The Undemocratic Process, FBI Spy Planes & Sgt. Pepper’s Birthday: June 2, 2015

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The Undemocratic Primary
by Klaus Marre
While the Republican field of White House hopefuls is historically deep and diverse, the GOP’s process of picking its nominee is highly undemocratic. Open primaries were supposed to bring transparency to party nominations once dominated by backroom deals. But party-sanctioned debate rules and the influence of conservative billionaires are stacking the deck in favor of the frontrunners.

WHO

This Shadow Government Agency Is Scarier Than the NSA
While everyone is watching the “debate” over the “sunset” of Section 215 of the Patriot Act and the “end” of the NSA’s bulk collection regime, there is another agency out there collecting information on everything from corporate credit cards to car rentals. It’s the National Security Analysis Center (NSAC)—an obscure part of the Justice Department that employs an army of corporate contractors tasked with tracking terrorists, but that is taking on an increasingly larger role in tracking the associations between Americans and foreign nationals.

FBI Behind Mysterious Surveillance Aircraft Over US Cities
Don’t worry… the FBI is just operating a “small air force” of surveillance planes under a number of fake front companies that fly ’em around scooping up phone data and video—all without ever obtaining a warrant. These flights are for “ongoing” investigations, so… it’s totally cool. Really, what could go wrong? They are super careful about evidence and stuff. They just want the truth.

17 Disturbing Things Snowden Has Taught Us (So Far)
Daniel Ellsberg believes the end of metadata collection by the NSA vindicates Edward Snowden. Predictably, the White House disagrees. But, as Global Post details, bulk data collection is tip of a chilling iceberg revealed by Snowden’s disclosures. Really, the metadata program pales in comparison to the massive matrix of spying, hacking and public-private entanglements sustaining the Spying-Industrial Complex.

WHAT

18 Awesome Facts on The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” Released 48 Years Ago Today
Actually, this epic anniversary was yesterday… when all our troubles seemed so far away. Even so, it is still worth noting the release of one of the most influential records in Rock-‘n-Roll history. It took the Beatles 700 hours to record Sgt. Pepper’s, it was the first time the lyrics were printed in full on the cover and John added a little high pitched noise to “A Day in the Life” to annoy dogs.

WHY

Why Facebook’s Algorithm Matters: Because 60% of Millennials Get News There
A new Pew study illustrates the widening gap between the news habits of Millennials and their Boomer parents… or their Boomer grandparents! Either way, 61% of Millennials rely on Facebook for news about politics and government, while 60% of their elders still turn to local news for that info. This shifting reliance shows just how important Facebook’s news-feed algorithm is—and will be in the future—in disseminating news and views. Really, Facebook is wielding unprecedented control, though its algorithm reinforces users’ views rather than exposing them to new ones.

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