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Lady Gaga's SXSW Keynote: Full Transcript and Highlight Clips

As a service to the public and fellow news junkies, we transcribed Lady Gaga's SXSW Music Keynote speech today.

For up-to-the-minute Lady Gaga news, download the Inside app at the App Store or you can visit www.inside.com/ladygaga

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John Norris, Fuse: Hi, everyone. What’s up? Wow. This is a nice turnout. We were just saying backstage that this is a bit different from every other part of SXSW that you’ve experienced so far.

Lady Gaga: Yeah, I’ve been like, covered in beer and barbecue sauce and then we walked in and it was like really soft music and carpeting and it was different.

Norris: I will say that you clean up very nicely, though. The last time I saw you, at about 11 o’clock last night, you know, you had become a canvas. Actually you could have used this [referring to dress].

What an amazing show. And something different for you. I’ve never seen you as raw and just, kind of, anything goes. Obviously something you created just for SXSW, with a specific idea behind it.

Gaga: We really wanted to do something really in the spirit of what SXSW has always been about. Which is, creating a real connection between the fans and the artists and the musical experience. I actually spent the first four days I was here  just seeing music, experiencing the atmosphere, and I really built the set around Austin. I wanted to give as much as I could to the city.

Norris: Did you guys like the mechanical swine? I thought that was a nice touch. And the neon thing was super-cool too. What’s gonna end up with that? The sign with the pig …

Gaga: My father has requested that he wants it: Papa G gets first dibs.

Norris: I want to ask you a few things about the show. The minute you went online last night and this morning; I’m sure you all saw in your feeds, too. Just one word … vomit, vomit, vomit, vomit, vomit … we’d actually spoken a couple nights before the show. I knew [Millie]] was going to be a part of the show. This is someone you’ve known for a while, right?

Gaga: Yeah I’ve known Millie for maybe five years now. We did a similar collaboration for The Monster Ball, we made a film with Nick Knight, and that was the first time I met her. We were on our way to Austin, we were about to get on the plane, and my girlfriend Nicole texted me and she said ‘Did you know Millie Brown is going to be in town?’ I said ‘Oh, I had no idea’, and then I texted Millie and I said ‘we should get together’ and you know, she was just in town so we thought we’d collaborate.

Noris: Have you seen some of the reaction to it online and elsewhere? Everything from ‘how could she do this kind of thing’, ‘putting the gag in Gaga’ kind of headlines. But also as you were saying to me earlier, a lot of people seem to get that this is in fact her art.

Gaga: Yeah, it was just exciting to see people talking about performance art on the internet. Debating whether it’s art or not and that’s really great. We really just did it because we believe in the performance and what it meant to the song. And she is in town so we wanted to work together. So I guess the way I like to think of things is, I’m so deeply passionate about any person who has an artistic spirit … any person  who has a talent that they believe in, no matter how crazy the idea is. You never know where that crazy idea might lead you.

Martin Luther King thought he could start a revolution without violence and Andy Warhol thought he could make a soup can into art. Sometimes things that are really strange and feel really wrong can really change the world. I’m not going to say vomit will change world, but what I’m saying is the idea of a moment where it’s truly just what we wanted to create and do … and us just respecting each other as artists was enough for the performance to be worth it - Artpop.

Norris: The show was also primarily Artpop. Was ‘Bad Romance’ the only non Artpop track last night?

Gaga: Yes it was.

Norris: You weren’t really that into doing ‘Applause’ last night?

Gaga: I did want to do ‘Applause’ … Moreso the idea I wanted to really create show that was really perfect for Austin. We thought that it would be good to close with ‘Applause’ but I really wanted to close with ‘Gypsy’, so I was really just making a crack so my team would start laughing.

Norris: ‘Gypsy’ could not have been a better choice. There was also an inspirational tone to your show. A couple times you mentioned the albatross that is Twitter. I was happy you said that, but ‘Gypsy’ has just got an inspirational quality and I hope that as time goes on the song gets more attention. I know that when the record first came out you did a few performances, a VEVO thing. Most of the tracks had been heard as the album came out, already. Hopefully there will be a  video for ‘Gypsy’ at some point.

Gaga: Yeah at some point.

Norris: There is, however, another video on the way, right?

Gaga: I’m putting it out next Saturday. We shot it at Hearst Castle. It’s a different type of video for me and in a different way from what we did last night, but still in the same spirit. There is a very deeply creative rebellious spirit in Artpop. Kind of wrapping what we were talking about with Millie and the swine performance yesterday, and the video that’s coming up.

Really what it’s about is freeing yourself of the expectations of the music industry and the expectations of the status quo. I never liked having my skirt measured for me in school or told how to do things or the rules to play by. As you become more and more successful they start to push the rulebook closer and closer to you. And say ‘now you’re here, so how are you going to maintain it?’ Really what Artpop is all about is how the truest way for us to maintain the music industry is to put all of the power back into the hands of the artist.

Norris: When people inevitably get into the horse race, the chart race, the Soundscan horse race, what’s your reaction, do you try not to pay attention to the numbers game as much as possible?

