New America in the News: 2014

New America staff and fellows appear regularly on radio and television, and are frequently quoted in media outlets of all types. A selection of that coverage is available below.

House Approves Bill That Would End NSA’s Collection of Americans’ Phone Records | The Washington Post

May 22, 2014

The legislation is “better than the intelligence committee’s competing bill or no bill at all,” said Kevin Bankston, policy director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute. “But we’re going to have our work cut out for us in the Senate to reverse the changes that have weakened” the bill.

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Here’s What The NSA Could Still Snoop On Under The New USA Freedom Act | Think Progress

May 22, 2014

“The bill was watered down significantly,” Robyn Greene, policy counsel for the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute in Washington, D.C., told ThinkProgress. And there’s no clear definition that tells the public what information will be collected under the law, she said.

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Obama Backs New Surveillance Legislation, But Tech Companies Reject | PCWorld

May 22, 2014

The expression was originally defined in the legislation as “a term used to uniquely describe a person, entity, or account,” wrote Kevin Bankston, policy director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute. The new definition, which refers to “a discrete term, such as a term specifically identifying a person, entity, account, address, or device,” could allow for the use of broad selection terms such as a zip code.

Modi's Moment | Global Journalist

May 22, 2014

“[Modi] still needs to show that he’s a willing partner, not only to Congress but to the other regional parties as well,” said Anish Goel, South Asia Fellow at the New America Foundation in an interview with Global Journalist. “India’s system is very decentralized when it comes to foreign investment and economic growth, that’s partly why Modi was able to have such impressive effects when he was governor of Gujarat.”

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House Votes to Limit N.S.A.’s Collection of Phone Data | The New York Times

May 22, 2014

“If House leaders had backed up their members and stood behind the bill that passed unanimously out of two committees, rather than caving to the intelligence community’s list of demands, a much stronger reform bill would have passed the House this morning,” said Kevin Bankston, the policy director at the Open Technology Institute, a technology advocacy group. “This is not the surveillance reform that Americans deserve and have demanded.”

11 Years Late, Key Job-Training Legislation Finally Heads Toward Passage | The Chronicle Of Higher Education

May 22, 2014

Mary Alice McCarthy, a senior policy analyst at the New America Foundation who has overseen work-force programs in the Departments of Education and Labor, said the bill "definitely moves the system in the right direction—toward a stronger emphasis on ...

OVERNIGHT TECH: NSA Critics Turn Hopes to Senate | The Hill

May 22, 2014

Robyn Greene, policy counsel with the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, said activists were “gravely concerned” that the House-passed bill was too weak. “Congress must pass reforms to guarantee that Americans’ private communications and records are protected, and that transparency and oversight mechanisms exist to ensure that the surveillance abuses we learned about over the past year never happen again,” she said in a statement on Thursday. “We now look to the Senate to help us make that happen.”

Anand Gopal Offers New View On War In Afghanistan | The Huffington Post

May 22, 2014

In his new book "No Good Men Among The Living," journalist Anand Gopal follows three Afghans caught in America's "War on Terror." He chronicles the Afghan war from a new perspective, challenging the usual perceptions. Gopal joins us to discuss.

Is President Obama Alienating Supporters in the Tech Industry? | Fox Business

May 22, 2014

Ammori Group principal Marvin Ammori, ProfitableTrading.com senior strategist Jared Levy, FBN’s Tracy Byrnes and Kate Rogers on net neutrality, President Obama and the tech industry.

Click here to watch the full segment.

Why 76 Lawmakers Just Voted Against Their Own Bill to Reform the NSA | The Washington Post

May 22, 2014

The White House came out in support of the bill on Wednesday. But many privacy advocates and a coalition of technology companies dropped their support in light of the changes made to the bill. A blog post from Kevin Bankston, the policy director at the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, laid out some areas of concern for the groups.

How Americans Pay More and Get Less | Ian Masters' Background Briefing

May 22, 2014

Then we speak with Joshua Freedman, a policy analyst in the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation where he has a new report at newamerica.net “Pay More, Get Less: How American Socio-Economic Policy is Falling Short”.

NSA Reform Bill Passes House, Despite Loss of Support From Privacy Advocates | The Washington Post

May 22, 2014

But in a blog post, Kevin Bankston the policy director at the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute identified a number of areas where he says the bill had been weakened, including limiting transparency reporting provisions for tech companies affected by government data requests and the selector term issue decried by Lofgren.

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Backdoor Dealing ‘Weakened’ NSA Reform Bill Ahead of US House Vote | RT

May 21, 2014

This revised standard for the USA Freedom Act’s reform of surveillance is too broad and leaves privacy protections at risk, says Kevin Bankston, of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute.

“We cannot in good conscience support this weakened version of the bill, where key reforms—especially those intended to end bulk collection and increase transparency—have been substantially watered down,” he said in a release on Tuesday.

Click here to read the full article.

Differing Definitions Of Net Neutrality Spells Big Trouble | Irish Times

May 21, 2014

Columbia University professor Tim Wu is credited with coining the term net neutrality, which he sees as an internet that “aspires to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally”. Notably, he does not see the proposed FCC fast lane approach as ...

House to Vote on “Watered Down” NSA Phone Metadata Spying Reform Bill | Ars Technica

May 21, 2014

The House on Thursday is expected to vote on legislation reforming the National Security Agency's phone metadata spying program, a package that some civil rights groups quit backing following 11th-hour changes supported by the Obama administration.

"It's too watered down for us to be able to support it," Kevin Bankston, policy director of the Open Technology Institute, said in a telephone interview.

Meshnets Serve Communities When Internet Fails | The Age

May 21, 2014

Digital connectivity has become absolutely central." - Greta Byrum

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Restrictions Placed on NSA's Data Store After Intense Talks Over Surveillance Bill

May 20, 2014

“We cannot in good conscience support this weakened version of the bill, where key reforms – especially those intended to end bulk collection and increase transparency – have been substantially watered down,” policy director Kevin Bankston said in a statement.

“We're gravely disappointed that rather than respecting the wishes of the unanimous Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, the House leadership and the Obama Administration have chosen to disrupt the hard-fought compromise that so many of us were willing to support just two weeks ago.”

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