Science & Technology

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Snapshot,
Stacie L. Pettyjohn

Last month, Washington pledged to give up control of ICANN, a nonprofit that manages the Internet's domain name system. Critics say the move will empower repressive regimes to restrict Internet freedom. But it actually provides the best chance of preserving an open system.

Snapshot,
Halil Karaveli

Last week, Erdogan banned Twitter to try to prevent the spread of recordings of incriminating conversations between him and members of his family and inner circle. By exposing the prime minister’s abuses of power, the dirty dealings of the Gülenists (Erdogan's foes and likely purveyors of the recordings), and the weakness of the opposition, the scandal raises doubts about the future of Turkish democracy.

Comment, 2014
Jake Kendall and Rodger Voorhies

Most of the world’s poor lack a basic savings account, but the humble cell phone may change all that. Thanks to mobile finance, banks can now offer critical services to more people and in more places than ever before, helping them escape poverty for good.

Essay, 2014
Jon Hoekstra

New technologies have given conservationists amazing new powers, and so for the first time they are starting to operate at the pace and scale necessary to keep up with -- and even get ahead of -- global environmental challenges.

Essay, 2014
Sarah Kreps and Micah Zenko

Armed drones are starting to rule the skies, but the United States’ monopoly over their use is fading. The Obama administration should nurture a regime to limit drone proliferation, similar to efforts to control nuclear weapons and missiles.

Essay, 2014
Neil Gershenfeld and JP Vasseur

As “the Internet of Things” takes hold, everyday objects are starting to communicate with each other online -- a linking of the digital and physical worlds that will have profound implications for both.

Essay, 2014
Clay Shirky

The HealthCare.gov fiasco is only the latest in a long line of government tech disasters. The key to preventing future ones is for the government to change its management practices, adopting what have long been best practices in the private tech sector.

Essay, 2014
Jonathan Alter

Whether the Obama administration’s bungled rollout of HealthCare.gov will permanently tarnish the administration’s legacy is unclear, but it certainly offers important -- and depressing -- insights into the president’s operating style and the administration’s culture.

Essay, 2014
Craig Mundie

The current approach to protecting individual digital privacy and civil liberties, focusing on limiting data collection and retention, is obsolete. The time has come for a new approach focused on controlling data use.

Review Essay, 2014
Jack Shafer

In his new book, Rahul Sagar asks when it is legitimate for a government official to disclose secrets. Although conventional, his answer is far too restrictive -- as the case of Edward Snowden shows.

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