Gaga: It’s completely mental. You have this completely passionate experience with music, or with whatever you’re creating, whether it’s a film, or a television series, maybe you write poetry, or you put on a play. I make music. The second I put it out in the world it gets eaten by a computer and it starts running through all these numbers and systems and gets a ranking. It’s terrifying. I think what we have to remember is the way that we talk about that process is really what the problem is … placing the importance on those charts, placing the importance on that system. What happens is, you start trying to influence the artist and industry and how they approach their work. You try to approach channeling the artist toward being successful within that system. When you do that you take the power out of the hands of the artist and put it in the hands of the corporation. That means you, at home with your guitar, you have less chance of making it happen on your own because you need someone in a corporate tower somewhere to tell you ‘This is how you do it. This is how you’re gonna make it on the top of the charts. This is how you make it on the radio’. But I don’t want that to be who is dictating what music I’m listening to, I don’t think any of us want that to be what’s dictating what we’re listening to.

Norris: I said to her the other night, ‘Obviously this is going to be a packed room on Friday when we talk, and I’m sure there will be lots of fans’; I’m guessing I see a fan right there. And I said ‘This being SX, I’m sure there will be a few skeptics in the room’; and she was like ‘A few? I expect they’re all going to hate me’. This is a story that’s been hounding SX for 5-10 years now, this increasing tendency of superstars to swoop in here to Austin for 48 hours, whether it’s Samsung, or T-Mobile or a chip company footing the bill. Obviously there’s griping about that. Initially there was some comment when word first came out you’d be here with Doritos. The majority of the proceeds are going to go to the foundation, right?

Gaga: Yes [Doritos] made quite an amazing donation to the Born this Way foundation and we’re extremely grateful. To be completely honest, whoever is writing or saying all those things: You don’t know fuck about the state of the music industry. [Applause] I think it’s also about how the artist chooses how to engage in these sorts of relationships. What’s the type of the relationship, what’s the philosophy behind the collaboration. Do you have things in common? When you come to do the performance, how much time do you put in? Do you care about the show, or are you just taking the check and just showing up? Are you only coming to Austin for the press, or do you want to have a real connection with the fans?

The best thing that happened last night was I came off the stage, I was covered in paint, vomit, but we did live art during the show. The CEO from Frito Lay came in with all her kids and said: ‘That was so brilliant!’ And she was crying. And I’m standing there and I’m like ‘Thank you ...’ My publicist walks in and I’m like ‘Did you quit in the middle of the show?’ And he’s like ‘No, it was amazing’.

I listen to the internet very closely. I work with Salesforce,  I work with Layer. My team and I have our ears to the ground all the time, about how people are talking about what we are creating, how the information is getting to public, what the messaging is. Watching the fans have an experience with me, and then having Doritos support that to its core. Not telling me how to do the show, what it should be like, or putting chains around my neck. They just said ‘We just want to support you, and have a great experience at SX, we want to help your your foundation, and we want to help spread the message. How do we do that? And they came up with ‘Bold Bravery’ and it all came together.

The most important thing we remember: All of these things that people are saying, it’s just to inspire clicks to their websites, more visits. They want to be the first person to say the thing that everybody reads. But the truth is that without sponsorships, without these companies coming together to help us, we won’t have any more artists in Austin, we won’t have any festivals, because record labels don’t have any fucking money.

Norris: In fact you were telling me the other night, there are things that even you want to do event-wise, the Artpop launch event in Brooklyn?

Gaga: I paid for that whole thing. Like what I said last night on stage...Nobody’s gonna remember what you tweeted when you die. Nobody’s going to remember your web content for the week. What’s going to be remembered is those magical moments that you’ve helped to create bringing artists and the artistic community together to breed the compassion, the love that comes with creating. That’s why I’ve been talking so much about creative rebellion because it's like. What are we? What are we as an industry if we are not telling our artist to be creative? What are we? What are we doing? What’s happening? Why? Why is it a prison, and why are we allowing it to be a prison?. Every person in here should take pride, and swining their nose at anyone who would say ‘Ah, Doritos, Lady Gaga. Samsung, Jay Z’. Why shouldn’t someone in Austin have the chance to see Jay-Z up close and personal. Why?

Norris: I completely agree, as long as they are out there seeing those emerging artists who deserve to be seen.

Gaga: What we can do as a group and unit … I brought my friends from New York who are young bands still, well, they’re not that young, they’ve been at it for 15 yrs … I brought them with me, they opened the show for me, I brought them on stage with me during ‘Applause’ … all the artists that come here, and all the corporations that come here … you can still make an effort to integrate new, emerging acts and talent into your shows. So you can bring the two things together. Use the acts that are bigger to shine the light on the new ones, and bring people together. Artpop.

Norris: There’s a few things I want to talk to you about: First, immediately upcoming things. This show was quite specific to Austin and SXSW, you’ve got a string of shows coming up, for all of us New Yorkers something very special at the iconic Roseland Ballroom, a place where I’ve seen many amazing shows, which sadly is closing down soon. How did that come about, you playing the last shows at Roseland, and what does that mean to you?

Gaga: It’s a wonderful experience. Arthur Fogel called me and he said ‘Roseland is closing, we want you to close it out, what do you think about that?’ I said ‘This is great’, he said ‘Do you want to do this many shows, or this many shows? Or you could do eight shows in a row and it would be the most shows anyone has ever done at Roseland’. And I said ‘OK, let’s do it, let’s go for it.’

Norris: I understand there will be some New York-themed aspects to the show.

Gaga:  Yyyyyes … Well I’m from New York. I’m pretty New York-themed at my core. I always tell people, ‘We rehearse, we rehearse over and over and put a show together, then we press play and lights come up and I can’t promise anything, I can’t  say what’s gonna happen. I just go into a total trance and as long as I’m in that place I know it will be great.

