Murky motivations muddle the Nunes memo

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On Friday, the House Intelligence Committee released the formerly classified memo written by Representative Devin Nunes casting doubt on the political motivations of the FBI. Some say it proves bias; others have demonstrated how it omits facts and muddies timing to make a partisan point. But as writing goes, it’s like chasing a rabbit down … Continued

Did Russia hack the election? Intelligence report is active and persuasive.

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When you think of government reports, do you expect clarity or doubletalk and jargon? The report on Russia and its influence in our elections, from the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, is brief, direct, and unequivocal. It’s a great study in how to use clear language to persuade. This document is a joint production … Continued

FBI Director James Comey statement: Hillary Clinton was sloppy

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Yesterday, FBI Director James Comey issued his final statement about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email server. While he characterized her behavior around classified information as “extremely careless,” he will not recommend prosecution. Democrats and Republicans are spinning his decisions relentlessly today. The overwhelming impression I get from Comey’s statement is of a diligent … Continued

Apple gets half of America to take its side — and it’s not done

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Apple has already convinced half of America that it has a case to defy the FBI. Now Tim Cook has extended the company’s clear, jargon-free communication to its own employees, and to the public with an Answers page. According to a survey of over 1,000 people from the Pew Research Center, 51% of the respondents think Apple … Continued

Apple’s Tim Cook shows how to communicate in a crisis

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Apple’s in a bind. The FBI wants them to crack the encryption on a San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone. Apple believes that’s a dangerous precedent. Apple CEO Tim Cook’s open letter is breathtakingly simple and clear. Learn from it. Here’s Apple’s logic: Breaking encryption creates a “back door.” Any such back door would inevitably get out. Thieves … Continued