The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
An extraordinary fuss about eavesdropping started in the spring of 1844, when Giuseppe Mazzini, an Italian exile in London, became convinced that the British government was opening his mail.
Weekend Edition Sunday Host Rachel Martin talks to Joel Brenner, former senior counsel at the National Security Agency, about whether the NSA can protect Americans' privacy while also collecting foreign intelligence through its…
This afternoon we are publishing additional information about the volume of law enforcement and national security orders served on Microsoft. For the first time, we are permitted to include the total volume of national security…
Physically, the NSA has always been well protected by miles of high fences and electrified wire, thousands of cameras, and gun-toting guards.
All video-game makers are minor gods.
Every now and then, someone asks "Who’ll be the Google of big data?"
Almost 15 years ago, as I was just finishing a book about the relationship between the Net (we called it "cyberspace" then) and civil liberties, a few ideas seemed so obvious as to be banal...
A very large Internet company once had the noble impulse to share some of its data with the research community.
I'm glad I live in a country with people who are vigilant in defending civil liberties.
Two big trends in the world appear to contradict each other.
Once the civil libertarians have had their say, let's hope the really interesting questions start being asked.
We may not always realise it, but we depend on space technology orbiting the Earth.
The Kepler space telescope's search may be at an end, but Didier Queloz, who found the first world around a sunlike star, says more planet hunts are afoot.
For Apple, there's a lot riding on iOS 7, the newest version of its mobile software and the first refresh overseen by veteran industrial design head Jonathan Ive.
Cybersnooping was always scheduled to be an important topic during President Obama’s meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
North Korea and Iran are viewed as threats to the world because of their potential to field weapons of mass destruction, but they are far more likely to focus their malfeasance on "mass disruption" via cyber attacks.
Over the last few years, the rhetoric if not the actuality of cyberwarfare has been escalating.
If you walk the halls at MIT, you may notice a lot of students wearing T-shirts bearing the Dropbox logo. It's a simple design—an opened box—but one that carries outsize significance at the Institute: Alumnus Drew Houston '05…
It's only a matter of time, really. Google Glass, Epson's Movierio, the Oculus Rift, and similar technologies are at the cutting edge of wearable technologies. Sci-fi has certainly given us a glimpse at the potential future:…
From an early age we are taught the importance of fighting fairly.
Eighty thousand people recently applied for a trip to Mars, an excursion that will allegedly be funded by selling reality-TV show rights for the voyage.
The camera pushes in. And there, near the meridian line, you see a faint scattering of red lights. Something is in the tar. And it's glowing.
At last, some good news about America's dysfunctional patent system: the White House has noticed there's a problem.
Facebook, which once seemed poised to take over the Internet, is showing its limitations: a host of newer services are gaining ground among trend-setting youth; a much-hyped smartphone app has received a tepid response; and grand…
No crevice of the human experience is safe.
Few gadgets have generated as much excitement and hostility as Google Glass, a voice-activated computer-monitor combo worn on eyeglass frames.
Pretty much everyone (myself included) has been reading Google+ wrongly.
Rand Paul is having some problems with the jerks back at the office. So today he's bypassing them on a road trip through Silicon Valley.
When we talk about design nowadays, the focus has been on the lures (or dangers) of flat design and skeumorphism; whether there should be (or really are any) intuitive interfaces; and wearable, maybe "disappearing" interfaces…
What is good reviewing?
I describe software incompatibility problems caused by fragmentation in Linux-based operating systems and present one potential solution.
A short reflection on the rewarding experience of teaching students at the time of year when students' degrees are awarded.