Norris: Do you have memories of Roseland? Shows you’ve seen there? Times you’ve spent there?

Gaga: I spent a lot of time there … I don’t know if I can remember.

Norris: It’s such an interesting place. I remember seeing everyone from Radiohead or My Bloody Valentine there, to all the way to Madonna doing an early … maybe it was the ‘Music’ album maybe? It’s been a venue in recent years for major stars to do smaller shows pre-album release, or along with an album release.

Gaga: It’s just so not how I see Roseland. I view it as like the place my mom didn’t want me to go to, you know, because I’d come home with a broken nose or … I was that kid sneaking out to go to shows. I think it’s a really true New York classic, that place, and it’s so sad to see it go. In the spirit of Roseland we need to keep the classics around as long as we can. We’re losing a  wonderful place and a wonderful venue but the spirit of that venue lives on in New York. I hope bands continue to play and flourish. I feel really honored as a New Yorker to be closing it out. I want to do it justice and leave my heart on the stage.

Norris: Are you in general a nostalgic? There’s a lot of hand-wringing in New York about the fact that CBGBs is no more, the old Knitting Factory is no more, Maxwell’s just closed, Roseland is going away. The other attitude is that we’re a city that’s constantly regenerating, we’ll create new spaces and new places that make their own memories.

Gaga: Well I played all those venues you just mentioned. I played CBGBs, I played Max’s, I played The Knitting Factory. Both the big one and the little one. I think it’s really sad actually. I’m not too excited about remodeling. I think that there’s something nice about the heart and soul and the heartbeat of generations of music going away. So many bands, so much musical history. Everyone in this room needs to do everything we can as a unit to continue to inspire passion in young people so they don’t feel the only way to success now is by making a crazy YouTube video, or doing something psycho on Instagram. The way to make it in this business is to write songs, to out into world, to pick up your guitar, to walk from block to block and say ‘Hi, I’m Lady Gaga, I’m an artist, can you book me at 7 o’clock on Friday? Or 10 if you’re really lucky.

Norris: That’s your reality. You did that. You pounded the pavement for years in the Lower East Side and that’s part of you story but for some reason I feel like the skeptics, and there are some, still are like, ‘Was there ever really a struggle?’

Gaga: It doesn’t really matter what people say because the truth is what will carry me into the next phase of my life. No one fucking knows how many clubs I’ve played, how much piss I’ve stepped in, how many bathrooms I changed in, how many times I carried my keyboard down the stairs of my walk up on my back. What matters is that I know; I’m still here because I would rather go back to Stanton Street and perform alone in a bar than do something I don’t want to do and be rich and famous and be unhappy.

One more thing: For young people that want to make music, I feel like the scariest thing I experience is when I go to these corporate events and I meet people and they introduce me to artist, whatever. They bring me these young kids and they’re like ‘I’m working with this producer and I’m friends with Lil Jon’ or whatever, just name dropping and I’m just sitting there like … wanting to grab and shake them and say ‘go to a city and sit in an apt by yourself and stop shaking hands with people and taking selfies because it’s not going to make you a star. Nobody cares about that but we think that everybody cares about it because now you know, its the way the culture is now. It’s so fast, you get messages, and like so quickly somebody can become so big. But what makes a sustainable career is somebody who has a true heart and ability to feel the pain of this business for a long period of time because you’re willing to suffer and do anything for music because you love it. You have to. You believe it to your core.

Justin Tranter from Semi Precious Weapons looked at me, we were laying in the Airstream backstage at Stubbs and he says, ‘Ahh Gaga, songs are the coolest thing in the world’. And I was like, ‘I know, I love songs, there’s nothing like writing songs really’. And that’s who you should be signing. That’s who you should be promoting. People who write songs. Song writers. People that need to have to. Not somebody who has a bunch of followers on Twitter. The only reason it mattered how many followers I had on Twitter is because I have a real relationship with my fans. A real true one. A real genuine friendship. I really understand them and I know they really understand me. I just wanted to say that, be careful what type of business you’re selling. If you’re selling anything other than talent and anything other than good songs, you’re in the wrong business.

Norris: The other observation I wanted to make about those Roseland dates: The first one is on March 28, and on that date, some of you know, this woman turns 28. Which means, on a happy note, you have survived being a member of the 27 club.

Gaga: Not yet, I still have a couple weeks.

Norris: Not that you were ever in danger of becoming a member of it.

Gaga: I don’t know, you should go talk to my mom.

Norris: To be fair, 2013 wasn’t the best year in some respects right? At the beginning of the year you wrote a post on littlemonsters.com that was … full of … almost regret about the fact that maybe you had let fans down or in some respects let yourself down last year. I know there was a lot going on. A year ago right now you were laid up, it was February that Montreal happened and everything went to shit.

Gaga: I was in a wheelchair for 4 months.

Norris: And at first you didn't even know it was a broken hip.

Gaga: I love my fans, and adrenaline will take you very far. I danced until I couldn’t walk anymore. My hip was actually falling apart, my right hip, so there’s actually three screws in it now. But now I’m back

Norris: Who’d have thought that someone with three screws in her hip could swing around a mechanical swine and come out on a spit … it looks like you’re not compromised in terms of what you can do physically.

