image: ABC News]

Morning Media Newsfeed: SEA Hits WaPo, Others | Audit: NSA Broke Rules | Bustle Founder Responds


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The Washington Post Affected by Syrian Electronic Army Hack (TheWrap / MediaAlley)
The Washington Post and several other media websites were hacked on Thursday — sort of. The popular link referral service Outbrain (which TheWrap also uses) was infiltrated by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), causing its links to go to SEA websites. This was the second major hack by the SEA in the past three days. Though The Washington Post reported that it was hacked, that appears not to be exactly accurate — the SEA provided screenshots of its work to E Hacking News showing that it was actually Outbrain that was compromised. NYT A spokeswoman for Time, Jane Lehman, said the company’s sites were not hacked and the security was not compromised. “The content on some of our sites provided by Outbrain was impacted by the hacking activity at Outbrain,” she said. CNN also said its sites were not directly penetrated. “The security of a vendor plug-in that appeared on CNNi.com was briefly compromised,” it said in a statement. “The issue was quickly identified and plug-in disabled.” The Washington Post / Ask The Post Washington Post managing editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz: “A few days ago, the Syrian Electronic Army, allegedly, subjected Post newsroom employees to a sophisticated phishing attack to gain password information. The attack resulted in one staff writer’s personal Twitter account being used to send out a Syrian Electronic Army message.” HuffPost The SEA has gone after many media organizations, including the Financial Times, Reuters and ITV News. Most notably, it sent out a false tweet from the account of the Associated Press, saying that there had been an attack on the White House. The stock market briefly plummeted before the tweet was confirmed to be fake.

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Adult Filmmaker Outed by Edward Snowden Coverage in the Middle of Second Developing Scandal

Get ready to read a whole lot more about New York gay porn entrepreneur Jake Jaxson.

Just before the July 4 holiday, Jaxson – under his real name, Jason Buchtel – posted a remarkable Tumblr item about his previous business partnership with Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian reporter who broke the Edward Snowden story. He was belatedly responding to reports on BuzzFeed and in the New York Daily News about his past dealings with Greenwald.

Buchtel details his struggles with the media attention and how it led him to reveal to his parents, for the first time, that he is now operating gay porn websites. He also explains how the burgeoning X-rated sideline started:

Like many, I came to the adult space by accident. With Master Notions, the company I co-owned with Glenn, we were on the forefront of developing online “street” and viral marketing, and we had taken on a few adult clients… I really enjoyed being able to work in a strategic space that had no boundaries, where we could see immediately what worked and what did not work — not the long tail approach to more traditional marketing.

It was only a matter of time before my partners and I saw that running our own customer friendly adult sites – built on customer satisfaction and loyalty – was a lucrative business. So we began acquiring properties in the adult space and cockyboys.com is now the crown jewel.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Snowden Hits Back | Instagram With Video? | MSNBC.com Big Hires


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Snowden Hits Back Against Critics of NSA Leaks (Reuters)
The former National Security Agency contractor who revealed the U.S. government’s top-secret monitoring of Americans’ phone and Internet data fought back against his critics on Monday, saying the government’s “litany of lies” about the programs compelled him to act. Edward Snowden told an online forum run by Britain’s Guardian newspaper that he considered it an honor to be called a traitor by people like former Vice President Dick Cheney, and he urged President Barack Obama to “return to sanity” and roll back the surveillance effort. HuffPost A reader asked Snowden for his thoughts on the media debate around him. “Initially I was very encouraged,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, the mainstream media now seems far more interested in what I said when I was 17 or what my girlfriend looks like rather than, say, the largest program of suspicionless surveillance in human history.” Medium / Joshua Foust The reporting on Snowden has been dreadful. Is there a way to make it better? Two weeks ago, when The Guardian first leaked a Verizon court order to hand over its call metadata, a national debate began about privacy and security. THR Director Oliver Stone brought thunderous applause to a crowd of more than 500 festivalgoers at the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival in China on Monday when he praised Snowden as a “hero.” The Guardian Defense officials issued a confidential D notice to the BBC and other media groups in an attempt to censor coverage of surveillance tactics employed by intelligence agencies in the UK and US. Editors were asked not to publish information that may “jeopardize both national security and possibly UK personnel” in the warning issued on June 7. Read more

Media Finds Edward Snowden’s Alleged Girlfriend, Please Brace Yourself

Well, here we go. The media has located Edward Snowden’s (the NSA whistleblower) alleged girlfriend. What does she have to do with any of this? Nothing! But this is America, and we love making something out of nothing and somebodies out of nobodies.

Here are just a few of the places already talking about someone that doesn’t matter at all:

  • Inside Edition (credit them with breaking this amazing, must-read story)
  • Gawker
  • BuzzFeed
  • Cosmo ( ! )
  • The Huffington Post
  • Business Insider
  • ABC News
  • New York Daily News

Much to the media’s delight, the woman is a dancer and writes a blog. Those items alone will give them fodder for months.

Will all of this unnecessary attention ruin this woman’s life? Yes! But please, don’t bother the media with ethics when it’s busy creating a celebrity.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Reaction to Snowden Leak | UK’s Times Slashes Staff | FP Editor Bolts


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A New Kind of Leaker for an Internet Age
(NYT)
What does a leaker look like? Sometimes, people who reveal secrets remain in the shadows, and the public is left to guess at their motivations, agendas and states of mind. Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old man behind the recent revelations about the National Security Agency’s pursuit of phone and computer data, upended that history. He is a new kind of leaker of the wired age: an immediately visible one with a voice and the means to go direct with the public. In a era of friction-free Web communication, he disdained the shadows and stepped into view with a lengthy video interview he gave to The Guardian, which broke the story based on information he provided. He stated his motivation plainly, saying, “The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.” HuffPost / The Backstory The Guardian has labeled Snowden a whistleblower after the NSA contractor revealed himself Sunday as the source for several recent surveillance scoops. But some news organizations have been less quick to describe Snowden as a “whistleblower,” opting instead for terms like “source” or “leaker.” The Washington Post / Erik Wemple News organizations’ hesitancy to use “whistleblower” may well derive from the term’s meaning. According to this definition, a whistleblower is an “informant who exposes wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it.” Clearly Snowden was looking to stop something here, but whether it was wrongdoing depends on whether you’re director of national intelligence James Clapper or, say, a civil liberties advocate. The Guardian Snowden is a “hero” who has exposed “one of the most serious events of the decade — the creeping formulation of a mass surveillance state,” Julian Assange said on Monday. The WikiLeaks founder said the question of surveillance abuses by states and tech companies was “something that I and many other journalists and civil libertarians have been campaigning about for a long time. It is very pleasing to see such clear and concrete proof presented to the public.” The New Yorker / Daily Comment He is a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison. The American government, and its democracy, are flawed institutions. But our system offers legal options to disgruntled government employees and contractors. They can take advantage of federal whistleblower laws; they can bring their complaints to Congress; they can try to protest within the institutions where they work. But Snowden did none of this. Instead, in an act that speaks more to his ego than his conscience, he threw the secrets he knew up in the air — and trusted, somehow, that good would come of it. We all now have to hope that he’s right. Read more

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