Philip Bump

Philip Bump is a writer at The Wire.
Results 61-70 of 128

How Long Could Obama Stay At the White House — If He Were Renting?

August 5, 2013 President Obama is doing a question-and-answer session Monday hosted by, a website that focuses on one of the president's "cornerstones" of a strong middle class: home ownership. To bolster enthusiasm for the session, Zillow put a dollar value on Obama's current residence, estimating that it would sell for $319...

Update: Now We Know Why Googling 'Pressure Cookers' and 'Backpacks' Gets a Visit from the Cops

August 1, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which prompts the question: How'd the government know what...

No, NSA Leaks Weren't Due to Sequestration

August 1, 2013 A small detail from a Washington Post interview with Edward Snowden's father has been seized upon by political observers. Lon Snowden disputes his son's claim that he went to work for Booz Allen Hamilton in order to steal more documents. Instead, Lon blames a scarier opponent: government sequestration, which cost...

How a Deeply Unpopular Congress Keeps Getting Elected

July 29, 2013 As deeply unpopular as Congress is, most members of the House of Representatives who stood for re-election last year won their races — some 91 percent of the 390 people who wanted to return to the body. The Wall Street Journal, by way of the non-partisan Cook Political Report, suggested...

How the NSA Is Using Cell Phone Data to Drone Civilians In Pakistan

July 22, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In late 2001, a National Security Agency analyst was asked to do something unusual. Instead of locating a target's cell phone to eavesdrop on his conversation, the analyst was asked for the phone's location in real-time. It was apparently the beginning of the NSA's role in the CIA's drone operations...

How the NSA is Using Cell Phone Data to Drone Civilians (In Pakistan)

July 22, 2013 In late 2001, a National Security Agency analyst was asked to do something unusual. Instead of locating a target's cell phone to eavesdrop on his conversation, the analyst was asked for the phone's location in real-time. It was apparently the beginning of the NSA's role in the CIA's drone operations...

Justice Will Review Two Dozen Capital Cases Due to Flawed FBI Testimony

July 19, 2013 An expert witness testifies at a trial to provide evidence in his or her field. Over the course of several decades beginning in the late 1970s, witnesses with the FBI went further, suggesting that particular evidence—hair-match analysis—was a stronger indicator of guilt than the science supports. They tried, in other...

NSA Admits It Analyzes More People's Data Than Previously Revealed

July 17, 2013 As an aside during testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday, a National Security Agency representative rather casually indicated that the government looks at data from a universe of far, far more people than previously indicated. Chris Inglis, the agency's deputy director, was one of several government representatives -- including from the...

Here's Everything Microsoft Is Letting the Government See

July 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For the first time, The Guardian is detailing how a tech company works with the National Security Agency to share user information under the NSA's PRISM program. Unfortunately, that tech company happens to be Microsoft, the one that makes the operating system used on 92 percent of computers in the...

Analysis: The State Department Isn't Great at the Internet

July 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Corny, inexplicable YouTube videos featuring low-rent animations. Expensive, unhelpful efforts to get attention on social media. The web marketing efforts of a mid-range Toyota dealership in Fort Worth? No. This is apparently the outreach strategy employed by our very own Department of State. The latter tactic came to light last...

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