Gaga: That’s a good word, compromise. That’s why I posted that message. I grew up loving music, and you wash your favorite artists grow … It’s an age-old tale. They build you up to tear you down. You watch it happen and you see so many artists try so hard to act like it’s not affecting them, or ‘I’m OK’, putting on a front and just keeping going. You know people in your life change and money makes everything so complicated and success and people betray you. I just decided that I owe it to my work to just be an open book and fuck like … I became really famous and I used to play in bars … when it becomes complicated like that I ask, ‘do I really want to make music anymore at a commercial level?’ I’ll just make music downtown. I’ll still be happy. I will. I don’t need all that if it means negatively, if it means compassion, if it means people in business grabbing at you and trying to define you.

You have to understand that when everyone's waiting for me to put music out, or a record out, the label, the management. There’s no formula ever behind what we’ve done. There’s no … process like something that was created, like I’m not from a factory right? So they’re essentially waiting for a completely crazy person to deliver something they’ve never heard. They don’t know anything about it. And I’m going to say, from nothing, blank, it’s like a water glass. And they’re waiting for me to give them all the music, give them the message, give them the visuals, everything behind it, and it can be terrifying for people. They have a tour to sell, singles to keep up with, a quota for the end of year. I don’t know what to tell you. I didn’t read a special book to teach me how to do this. Nobody put me into a weird machine and popped me out Gaga. It’s really truly who I am. It’s like you have to fight everybody off and say ‘Listen, you’re just gonna have to chill out. It’s just pop music, it’s not brain surgery’. I refuse to compromise and allow my talents to be monetized to the point I don’t even want to be here anymore. I will stop. I will quit. I will retire from the commercial market if I have to do something other than be myself. Because if I can’t be myself in this moment, then everything I have said to my fans since the very beginning would be a total lie. Because then what? I will be myself until I have to make money to sustain a luxurious lifestyle? And then I’ll change? No. I’ll be myself until I fucking close the coffin, so that you can all be yourselves.

Norris: One of my friends texted me and said ‘I’m not sure she wants to be a pop star anymore’. And I said ‘well if what passes for pop star is the hoops you’ve got to jump through to be a pop star in 2014 for a lot of people, then I hope you’re right. I hope she doesn’t want to be a pop star anymore’.  I’ve long felt that what you represent is something that to even talk about you in the same conversation as other folks is sometimes beside the point.

Regarding that: It was an odd time, the fall, wasn’t it? You parted ways with your manager … we don’t have to talk about all the whys and wherefores about that if you don’t want to … there was a lawsuit from a friend and former assistant, and people were sniping about the record, and doing as I said before, that horse race of like … I deal with this every day since we’re doing music news every day: How did it enter? Was it number one? How did it compare to this superstar? By the way let’s really pit her against other women … who doesn’t love a pop catfight right? First it was ‘Roar’ vs ‘Applause’, then it was the album, at some point do you just say ‘stop with all that noise’ or is it hard for it not to get to you?Gaga: We’ve sold over 2 ½ million copies of ARPOP all over the world. I’m sorry I didn’t sell a million in one week. I have before. I’m very proud of what we did. It’s so insane. I’m held to such an insane standard. It’s almost like everyone forgets where the music business is now. It’s like you come see me live and listen to my music and you’re time warped to the 70s or something.

Yeah I don’t know what fuck all I have to do with Katy Perry. I couldn't be more different really. I really don’t fit pop music in a way, but I came in through it and I’d like to think I’ve changed it in some way. So you all can feel you don’t have to fit into a mold. I didn’t fit into a mold; they tried.

I saw ____ last night, he works for Kiss? He said ‘Never forget everyone was leaning over and telling you your show was too gay and it would never work’. It was kind of a thing, people in business saying the show was too gay. I would say, ‘OK, but I grew up playing in clubs and have a lot of gay friends and fans … so now you don’t want it to be gay, but you want to have them as fans? So you want me to use people?’ I won’t do that. I’d rather have a real connection with them. In the business they’re always trying to open and widen your demographic, so why don’t you go after THEM now. I don’t need more, I have amazing fans. If you want to come to the party you're all welcome, but I won’t abandon my core values to be more famous.

Norris: How great is it that in the six years you’ve been around, we’ve almost reached the point where there’s almost no such thing as ‘too gay’. …  There had been talk of Part 2 of the album.

Gaga: Actually what I told you is there are many volumes of work over a long time that have not been released. I’ve chosen not to put it in the system. Sometimes it’s just fun to have records that me and my friends listen to and we love it … and maybe someday I’ll release it. I have a second act of ARTPOP, I do.

Making that record [Artpop] was...it healed my soul every single night. It’s the most incredible thing when your friend can play a bass line that gets in your spirit and your heart like that. I was feeling so sick and then he played that and I feel so alive. I feel like I could keep going and then the words start to come and then the poetry. It becomes a song and everyone in the room has an experience that is encapsulated into an auditory moment that last forever. It’s like, that’s what the fuck it’s all about.

Gaga: I don’t know if you’ve ever felt so alone,  like you just can’t go on, you don’t want to go to work, you’re so sad, but it’s your creative spirit. You know? It’s that thing in you that’s rebellious and you can just like, keep going. Because you know that no matter who leaves you in your life, your talent will never leave you. Will never leave you. So love your passion. Love it harder than anything else.

Norris: So pack your bags and chase the sunset. I love that line! I would love to spend another hour here I’m told we up against time at 12:30. So I need to get to the fan questions that were sent to you. And so, I’m going to read them. So first question from Emilio Estevan? Dear Lady Mother of all monsters: What vibe, energy or presence does Austin have compared to all the cities you have been to. Any comparison to NYC?

