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NSA

‘The Woman Who Smashed Codes’: An Interview with Author Jason Fagone

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Journalist Jason Fagone has tapped into a little-known piece of history with his latest book, The Woman Who Smashed Codes.” Fagone’s book tells the story of Elizebeth Friedman, whose ability to crack codes in language and writings for the National Security Agency (NSA) during World War II made her an invaluable asset to the nation. Her husband, William had long been recognized by NSA as the “founder of the science of modern American cryptology,” but Elizebeth’s reputation as a master codebreaker is what bought them both the most notoriety. Taking place at a time in history where women’s contributions to STEM fields and other areas where the most intricate knowledge and skills must be applied, Elizebeth was often left out…

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Google Searches for Your Next Novel Could Get You in Hot Water with the NSA!

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“What are the weakest ports of entry to the United States?” “How much for a fake social security number?” “Caribbean to the U.S. without documents…” NSA spies could be forgiven for pegging me as a human trafficker. A scan of web queries from my IP address in the last year would reveal that someone with access to my password-protected router routinely Googled for information about sneaking into the U.S. I’m somewhat surprised that a black suited agent in dark sunglasses hasn’t come to check out my basement. I’m not shocked, however, that my questions all had answers buried in the recesses of the web. Google is to information what Ali Baba’s imaginary, magic cave was to treasure. It’s almost unfathomable…

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The Books Are Better: ‘Snowden’ is a Failure, at Least by Oliver Stone’s Standards

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Who would have thought that Oliver Stone would play it safe? I certainly wouldn’t think the JFK and Platoon helmsman would decide to pull back when exploring one of the most important stories of the early 21st century regarding our privacy. But I’m here to tell you, Stone played it too close to the vest. Snowden stars the multifaceted Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the titular Edward Snowden, who at his personal expense exposed how the National Security Agency is able to spy on anyone with a cell phone or internet connection. Many historians think this revelation was more impactful than Daniel Ellsburg’s ‘Pentagon Papers’ revealing the impending failure of the Vietnam War. The movie is based on two books, The Snowden Files (Vintage, 2014) by…

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