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Surveillance with Privacy

Programs would sift private data while protecting names.
September 1, 2003

There’s been plenty of public debate about allowing the government to seek patterns in disparate databases-to “connect the dots”-to thwart terror attacks. One problem for investigators is that many of these databases, which store information such as private phone records and credit card statements, are closed to routine government scrutiny. The Information Awareness Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is attempting to demonstrate that private databases can safely be plumbed if the day comes when privacy laws are changed to allow access to them (see “Total Information Overload,” TR July/August 2003). If one DARPA-funded project at the Palo Alto Research Center in California is successful, it could result in technology that lets government intelligence analysts find patterns in data while forbidding access to details about individuals.

Deep Dive

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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