Gaga: It’s a great vibe here. I had the best time this week. I mean, so much love between everyone. I didn’t see anyone fighting. I didn’t see anyone acting hateful or negative. I saw so much positivity and the love for music. I saw so many true genuine music lovers. I think the most beautiful thing I saw was the new artists playing and watching them react to their new fans...you’d see their faces light up or you’d see them get nervous, or you’d see them start performing a little harder. It made me so happy. I say that the vibe actually reminded me a lot of the bars I used to hang out in all the time with Starlight and Semi Precious Weapons and the Dirty Pearls. You know they all came with me last night and they were all excited, saying it was the best party they’ve been to in the longest time. I think it’s because all music lovers are connected. Any time you put music lovers in a room with beer and a shitty sound system...everybody gets excited.

Norris: This next one...you’ve always struck me as a no regrets can of person so I’m not sure how you will feel about this. This is a question from Steven in New York: Looking back on your path to success...what would you do differently if you had a second chance?

Gaga: If I had a second chance...you know I really wouldn’t do anything differently. I really wouldn’t. I...I’m so...I can’t believe every day I wake up I pinch myself I can’t believe I get to make music and travel the world and have so many people who love it...thank you..thank you..that’s really it. I’m very hard on myself. But I don’t think that’s bad. I think all artists are. I think we’re very critical and innately damaged and that’s why we make things to fix ourselves.

Norris: One thing that you and I share is that we can both be self-deprecating. And I always tell people when they ask...

Gaga: Well I’ll start with the happiest. The happiest part about it is they’re all still here with me. And nothing is more amazing than getting to see the world and bringing all your friends with you. All your friends that changed in the bathroom stalls with you before...I used to open for Semi Precious Weapons before their show. I remember sitting on my bed on Stanton Street. My apartment was like the size of this stage. I got a phone call that they wanted me to open and I started screaming. I called Lady Starlight to came over and we set up turntables in my kitchen. And the best thing about it is whether we’re at South By here on stage together or when we were in Mexico City and we were standing in front of 80,000 people singing every word to Born This Way, we’re looking at each other going, oh my gosh, every crazy idea we ever had...look where we are….it didn’t have to change who we were. I didn’t let anyone change me. I didn’t let anyone tell me what to do. As soon as it did...I would say

The saddest/hardest thing about it is: It’s so hard to say no. When you see how many people’s lives are affected by the business that we are doing, and you see people making money and you see their businesses growing. And then they start to depend on you to keep that money flow happening. And they really want you to ...I don’t know maybe they want me to be more perfect, or brush my hair, or you know, you know, not do anything that’s too crazy. We have it now, you don’t need to do anything.  The sad part is that at some point you have to look at those people who believe in you and say...my talent matters more to me than the money does (clap). And what I have to say matters more to me than the money does. And I know it’s fun being on top and having everyone wish they were number one, but having people envy you..really isn’t fun at all. Having people feel a part of you, and feel one with you, that’s the greatest feeling that there is.

Norris: You told me a story the other night similar to that. That when you came home from the art rave, the launch party in Brooklyn...that there were kids outside your place and they have been there, who said they had never experienced a night quite like that...I could tell that was a real moment that stuck with you.

Gaga: There were hundreds of kids, covered in Baby Koontz sculptures and beautiful outfits..they had taken off their masks..they all had too much to drink..they were all standing on footsteps of my apartment. They stopped screaming, stopped pulling and asking for pics and they just looked at me and said: Gaga I’ve never had so much fun in my life. And that’s the coolest I’ve felt in my whole life. And that’s really all I could ask for, to make someone feel that way. Make someone feel the way I felt the 1st time I walked into a bar and saw Lady Starlight doing her performance art ...the first time I walked into a club, Pianos and saw Semi Precious Weapons playing. Or the first time my ex-boyfriend took me to see The Dirty Pearls and I took my bra off and ran on stage. It’s like those moments in music. That’s what it’s all about...is that experience. It’s not about the pic you got for your Twitter. It’s that thing that changed your life, that made you want to be star. That made you want to go for it. And that’s the sad thing is when you miss it, you want to go back. But I don't have to miss it because they’re all here with me. I would give it up all tomorrow if it means I had to sell my soul to this business. Don’t sell out to this business. I would never do that. Don’t sell out. Sell in.

Norris: What is the one thing you were told to be or do when you were a little girl that if you had listened to it, you would not be where you are today? Any bad advice?

Gaga: How little are we talking? When I was really really little, my parents actually were very amused by my eccentricities I guess. And they...my mom used to yell at me if I took all my clothes off and ran around...everyone does that right? I would say that around 15 years old, I’ve been playing piano since 4, started writing music at 11, then at 15 my dad and I went to Maddy’s  Music in NY and I got a task cam, tape deck and mic...and I learned how to record myself. Which is pretty rare for a female and you can imagine me hanging out with a bunch of dudes...Then I started taking out compressors and impressing everybody. What it told me was to be less theatrical. ‘We think you’re too theatre’ (laughter). And I would say but Freddie Mercury was theater and David Bowie was theater and Sgt. Pepper, even though people didn’t like it when it first came out later at one point later it was everybody’s favorite Beatles album...although mine is Abbey Road.  And you know, I never thought theater was a bad thing. But in the music business when I first started, like younger younger, when people start seeing me play out. Everyone started hearing about me, even when I was a wee thing, and they would say ‘she’s too theatrical’. And you know, if I had listened to them I definitely wouldn’t be here. Because I would be sad, depressed and an awful person if I didn’t do what I love. Because everyone feel that way? When you stifle yourself, you’re miserable. Don’t do it.

