Jillian York and Katherine Maher meet between Silicon Valley and Capitol Hill, talking technology, policy, and foreign affairs.
On Interrobang‽, Jillian and Katherine discuss the complexities of translating Disney’s Frozen into Arabic. They then run through some of their favorite recent pieces of journalism, including the strange story of Kim Jong-un’s sushi chef, National Geographic‘s coverage of the postwar US, the tricky issues surrounding food stamps, and the controversial Rwandan leader Paul Kagame. Plus: The history of shit.
On Interrobang‽, Jillian and Katherine discuss threats to online freedom around the world, starting with Russia and its popular social network site VKontakte. How do developing nations differ in their views about Internet freedom? They analyze the complicated issue of online censorship in Syria. Next they discuss Turkey, which has a long history of media censorship, and how Prime Minister Erdogan is trying, fairly ineffectually, to block Twitter. Katherine explains why, despite Newt Gingrich’s claims to the contrary, America is not giving up control of the Internet. Plus: Why there was a large blank spot on the front page of Pakistani editions of The International New York Times.
On Interrobang‽, Jillian and Katherine explain why February 11th is “The Day We Fight Back” against the NSA’s online surveillance. Why should non-US citizens care about the NSA? They explain how the campaign is bringing together traditional activists, online media companies, and regular concerned citizens. Turning to the Sochi Olympics, they react to the discovery that the Russian government is spying on hotel bathrooms. Is it fair for Western journalists to complain about #SochiProblems? Finally, does Glenn Greenwald’s new organization, First Look Media, have a diversity problem?
On Interrobang‽, Jillian and Mary Anne discuss Amanda Hess’s recent piece on online harassment of women. Jillian expresses concern about the free speech implications of some anti-harassment legislation. Should social networks such as Facebook and Twitter take it upon themselves to regulate speech? Are there risks to criminalizing revenge porn? Are anti-harassment vigilantes like Anonymous helping anything? They conclude with an optimistic assessment of how the conversation about online harassment is changing.
On Interrobang‽, Jillian and Katherine discuss Justine Sacco, whose offensive tweet about AIDS in Africa went viral. Did Sacco deserve to lose her job at a PR firm? They then turn to the recent federal court ruling against the NSA and consider whether privacy advocates should place their faith in politicians or in judges. Can the tech sector develop products to protect users’ privacy? Jillian condemns the United Arab Emirates for its crackdown on online satire. Should the American Studies Association boycott Israeli academics? Plus: How Egypt‘s military rulers continue to arrest civil society activists.
On Interrobang‽, Katherine and Jillian discuss the implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for online freedom. They then turn to the survey by the writers’ organization PEN showing widespread concern over online surveillance. Can a barrage of FOIA requests expose how the FBI operates? Is the NSA spying on your cell phone even when it’s turned off? Is the International Space Station infected with malware? Is international development being used as a front for surveillance? Plus: Did comedian Andy Kaufman fake his own death?
On Interrobang‽, Jillian and Katherine survey Sisi Fetish, a tumblr chronicling strange forms of adulation for Egypt’s military leader. Should liberals be wary of embracing libertarians in the fight against NSA surveillance? They discuss revelations about German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone being tapped, and how new European data protection regulations will affect US tech companies. Have the NSA revelations hurt US attempts to track terrorist financing? Jillian highlights Mark Zuckerberg’s very selective approach toward free expression. Does Facebook want to become a news platform?
On the debut episode of Interrobang‽, Jillian and Katherine discuss how the government shutdown is affecting national security, especially in airports. Are we witnessing the end of the nation-state in the Middle East? Why is the emerging culture of tech intellectuals so dominated by white men? How did Brazil become the front line of resistance to NSA surveillance? And why is it so hard to mobilize the American public on this issue? Plus: Glenn Greenwald‘s big news.