Tyranny comes home: How the 'boomerang effect' impacts civilian life in the U.S.

When it comes to foreign intervention, we often overlook the practices that creep into life back home.

  • Methods used in foreign intervention often resurface domestically, whether that's in the form of skills or technology.
  • University of Tampa professor Abigail Blanco calls this the boomerang effect. It's a consequence not often thought about when we discuss foreign intervention.
  • The three channels to consider when examining the boomerang effect include human capital in the form of skills, administrative dynamics, and physical capital in the form of tools and technology.
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China tightens its grip on freedom in academics

Scholars often debate risking their livelihoods and personal safety in order to conduct research in certain areas.

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  • Authoritarian governments that rely heavily on coercion must be more intrusive about how education shapes the personality and character of its members.
  • In China, there are topics that scholars know to avoid — especially, the Three Ts: Taiwan, Tibet, and Tiananmen Square.
  • While the majority of scholars are likely toeing the party line when it comes to their research, some are working toward encouraging academic freedom in the country, often at significant risk to themselves and their families.
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Spot, Boston Dynamics' robot dog, has joined a police squad

The semiautonomous could help to protect officers, but some are concerned about how exactly police plan to use it.

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  • Spot is a four-legged, semiautonomous robot developed by Boston Dynamics.
  • The robot has been used in at least two police "incidents," according to documents obtained by the ACLU.
  • The ACLU said that government agencies should be more transparent about how they plan to use robots in the field.
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How the technology behind deepfakes can benefit all of society

Deepfakes are "neither intrinsically good nor evil."

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Recent advances in deepfake video technology have led to a rapid increase of such videos in the public domain in the past year.

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Republicans aim to stop school shootings with mass surveillance

The Response Act calls on schools to increase monitoring of students' online activity.

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  • The Response Act was introduced by Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, and was co-sponsored by five other Republican senators.
  • Among other measures, the bill aims to "incentivize schools to enforce internet safety policies that detect online activities of minors."
  • However, there is no evidence showing that student surveillance technologies actually prevent violence.
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