Norris: One more...Lisa B wants to know that throughout your journey what was the greatest challenge: maintaining individuality and uniqueness in an industry that requires artist to conform.

Gaga: That was the challenge. That is the challenge. Once you have so many peoples’ attention, once you have so much, they think that as a female that it’s better for me to make inconsequential music, and not assert that I’m a musician, not assert that I’m a producer, not assert I’m a songwriter, not assert I’m a performance artist. And just look beautiful. That’s the thing that poisoned me from 2013 to 2014. Or 2012. That’s the poisonous thing, we just want you to look beautiful. Over and over and over in my head until I just wanted to look ugly all the time. Because I'm rebellious. Don’t tell me not to do it because then it’s going to happen….because that’s the way that I am. It really crushed me. Like really? I’ve won Grammys now. I’ve written albums. I’ve toured the world four times...and you’re telling me to be beautiful? This is what’s it about? Is it all back to tits and ass?  That’s so sad! I don’t get that now. I’m in a good place. I’m in a wonderful place now. I’m here with my team. I love my team so much.

Norris: Two minutes mores. Tour begins in May. Anything even in the general sense that you want to say about this Art Rave Tour and how it’s going to be different conceptually to what we have seen in the pass?

Gaga: It’s going to be a great big show. It’s going to be really fun. We have a beautiful custom stage. I’m going to release the stage this week to the fans to see.

Norris: A lot of Koons presence? And Abramovic presence?  

Gaga: Actually no. You know, those collaborations and things, they’re part of me now. They’re part of the fans. I think with the Art Rave is really about celebrating all the albums. Celebrating this new one. I wanna do not the same type of show I did in Austin. They’re obviously different but the same sort of atmosphere -- that fully passionate, creative rebellious fun -- where you can be yourself for the night and take it home with you. I love you.

Norris: I know this is selfish of me. But I want to gave her a second to say one more thing. The fact that you are among every artist at your level, what they like to refer to as gay icons, you are the most tirelessly committed to LGBT issues. A: Thank you for that; B: From the madness going on in Russia to horrific places like Uganda...and by the way you don’t have to look so far..two states away like Arizona...thankfully that was squashed...We’ve made blinding progress on so many fronts and there’s this almost desperate pushback. Any thought?

Gaga: It’s not going to be easy to maintain the steps forward. We have to band together hands, arms and muscles. Walk forward against the hate...fight for equality...fight for life. You bring up Russia...we brought a lot of attention to Russia lately and now look what’s happening. Don’t make a deal with the devil

Norris: Pussy riot: That’s a real bold mission.

Gaga:  Everyone’s who watching and just all leave and the spirit of...also the terrible tragedy the other night. Let’s all leave here inspired to be good to one another in every way we can. Through technology, through music, through our shows, through government, through business. It’s all going to come back to all of us. Because if it’s killing one person at some point it’s going to kill all of us at the same time. Let’s save this beautiful world that we have and let’s fight for what’s right.

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Edward Snowden SXSW: Full Transcript and Video

As a service to the public and fellow news junkies, we transcribed Snowden's SXSW conversation today. For the Inside live blog, including video clips, click here.

Ben Wizner:    Okay. I think we’ll get started. There wasn’t a lot of applause when we came on stage. I guess you are here to see somebody else. My name is Ben Wizner I’m joined by my colleague Chris Soghoian from the ACLU. And maybe we can bring up on screen the main attraction.

Edward Snowden:    Hello.

Ben:    With his very clever green screen. Please bear with us today. The technology may have some kinks. The video may be a little bit choppy. Our friend is appearing through seven proxys so if the video is a little slow - you are joining us for the event that one member of Congress from the great state of Kansas hoped would not occur. He wrote to the organizers of SXSW urging them to rescind the invitation to Mr. Snowden. The letter included this very curious line, “The ACLU would surely concede that freedom of expression for Mr. Snowden has declined since he departed American soil.” Now no one disputes that freedom of expression is stronger here than there but if there is one person for whom that is not true, it’s Ed Snowden. If he were here in the United States he would be in a solitary cell subject to special administrative measures that would prevent him from communicating to the public and participate in the historic debate that he helped launch. We are really delighted to be here.

One more bit of housekeeping as I’m sure most of you know you can ask questions for Mr. Snowden on Twitter using the hashtag asksnowden some group of people back stage will decide which of these questions we see here and will try to leave at least 20 minutes or so for those questions.

As I said, Ed Snowden’s revelations and courageous journalism of people like Bart Gellman who you heard and Glen Greenwald, Poitras and others has really launched an extraordinary global debate. You might think of that debate as occurring over two tracks. There is a debate in Washington in the halls of power about law and policy about what democratic controls we need to rein in NSA spying. That takes place in courts that are considering the legality, the constitutionality of these programs in the legislature considering legislation. There is a very different conversation that you hear in conference rooms in technology companies. Particularly among people working on security issues. And those people are talking less ainside.com/nsabout the warrant requirement for meta data and more about why the hell the NSA is systematically undermining common encryption standards that we all use. Why is the NSA targeting telecommunications companies, internet companies, hacking them to try to steal their customer data. Basically manufacturing vulnerabilities to poke holes in the communication systems that we all rely on. We are hoping to mostly focus on that latter conversation here and with that in mind, Ed, if you’re with us maybe you could say a few words about why you chose for your first public remarks to speak to the technology community rather than say the policy community in Washington.

