The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
The gadget blogs may work themselves into a frenzy over megapixels and processor speed. But if you want to know what really dazzles the masses, consider a feature that's rarely called out by name: machine recognition of real-world…
For a spy novelist like me, the Edward J. Snowden story has everything. A man driven by ego and idealism—can anyone ever distinguish the two?—leaves his job and his beautiful girlfriend behind.
Could Big Data have prevented 9/11? Perhaps—Dick Cheney, for one, seems to think so.
"I've been doing combative stuff since I was born," says Geordie Rose, leaning back in a chair in his small, windowless office in Burnaby, Canada, as he describes how he has spent most of his life making things difficult for…
There are many way to celebrate your 70th birthday.
After leaker Edward Snowden revealed the existence of massive domestic-surveillance programs operated by the NSA, the airwaves were clotted with pundits and politicians summoning a man with whom they appeared to possess only…
Today, the United States is conducting offensive cyberwar actions around the world.
It is the rare entrepreneur who hits it truly big twice. Those who do—such as Ev Williams, Ted Turner, and Elon Musk—tend to stay within the original industry that made them. In recent memory, Steve Jobs sticks out for his success…
My favorite mobile device isn't my phone, my iPad, or my car. It's my Canon digital SLR camera.
We now know that every day, U.S. phone companies quietly send the government a list of who called whom and when—"telephony metadata"—for every call made on their networks, because of a secret order by the Foreign Intelligence…
David Drummond, Google's senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, took part in a live Q&A on Wednesday to answer questions about internet security, privacy, and surveillance, and the NSA and Prism…
Just a few days ago, the man whom many Germans now see as one of the greatest villains in the world visited Berlin.
I don't know Edward Snowden, but I know his kind.
In the last few decades, the computing industry has passed through several different eras.
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.
On the impact of large language models.
Until the middle of the 20th century, computers were in fact humans who performed calculations.