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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.


N.S.A. Triples Collection of Data From U.S. Phone Companies

Charlie Savage New York Times
The large and growing volume of data gathered shows that the N.S.A. continues to collect significant amounts of information about Americans’ phone and text messages after changes made by Congress in a 2015 law, the USA Freedom Act.


In Syria, Keeping the Faith

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd Boston Review
In Burning Country, journalist Robin Yassin-Kassab and human rights activist Leila Al-Shami make plain that no matter how long the Syrian war rages or how distant a political settlement may appear, the world owes it to the Syrian people to hear their stories and support their cause. The book portrays the opposition as a movement of protest against Bashar al-Assad's brutal regime, something missed abroad amid the factionalism and power politics driving the conflict.

How the NSA Threatens National Security

Bruce Schneir Crypto-Gram Newsletter
Not only is ubiquitous surveillance ineffective, it is extraordinarily costly. Not just the budgets, which will continue to skyrocket, or the diplomatic costs, but the cost to our society. It breaks much of what our society has built. It breaks our political systems, our legal systems, our commercial systems, our technical systems, as the very protocols of the Internet become untrusted. And it breaks our social systems, with loss of privacy, freedom, and liberty.

Strange Frontiers

Michelle Chen Jacobin
The parts of the border that take the form of an actual, physical barrier are an intrusion on the landscape, an eyesore to many — and to millions, a deadly obstacle to overcome. Just as immigrant rights activists see the border as a violent social barrier, environmentalists see the border fence as an assault on the integrity of regional ecologies.

My Visit With Edward Snowden

Jesselyn Radack The Nation
Although living in exile from the country he loves, Snowden is warm, centered and engaged and follows debates about surveillance with a keen legal acumen.

The Trials of Bradley Manning

Chase Madar The Nation
It would take great powers of imagination to blame any part of our recent military debacles on leaks and whistleblowers. If someone had leaked the full National Intelligence Estimate on Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, would more people have decided—like then-Senator Bob Graham, who voted against the invasion after reading the unredacted report—to oppose the war before it began?

60 Years On: The Rosenberg Case and Constructive Revenge

Robert Meeropol & Jenn Meeropol Rosenberg Fund for Children
Today, the issues raised by the Rosenberg case resonate from the Oval Office of the White House to Bradley Manning, who is being tried under the Espionage Act of 1917, as were Ethel and Julius.
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