Ed:    Well, thank you for the introduction. I will say SXSW and the technology community - people who are in the room in Austin they are the folks that really fix things who can enforce our rights for technical standards. Even when Congress hadn’t yet gotten to the point of creating legislation to protect our rights in the same manner. When we think about what is happening at the NSA for the past decade ________ the result has been an adversarial internet. Sort of global free fire zone for governments that is nothing that we ever asked for. It is not what we want. It is something that we need to protect against. We think about the policies that have been advanced the sort of erosion of ______amendment protections the proactive seizure of communications. There is a policy response that needs to occur. There is also a technical response that needs to occur. It is the development community that can really craft the solutions and make sure we are safe.

The NSA the sort of global mass surveillance that is occurring in all of these countries. Not just the US it is important to remember that this is a global issue. They are setting fire to the future of the internet. The people who are in this room now you guys are all the firefighters and we need you to help us fix this.

Ben:    You heard Ed say the NSA offensive mass surveillance the manufacturing of vulnerabilities is setting fire to the future of the internet. Do you want to comment on that?

Chris:    Sure. So many of the communications tools that we all rely on are not as secure as they could be. Particularly for the apps and services that are made by small companies and small groups of developers security is often an afterthought if it is a thought at all. And really what that has done is enable global passive surveillance by the US but by other governments too. What I think has been the most lasting impression for me from the last eight months is the fact the real technical problems the NSA seems to have are not how do we get people’s communications but how do we deal with the massive amount of communication data that we are collecting. The actual collection problem doesn’t seem to be a bottleneck for the NSA. That is because so many of the services that we are all relying on are not secure by default. I really think for this audience one of the things we should be thinking about and hopefully taking home is we need to lock things down. We need to make services secure out of the box and that is going to require a rethink by developers. It is going to require the developers to start to think about security early on rather than later on down the road.

Ben:    Let me pick up on that. Ed, you submitted written testimony last week to the European Parliament. I want to quote a very short part of that and have you elaborate on it. You said in connection with mass surveillance the good news is that there are solutions. The weakness of mass surveillance is that it can very easily be made much more expensive through changes in technical standards. What kind of changes were you talking about and how can we ensure that we make mass surveillance more expensive and less practical?

Ed:    The primary challenge that mass surveillance faces from any agency and any government in the world is not just how do you collect the communications as they cross the wires and find their way through the network, but how do you interpret them? How do you understand? How do you _____back down and analyze them? And ____ at least the easiest to _____ basis by encryption. There are two methods of encryption that are generally used. One is deeply problematic. One of those is what is called key _____ it is sort of what we are using with like Google type services ____ type services right now where I encrypt a video chat and I send it to Google. Google decrypts it and re-encrypts it to you guys. End to end encryption where it is from my computer directly to your computer makes mass surveillance impossible at the network level without a encrypting _____ and they are very expensive. By doing end to end encryption you force what they are called ______ global passive adversaries to go for the end points that is the ____ computers. And the result of that is a constitutional, more carefully overseeing sort of intelligence gathering model. Where if they want to gather somebody’s communications they have to target them specifically. They can’t just target everybody all the time and then when they want to read your stuff they go back in a time machine and say what did they say you know in 2006. They can’t pitch exploits in every computer in the world without getting caught. That is the value of end to end encryption and that is what we need to be thinking about. We need to go how can we enforce those protections in a simple, cheap, effective way that is invisible to users. I think that is the ____.

Ben:    Chris, one of the problems with end to end encryption is that many of us get email service from advertising companies that need to be able to read the emails in order to serve us targeted ads. But what are steps that even a company like Google that is an advertising company but companies like that can do to make mass surveillance more difficult? Are there things or do we need new business models to accomplish what Ed is talking about?

Chris:    In the last eight months the big Silicon Valley technology companies have really improved their security in a way that was surprising to many of us who have been urging them for years to do so. It took Yahoo - Yahoo was kicking and screaming the whole way but they finally turned on SSL encryption in January of this year after Bart Gellman and Ashkan Sholtani shamed them on the front page of the Washington Post. The companies have locked things down but only in a certain way. They have secured the connection between your computer and Google’s server or Yahoo’s server or Facebook’s server, which means that governments now have to go through Google or Facebook or Microsoft to get your data. Instead of getting it with AT&T’s help or Verizon’s help or Comcast’s or any party that watches the data as it goes over the network. I think it is going to be difficult for these companies to offer truly end to end encrypted service simply because it conflicts with their business model. Google wants to sit between you and everyone you interact with and provide some kind of added value. Whether that added value is advertising or some kind of information mining. Improved experience telling you when there are restaurants nearby where you can meet your friends. They want to be in that connection with you and that makes it difficult to secure those connections.

Ben:    Is this the right time for a shout out to Google that is in this conversation with us right now?

Chris:    So loo the irony that we are using Google Hangouts to talk to Ed Snowden has not been lost on me or uh our team here. And I should be clear - we are not getting any advertising support from Google here. The fact is that the tools that exist to enable secure end to end encrypted video conferencing are not very polished and particularly when you are having a conversation with someone who is in Russia and who is bouncing his connection through several proxies the secure communications tools tend to break. This in fact I think reflects the state of - the state of play with many services. You have to choose between a service that is easy to use and reliable and polished or a tool that is highly secure and impossible for the average person to use. I think that reflects the fact that the services that are used by large companies with the resources to put 100 developers on the user interface those are the ones that are not optimized for security  and the tools that are designed with security as the first goal are typically made by independent developers and activists and hobbyists and they are typically tools made by geeks for geeks.

