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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

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Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

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The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

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Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Video shows coach disarming, embracing Oregon student

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have released a video that shows part of a former Oregon football star's successful effort to disarm a student who brought a shotgun to a Portland high school.The video released Friday by the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office shows Keanon Lowe and...

Parents guilty of starving 5-year-old daughter to death

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has convicted a Redmond couple of starving their 5-year-old adopted daughter to death.The Bulletin reports by unanimous jury verdicts Friday after a weekslong trial, Sacora Horn-Garcia and Estevan Garcia were found guilty of murder by abuse and criminal...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

No. 22 Missouri heads to Vandy, 1st road trip since opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Missouri coach Barry Odom knows only too well the dangers of going on the road and how a few mistakes can prove very costly.While some of his players my not remember that stunning loss at Wyoming to open this season, Odom hasn't forgotten."We're going to treat it just...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Emmett Till marker dedicated to replace vandalized sign

GLENDORA, Miss. (AP) — A new bulletproof memorial to Emmett Till was dedicated Saturday in Mississippi after previous historical markers were repeatedly vandalized.The brutal slaying of the 14-year-old black teenager helped spur the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.The...

Parents sue Virginia school district over racist 2017 video

HENRICO, Va. (AP) — The parents of a Virginia student who say their son was assaulted and bullied by his middle school football teammates in an incident captured on video two years ago are suing the school system.The video, which showed football players simulating sex acts on black students...

Team abandons FA Cup qualifier after racial abuse

LONDON (AP) — An FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned Saturday when the home team walked off the field after one of its players was racially abused.Haringey, a London-based non-league club, walked off in the 64th minute after claims its Cameroonian goalkeeper...

ENTERTAINMENT

Adam Lambert: Happy to see more LGBTQ artists find success

NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Lambert, who rose on the music scene as the runner-up on "America Idol" in 2009, says he's happy to see more mainstream LGBTQ artists find major success."I think it's less taboo to be queer in the music industry now because there's so many cases you can point to like,...

Jane Fonda returns to civil disobedience for climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inspired by the climate activism of a Swedish teenager, Jane Fonda says she's returning to civil disobedience nearly a half-century after she was last arrested at a protest.Fonda, known for her opposition to the Vietnam War, was one of 17 climate protesters arrested Friday...

Naomi Wolf and publisher part ways amid delay of new book

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Wolf and her U.S. publisher have split up amid a dispute over her latest book, "Outrages."Wolf and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced separately Friday that they had "mutually and amicably agreed to part company" and that Houghton would not be releasing "Outrages."...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Capital hill: Astros, Nats put World Series eyes on pitching

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Where you die can affect your chance of being an organ donor

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Impeachment inquiry puts spotlight on Perry, who shunned it

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Italian experts defuse WWII bomb in northern city

MILAN (AP) — Italian authorities have evacuated 4,000 people from the center of the northern city of...

Bolivians pick between Evo Morales and change in tight vote

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — South America's longest-serving leader was seeking an unprecedented fourth term in...

15 dead after Russian dam collapse floods dormitories

MOSCOW (AP) — At least 15 people are dead after a dam at a small Siberian gold mine collapsed and water...

McMenamins
Raphael Satter the Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- British officials have given their word: "We won't read your emails."

But experts say the government's proposed new surveillance program will gather so much data that spooks won't have to read your messages to guess what you're up to.

The U.K. Home Office stresses it won't be reading the content of every Britons' communications, saying the data it seeks "is NOT the content of any communication." It is, however, looking for information about who's sending the message and to whom, where it's sent from and other details, including a message's length and its format.

The proposal, unveiled last week as part of the government's annual legislative program, is just a draft bill, so it could be modified or scrapped. But if passed in its current form, it would put a huge amount of personal data at the government's disposal, which it could use to deduce a startling amount about Britons' private lives - from sleep patterns to driving habits or even infidelity.

"We're really entering a whole new phase of analysis based on the data that we can collect," said Gerald Kane, an information systems expert at Boston College. "There is quite a lot you can learn."

