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Woodward and Bernstein: Watergate reporters warn of AI limits

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Republican Party may win in job demands and welfare

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The details show how reasonable the House’s proposals for a debt ceiling are.

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Jack Teixeira, Edward Snowden and the elimination of information leaks

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A decade ago, US intelligence agencies began plugging their computer ports after contractor Edward Snowden leaked highly classified National Security Agency data that he had downloaded to a flash drive.

Now National Guard airman Jack Teixeira is being accused of posting hundreds of documents on a gaming site that he printed out and took home—without a flash drive. What actions should the intelligence community take now to prevent similar leaks in the future?

Why did we write this

Much attention has been paid to the motives of pilot Jack Teixeira, who allegedly provided classified information on the gaming site Discord. But are there any solutions that could block his actions in the first place?

Last week, a bipartisan group of senators introduced two bills — the Classification Reform Act and the Reasonable Classification Act of 2023 — to try to answer that question.

Their legislation aims to reduce the amount of classified information and increase the security of executive information technology systems across the board. It would also require the documents of presidents to be checked before they leave office to prevent accidental deletion.

“The status quo is no longer acceptable,” said Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as the bills were introduced.

Some former officials have gone even further. These experts say security guards at classified sites should do more random checks, secret printers should have ATM-style cameras, and intelligence agencies should use artificial intelligence to detect unusual employee behaviors.

“Some progress has been made, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” says Kari Bingen, First Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence from 2017 to 2020.

In 2013, after National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified data to the press, the intelligence community began shutting down its computer ports.

Mr Snowden copied the data to a flash drive. Therefore, the secret services have made great efforts to clog the USB connectors of their computers.

“They fixed that problem,” says Glenn Gerstell, general counsel for the National Security Agency from 2015 to 2020, of USB drives. “But… we fought the last war.”

Why did we write this

Much attention has been paid to the motives of pilot Jack Teixeira, who allegedly provided classified information on the gaming site Discord. But are there any solutions that could block his actions in the first place?

Ten years later, Air National Guard airman Jack Teixeira, an information technology specialist based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is accused of leaking hundreds of documents to the server of the gaming site Discord. This time, no flash drives – supposedly he just printed out the pages and went home.

This case shows how many cracks remain in the American classification system a decade after the Snowden fiasco. In an interview with Monitor, politicians and former officials describe the process of cleaning up employees, classifying information, and then declassifying it, which remains broken.

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Book Banners Take Over Idaho Public Library Network

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The cultural right used slanderous campaign literature and fear-mongering video during Tuesday’s election to topple two moderates and win a majority on the library board in rural northern Idaho.

Actors Judy Meyer and Regina McCrea joined the public library network’s board of trustees, overseeing Kootenai County and parts of Shoshone County, back when it was as unbiased as it should be. Both went to great lengths to respond to the concerns of citizens who expressed concerns that children were being exposed to inappropriate materials.

This did not stop members of the Kootenai County Republican Council from handing over copies of the letter, falsely claiming that Meyer and McCrae “have given permission to buy and show children graphic books with text and images describing every conceivable sexual act.”

“Many good people in our community were shocked to learn that sexually explicit books are on display in the children’s section of our libraries,” the letter continued. “These books are so explicit that if you gave away their child, you would be committing a crime.”

In response, Meyer and McCray sued GOP representatives who delivered copies of the letter to homes in their assigned areas.

When asked about the lawsuit, committee president Brent Regan said by email that he “can’t talk about a pending lawsuit.”

Regan did acknowledge that the GOP committee funded a professional-looking video posted days before the election. The 90-second commercial begins with a text reading: “A MESSAGE FROM KCRCC” and “Our library trustees have failed to protect minors from harmful media and reading materials.”

The video then shows a child returning from school. She is heard but never seen.

Her mother can be seen at the kitchen sink washing dishes with her hands. A plate of chocolate chip cookies stands on the counter

“Hi honey, I’m in the kitchen,” says the mother. “How are you today? How are things at school?”

The child replies: “Today we went to the library, there is a special room for children. And this funny lady, she read us a book and showed us all the pictures in the book. The lady hugged me, but I felt that her face was really prickly, like the face of a father.

The child appears to be describing the transvestite story hour, an event that took place in libraries in other parts of the country, but not in these northern Idaho libraries.

“Oh, what was the book about?” the mother asks.

“Oh, it was about moms and dads and kids and stuff doing things like kissing each other and some of them were naked,” replies the child.

“Oh my God,” says the mother.

“Mom…” the child begins.

“Yes, honey?” says the mother, turning away from the sink, holding a white plate in both hands.

“…What is anal sex?” the child asks.

The mother drops the plate, which shatters on the floor. The main attention is paid to the works during the male voice acting.

“Our library boards make it possible to place materials for adults in the children’s sections. Visit cleanbooks4kids.com and see for yourself. Time for new leadership. Vote on May 16 for Tim Plass and Tom Hanley to protect the innocence of our children.”

That is exactly what Kootenai County voters did. Plass and Hanley, backed by the Regan group, ousted Meyer and McCree on Tuesday.

It is, one might say, good against evil.

On Wednesday, Plass said the book ban “isn’t really even a political issue.”

“You could say it’s a good versus evil thing,” he told The Daily Beast.

He suggested that the evil included the American Library Association and other like-minded people.

“Why would anyone want these books in a children’s library if they’re not pedophiles or groomers?” he asked.

The five-member library board already had one member, Rachel Ottosen, who expressed views similar to those of Plass. Now they have a controlling majority.

Plass, a recently retired electrical engineer educated at Stanford, believes he and his comrades will waste no time moving any books they deem inappropriate to where children and teenagers can’t access them.

“That’s definitely it,” he said.

Hanley said in an email to The Daily Beast that he “was motivated to run for the Public Library Network after learning about hundreds of obscene books located in the juvenile sections of libraries.”

He added, “Someone had to do something about it, so I thought, why not me?”

He was much kinder to his defeated opponents than he was to the GOP troop that had set their sights on them.

“As for the actors who were not re-elected, I believe they had excellent intentions and achievements that brought the library system to where it is today,” he said.

Meyer did not respond to a request for comment. McCree said she and her family went through so much during the election that she’d rather avoid the spotlight. She seemed still annoyed at being accused in board meetings, on mailing lists, and on the Internet of sexualizing children.

“They called me the groomer,” she said. “I was accused of harming minors, distributing obscene books.”

“I am a mother, I want to protect children’s innocence,” she said. “It is insulting to think that I am trying to corrupt children. I believe that the innocence of children should be protected just like everyone else.”

She was able to spot one bright spot: Denise New Year, a librarian who runs teen services online, was the recipient of the American Library Association’s 2023 Lemony Snicket Award for Noble Librarians Faced with Disaster in recognition of her efforts to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ people. youth.

“Denise was targeted by the Panhandle Patriots, a militia-oriented motorcycle club based in northern Idaho,” the ALA said in a statement. “They obtained her personal information through a request for public records and launched a personal attack on Denise that included printed posters and a social media campaign calling her a ‘groomer’ and claiming she was indoctrinating youth with an LGBTQ+ agenda.”

The New Year’s Award will be presented at the ALA meeting in Chicago in June. That same month, a new majority will take over the library chain in Northern Idaho after a campaign of lies and fear.

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