Monday, October 28, 2013

What Ted Cruz Doesn't Want You to Know

Originally published at Bill Moyers & Company

By now it seems pretty clear that Sen. Ted Cruz has a plan to occupy the White House. But he doesn't want people to know too much about it.

And he definitely doesn't want you to know about the special interests that have already begun to bankroll his political ambitions.

That's why the Texas senator's latest crusade targets the Federal Communications Commission -- and its efforts to better identify the funders of political ads.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hacking Partisanship

Washington likes to talk bipartisanship.

 During the 16-day government shutdown, elected officials from both parties clogged the airwaves with rhetoric about crossing over, finding common cause with political foes and ending the standoff.

But sincerity was in short supply as few took real action, cheesy photo-ops notwithstanding. The agreement struck last Thursday night was more a delaying tactic than a genuine effort to resolve longstanding disputes.

This isn’t the first time reckless politics have ground Washington to a halt. Congress’ inability to agree on a budget mimics its recent failures to address climate change, income inequality and gun violence.

But there’s a new issue that seems to defy this pattern of dysfunction. It’s the subject of a hopeful new book, which documents the bipartisan (some would say “post-partisan”) organizing that in 2012 led to the defeat of two copyright bills that threatened the open Internet.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Telling the Non-Story

David Guttenfelder. Images from North Korea.

Photography defies narrative.

And it's those photographers who try without irony to control photographic detail -- to lock everything within the frame into some preconceived story -- who often fail.

When we look at images we often see something other than what the subject (and even the photographer) is trying to show.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Internet Freedom: A Disturbing View from the Trenches

Is the Internet freedom movement a thing? That depends on whom you ask, and where you live.

In the United States, more than two million people rallied to demand Net Neutrality in 2010. Our ranks swelled to the tens of millions in the 2012 fight to kill legislation that would have let Hollywood wreak havoc on the open Internet in its heavy-handed hunt for copyright pirates.

Globally, we’ve come together to protest any treaty or multinational agreement, like theTrans-Pacific Partnership, that threatens online speech and privacy.

We’ve formed international coalitions in support of the Declaration of Internet Freedom, and recently presented the U.N. Human Rights Council with international principles designed to protect our rights to free speech and privacy in the face of international mass surveillance of communications.