Politics

A Hypnotic Visualization of Everything Gmail Knows About You and Your Friends

Immersion, a tool built by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers, helps Gmail users understand their own trail of Internet breadcrumbs. (MIT Media Lab)

When Google hands over e-mail records to the government, it includes basic envelope information, or metadata, that reveals the names and e-mail addresses of senders and recipients in your account. The feds can then mine that information for patterns that might be useful in a law-enforcement investigation.

What kind of relationships do they see in an average account? Thanks to the researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, now you can find out. They’ve developed a tool called Immersion that taps into your Gmail and displays the results as an interactive graphic. (That’s mine, above.)

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The chart depicts all of your contacts as nodes, and the gray lines between those nodes represent connections between people by e-mail. The larger the circle, the more prominent that person is in your digital life.

A word of warning for the privacy conscious: To use the service, you need to give MIT permission to analyze your e-mail metadata. Once you’ve done so, it’ll take a few minutes to compile everything. When you’re done, you’re given the option to delete your metadata from MIT’s servers.

What you see in my chart are five and a half years’ worth of e-mails. The yellow circles indicate family and close family friends. All of my college friends are in red, and my D.C. friends are in green. Blue nodes denote my colleagues at The Atlantic; pink, my coworkers at National Journal; and gray, people who generally don’t share connections with the other major networks in my life.

In all, MIT counted 606 “collaborators” in my inbox, totaling some 83,000 e-mails. But you can also break down that data by year, month, or even the past week. Pretty amazing stuff—and a good reminder not only how much information Google knows about you, but what that information can uncover about other people. If you can learn this much just from looking at one account, imagine what crunching hundreds or thousands of interconnected accounts must be like.

 

This is a copy of the full article provided by The National Journal

(Photos: MIT)

Egypt troops kill pro-Morsi marchers

Egypt troops kill pro-Morsi marchers

Egyptian security forces have opened fire on supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, killing three people. The incident occurred as crowds gathered outside the officers’ club of the Presidential Guard, where Mr Morsi is believed to be held. The Muslim Brotherhood has been demanding his reinstatement. The army, which removed Mr Morsi in response to widespread unrest,… Read more →

WHITE HOUSE VIOLATES LAW WITH OBAMACARE DELAY

WHITE HOUSE VIOLATES LAW WITH OBAMACARE DELAY

Obama administration officials are illegally delaying enforcement of a central provision in the president’s namesake legislation in a desperate attempt to manipulate the 2014 midterm elections and swell the ranks of those who look to government for healthcare. The White House is beginning to sense that when Americans realize the price of “free” healthcare, they’re likely to take swift vengeance… Read more →

Egypt is bracing for a showdown between the military and President Mohammed Morsi, who has rejected an army ultimatum to end a political crisis with his opponents, vowing to stay in office. The ultimatum expires at 4.30pm (1430 GMT) on Wednesday. Top military chiefs gathered for emergency talks on Wednesday and the army was expected to issue a statement after its deadline passes. Al Jazeera’s Caroline Melone reports.

 

Snowden Releases Statement, Rips Obama on Human Rights

Snowden Releases Statement, Rips Obama on Human Rights

Wikileaks released this statement today from Edward Snowden. In the letter, Snowden rips Obama for rejecting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, revoking his passport, and claims Obama is afraid of a constitutional government and informed public.   One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the… Read more →

China to join Russia for largest naval drills with foreign partner

China to join Russia for largest naval drills with foreign partner

China will join Russia later this week for its largest-ever naval drills with a foreign partner, underlining deepening ties between the former cold war rivals along with Beijing’s desire for closer links with regional militaries. China has long been a key customer for Russian military hardware, but only in the last decade have their militaries begun taking part in joint exercises. China’s defence… Read more →

Britain is calling on the EU to ease its tight regulations on genetically modified food with the country’s Environment Secretary saying GM farming is actually safer than many of the alternatives. Anti-GM activists are raising the alarm, they warn of side-effects ranging from simple allergies to devastating immune problems. RT’s Polly Boiko reports.

 

NSA spying row: bugging friends is unacceptable, warn Germans

NSA spying row: bugging friends is unacceptable, warn Germans

The leaders of Germany and France have rounded angrily on the US for the first time over spying claims, signalling that ambitious EU-US trade talks scheduled to open next week could become an early casualty of theburgeoning transatlantic espionage dispute. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French president, François Hollande, described the disclosures of massive US spying and snooping in Europe as unacceptable, with the Germans… Read more →

French president demands any US spying cease now

French president demands any US spying cease now

PARIS (AP) — French President Francois Hollande is demanding that the United States immediately stop its alleged eavesdropping of the European Union. According to weekend reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have bugged EU offices in three cities. Hollande said on Monday during a trip to western France that “We cannot accept this kind of behavior.” He says, “We demand that this… Read more →

Anti-Muslim Brotherhood Protests in Egypt: Largest Political Event in World History

Anti-Muslim Brotherhood Protests in Egypt: Largest Political Event in World History

The demonstrations that began Sunday in Cairo, Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood government of President Mohamed Morsi have attracted “millions” of supporters and many counter-demonstrators as well, making the protest the largest political event in the history of the world, according to the BBC. The protests in Tahrir Square and throughout Egypt exceed those that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011… Read more →