The ocean of information is hard to fathom. Britons generate 4 billion hours of voice calls and 130 billion text messages annually, according to industry figures. In 2008, the BBC put the annual number of U.K.-linked emails at around 1 trillion.

Then there are instant messaging services run by companies such as BlackBerry, Internet telephone services such as Skype, chat rooms, and in-game services like those used by World of Warcraft.

Communications service providers, who would log all that back-and-forth, believe the government's program would force them to process petabytes (1 quadrillion bytes) of information every day. It's a mind-boggling amount of data, on the scale of every book, movie and piece of music ever released.

So even without opening emails, how much can British spooks learn about who's sending them?

THEY'LL SEE THE RED FLAGS

Did you know how fast you were going?

Your phone does.

If you sent a text from London before stepping behind the wheel, and a second one from a service station outside Manchester three hours later, authorities could infer that you broke the speed limit to cover the roughly 200 miles that separate the two.

Crunching location data and communications patterns gives a remarkably rich view of people's lives - and their misadventures.

Ken Altshuler, of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, raves about the benefits smartphones and social media have brought to savvy divorce attorneys. Lawyers don't need sophisticated data mining software to spot evidence of infidelity or hints of hidden wealth when they review phone records or text traffic, he said.

"One name, one phone number that's not on our client's radar, and our curiosity is piqued," he said. The more the communication - a late-night text sent to a work colleague, an unexplained international phone call - is out of character, "the more of a red flag we see."

THEY'LL KNOW WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPING

The ebb and flow of electronic communication -that call to your mother just before bed, that early-morning email to your boss saying you'll be late - frames our waking lives.

"You can figure somebody's sleep patterns, their weekly pattern of work," said Tony Jebara, a Columbia University expert on artificial intelligence. In 2006, he helped found New York-based Sense Networks, which crunches phone data to do just that.

Jebara said that calls made from the same location from 9 to 5 are a good indication of where a person works; the frequency of email traffic to or from a person's work account is a good hint of his or her work ethic; dramatic changes to a person's electronic routine might suggest a promotion - or a layoff.

"You can quickly figure out when somebody lost their job," Jebara said, adding: "Credit card companies have been interested in that for a while."

THEY'LL KNOW WHO'S THE BOSS

Drill down, and communication can reveal remarkably rich information. For example, does office worker A answer office worker B's missives within minutes of the message being sent? Does B often leave colleagues' emails unanswered for hours on end? If so, B probably stands for "boss."

That's an example of what Jebara's Columbia colleagues call "automated social hierarchy detection," a technique that can infer who gives the orders, who's respected and who's ignored based purely on whose emails get answered and how quickly. In 2007, they analyzed traffic from the Enron Corporation's email archive to correctly guess the seniority of several top-level managers.

Intelligence agencies may not need such tools to untangle corporate flowcharts, but identifying ringleaders becomes more important when tracking a suspected terrorist cell.

"If you piece together the chain of influence, then you can find the central authority," he said. "You can figure that out without looking at the content."

THEY'LL KNOW WHO YOU'RE TALKING TO

Seeing how networks of people communicate isn't just about finding your boss. It's about figuring out who your friends are.

Programs already exist to determine the density of communications - something that can identify close groups of friends or family without even knowing who's who. If one user is identified as suspicious, then users closest to him or her might get a second look as well.

"Let's say we find out somebody in the U.K. is a terrorist," said Kane. "You know exactly who he talks to on almost every channel, so BOOM you know his 10 closest contacts. Knowing that information not only allows you to go to his house, but allows you to go to their houses as well."

A SNOOPER'S CHARTER?

Detective work at the stroke of a key is clearly attractive to spy agencies. British officialdom has been pushing for a mass surveillance program for years. But civil libertarians are perturbed, branding the proposal a "snooper's charter."

Kane says the surveillance regime has to be seen in the context of social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn, where hundreds of millions of people are constantly volunteering information about themselves, their friends, their family and their colleagues.

"There's no sense in getting all Big Brother-ish," he said. "The bottom line is that we're all leaving digital trails, everywhere, all the time. The whole concept of privacy is shifting daily."

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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