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Surveillance Monday! FBI Eavesdrops; DOJ Wants iTunes; DEA Dishes Data To LEOs; Obamacare’s Cadillac Tax; Late Night Laughs At Dems – Monday Morning News Roundup 8-5-2013

August 5, 2013 by  

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • CNET has learned the FBI has developed custom “port reader” software to intercept Internet metadata in real time. And, in some cases, it wants to force Internet providers to use the software. The government is quietly pressuring telecommunications providers to install the eavesdropping technology deep inside companies’ internal networks to facilitate surveillance efforts. Source: CNET…

 

  • After winning last month an e-books antitrust suit against Apple, the Justice Department on Friday asked a Federal judge to limit Apple’s influence in the publishing market and give the government oversight of the iTunes Store and App Store. Source: The Wall Street Journal… 

 

  • A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the Nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans. Source: Reuters… 

 

  • Cities across the country are pushing municipal unions to accept cheaper health benefits in anticipation of a component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will tax expensive plans starting in 2018. The so-called Cadillac tax was inserted into the law at the advice of economists who argued that expensive health insurance with the employee bearing little cost made people insensitive to the cost of care. Source: The New York Times… 

 

  • A study of gags by late-night comics during the first half of the year found an abrupt change from 2012. Now President Barack Obama and Democrats are providing the lion’s share of punchlines. Source: Fox News… 

 

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Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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