My regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere (no linkwhoring). This week: Killer robots, Al Qaeda on marriage equality and private prisons sponsoring sports teams.
Obama’s continuing use of drones and definition of all who die by them as terrorists (even the kids), continues to cause alarm. But there’s ever more cause for alarm with drones. Charlie Brooker is worried about the next generation of micro-drones, with all of us destined to die by a flock of robotic sparrows. Slightly more seriously, ‘autonomous weapons’ – or killer robots – are likely to be ready in a decade. But there’s no moral or legal framework for them to work in, leaving the US military to make their own rules.
In the War on Drugs – which studies suggest cause $4 of harm to US citizens for every $1 the US government spends on it – many prosecutors are changing sides to the defence as they see the damage it is causing.
Meanwhile, al Qaeda have a new reason to hate Obama – his evolving views on marriage equality. In their english language magazine – which teaches you how to cause death by traffic accidents or make a bomb in your mum’s kitchen – they’ve found a new crime as they defend ‘traditional’ marriage. Bob McCoskrie will pleased to have a new ally.
Also in the US private prison company GEO Group are now sponsoring the Florida Atlantic Owls’ stadium. Who’s this advertising aimed at? Do they want criminals to make sure they commit their crimes in their jurisdiction, or is sport the new way to government contracts?
Crossing the Atlantic are US tech companies – fresh from defeating the US SOPA bill on copyright protection they’re now spending millions lobbying the EU to stop privacy laws. The common thread being fighting regulation, as they are now against citizen rights…
In the UK George Osborne has taken his country’s credit downgrading as proof of his austerity policies working. Seumas Milne says it’s an economic disaster.
A perennial problem in the UK and here is getting enough women into politics – one of David Cameron’s MPs has ideas of job-sharing that she thinks could seriously help.
Finally a look at media law and twitter – before you get yourself in trouble for defamation or threatening to blow up an airport…