Well, this is a change of pace. In a techno futurist world often seemingly hellbent on forward movement in spite of collateral damage, it’s rare to see the tides of resistance reel in the surveillance sea. Yet, that’s exactly what happened last week, though as we’ll get into, the change may represent more of an ephemeral reprieve than a codified decree.

As discussed at length in a previous issue of this newsletter, Apple recently revealed its plans to release an image detection tool called NeuralHash which works by scanning (though Apple disagrees with the framing) images on a user’s device…


Earlier this month, New York City (where I’m currently based) crossed into uncharted territory in the US’ fight against Covid-19 and its frustratingly determined variants. With Delta cases surging and residents quickly becoming accustomed to loosened restrictions, Mayor Bill De Blasio officially made New York the first US city to require workers and customers show proof of vaccination to enter a plethora of businesses, from indoor dining and gyms to billiards halls and strip clubs.

Digital vaccine passports — apps that can be scanned by businesses to verify an individual’s vaccination status — are a critical component to the city’s…


In a sense, Apple’s recent privacy debacle surrounding the company’s decision to add new child sexual abuse media (CSAM for short) scanner to its products began a long time ago. Though the news made a splash last week, the features were reportedly being designed for months. These new features, which as we’re about to discuss below may fundamentally move the goal post on privacy writ large, may have skirted by largely unnoticed if a John Hopkins professor of cryptography had not leaked the details. …


Image by Mack Lagoy

A little over a month ago, the United States collectively tuned in to an event without comparison. A crowd of hundreds, some brandishing signs and others adorned with face paint and covered in animal pelts marched their way toward the United States capitol building.

You know the rest of the story. You’re probably aware some of these marchers made their way past guarded checkpoints with relative ease and stormed the offices of senators and Congress members. You’re probably aware that some of the most zealous invaders hung from walls under the rotunda’s long shadow and you’re also probably aware that…


Image by Mack Lagoy

Abdo Fayed was getting ready for sleep when he must have heard the slamming at the door. Not long before, the 31-year-old Giza native had taken to Facebook to write about an artist he’d known who, like thousands of other Egyptians, had lost their lives to Covid-19. Abdo was dismayed, distraught; he was disgusted by his government’s response. In his eyes, the artist’s death and so many others were avoidable, had only President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi taken stronger, faster action. It’s this criticism, levied at the president, that ultimately led a team of security agents to wade through Egypt’s warm…


By now, just about anyone you know as probably told reminded you that 2020 royally sucked. Everyone can relate to the reality of this dumpster fire, but today I want to focus on one particularly positive (depending on your point of view) morsel to rise out of the 2020 inferno: a willingness by US regulators to break up Big Tech.

First, let me make some disclaimers. I’m by no means an expert in anti-trust or law in general, though I have read many books on the subject and have followed its intersection with the tech giants for several years. At…


Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Imagine this: you sit down at your home desk, palms still perspiring over the stress of your upcoming test. You’ve studied and planned and drilled your brain into oblivion, but finally the moment has come to measure your academic worth. Only now, rather than squirm among peers in a college auditorium or fill a gymnasium, you are working in your own room, on your own laptop. Yet another unexpected reality of a socially distanced world.

But you’re not really alone. Beyond your gaze cameras precisely track your eyeballs as you skim the test. Facial recognition scans your face and the…


Photo by Jonas Elia on Unsplash

What is your privacy worth? That’s a broad, general question that underpins the heartbeat of this newsletter. Worth, in that sense can be answered through the traditional capitalist lens (how much are you willing to spend on “privacy’), and it can also be answered on moral grounds, of how much should you care when the concept of privacy comes under attack.Then again, if you’re to believe the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world, the questions isn’t a question at all. Privacy, after all, according to them, is dead.

But there’s another way the “worth” of privacy is measured; not as a…


By Scott Webb for Pexels

As the dust settles and the hordes of chanting protesters slowly disentangle themselves from the streets of major cities, the world is preparing to enter a new, and pivotal stage of a historic demonstration. Now, post burning Target’s and crowd filled bridges is when legislators and societal leaders are tasked with the job of implementing codified, long-lasting change through laws and reform. It’s this part of the “protest” movement that has for so long alienated people like myself who exist within the “younger generation.”

We are a generation (this protest consisted primarily of young people) who have become accustomed to…

Mack DeGeurin

Texas expat, freelance journalist. Work has been featured in New York Magazine, Motherboard and Medium. I’m on Twitter @mackdegeurin

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