A disturbing review of the surveillance programs instituted by the Bush administration and continued by the Obama administration. From the NYTimes Op-Ed The Criminal N.S.A. (written by Jennifer Stisa Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and Christopher Jon Sprigman, professor at the University of Virginia School of Law) :
We may never know all the details of the [United States’] mass surveillance programs, but we know this: The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a mockery of the government’s professed concern with protecting Americans’ privacy.
And from Al Gore (from an article in an IEEE journal):
[The NSA surveillance] in my view violates the Constitution…. The Fourth Amendment language is crystal clear. It isn’t acceptable to have a secret interpretation of a law that goes far beyond any reasonable reading of either the law or the Constitution and then classify as top secret what the actual law is.
In the NY Times article, Don’t Blame the Work Force, Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the Wharton School, has noted sharply different opinions between corporate executives, who typically say that schools are failing to give workers the skills they need, and the people who actually do the hiring, who say the real obstacles are traditional ones like lack of on-the-job experience. In addition, when there are many more applicants than jobs, employers tend to impose overexacting criteria and then wait for the perfect match. They also offer tightfisted pay packages. What employers describe as talent shortages are often failures to agree on salary.
If a business really needed workers, it would pay up. That is not happening, which calls into question the existence of a skills gap as well as the urgency on the part of employers to fill their openings. Research from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “recruiting intensity” — that is, business efforts to fill job openings — has been low in this recovery. Employers may be posting openings, but they are not trying all that hard to fill them, say, by increasing job ads or offering better pay packages.