What that means is the regular users have to pick. They have to pick between a service they cannot figure out how to use or a service that is bundled with their phone or bundled with their laptop and works out of the box. And of course rational people choose the insecure tools because they are the ones that come with the devices they buy and work and are easy for people to figure out.

Ben:    Let’s bring Ed back into this. In a way, this whole affair began with Glenn Greenwald not being able to use PGP which is somewhat of a joke in the tech community, but really not outside of the tech community. PGP is not easy to install. It is not easy to use. Using Tor, using Tails I feel like I need new IT support in my office just to be able to do this work. So you know you are addressing an audience that includes a lot of young technologists. Is there a call to arms for people to make this stuff more useable so that not only technologists can use it?

Ed:    There is. I think we are actually seeing a lot of progress being made here. Whisper systems _____ of the world are focusing on new user experience, new UIs and basically ways for us to interact with cryptographic tools. This is the way it should be. What happens ____ the user it happens by default. We want secure services that aren’t opt in. It has to pass the Greenwald test. Any journalist in the world gets an email from somebody saying hey I have something the public might want to know about they need to be able to open it. They need to be able to access that information. They need ____ communications whether they are a journalist or an activist. This is something that people need to be able to access. The way we interact right now is not good. If you have to go to the command line people aren’t going to use it. If you have to go three menus deep people aren’t going to use it. It has to be out there. It has to happen automatically. It has to happen seamlessly. And that is ____.

Ben:    Who are we talking to now, Chris? Are we talking to technology companies? Are we talking to foundations to support the development of more usable security? Are we talking to developers? Who is the audience for this call to arms?

Chris:    I think the audience is everyone. But we should understand that most regular people are not going to go out and download an obscure encryption app. Most people are going to use the tools that they already have. That means that they are going to be using Facebook or Google or Skype. A lot of our work goes into pressuring those companies to protect their users. In January of 2010 Google turned on SSL. The lock icon on your web browser. They turn it on by default for Gmail and it previously had been available. It was available through an obscure setting. The 13 of 13 - 13 of 13th configuration options. Of course no one had turned it on. When Google turned that option on suddenly they made passive bulk surveillance of their users communications far more difficult for intelligence agencies. They did so without requiring that their users take any steps. One day their users just logged into their mail and it was secure. That is what we need. We need services to be building security in by default and enabled without any advanced configuration.

That doesn’t mean that small developers cannot play a role. There are going to be hot new communications tools. WhatsApp basically came out of nowhere a few years ago. What I want is for the next WhatsApp or next Twitter to be using encrypted end to end communications. This can be made easy to use. This can be made useable but you need to put a team of user experience developers on this. You need to optimize. You need to make it easy for the average person. If you are a start up and you are working on something bare in mind that it is going to be more difficult for the incumbents to deliver secure communications to their users because their business models are built around advertising supported services. You can more effectively and more easily deploy these services than they can. I think if you are looking for an angle here I think we are slowly getting to the point where telling your customers hey, $5.00 a month for encrypted communications no one can watch you. I think that is something that many consumers may be willing to pay for.

Ed:    If I could actually ____ on that real quick. One of the things I would say to a large company is not that you can’t collect any data it is that you should only collect the data and hold it for as long as necessary for the operation of the business. Recently _____ one of the security ____ hacked and they actually stole my passport my passport and my registration forms and posted them to the internet when they faced the site. Now I submitted those forms back in 2010. Why were those still on a web facing server? Was it still necessary for business? That is a good example of why these things need a job. Whether you are Google or Facebook you can do these things in a responsible way where you can still get the value out of these that you need to run your business. _____ without the users ____.

Ben:    So we didn’t have great audio here on that response, but what Ed was saying is that even companies whose business models rely on them to collect and aggregate data you don’t need to store it indefinitely once his primary use had been accomplished. His example was that some company was hacked and they found some of his data from four years ago. That clearly there was no business reason for them to still to be holding onto.

Let’s switch gears a little bit. Last week, Ed, General Keith Alexander who heads the NSA testified that he believes that the disclosures of the last eight months have weakened the country’s cyber defenses. Some people might think there is a pot and a kettle problem coming from him but what was your response to that testimony?

Ed:    So it is very interesting to see officials like Keith Alexander talking about damage that has been done to the defense of our communications. Because more than anything there have been two officials in America who have harmed our internet security and actually our national security so much of our country’s economic success  is based on our intellectual property. It is based on our ability to create and share and communicate and compete. Now those two officials are Michael Hayden and Keith Alexander, two directors of the National Security Agency in the post 9/11 era who made a very specific change. That is they elevated offensive operations that is attacking over the defense of our communications. They began ____ the protections of our communications. This is a problem for one primary reason - that is America has more to lose than everyone else when an Attack ______ when you are the one country in the world that has sort of a vault that is more full than anyone else’s it doesn’t make sense because if you attack it all day you never defended ______ and it makes even less sense when the standards for vaults worldwide to have a backdoor anyone can walk into. When he says these things have weakened national security no these are improving our national security. These are improving our national security. These are improving the communications not just around _____but everyone in the world because we rely on the same standards. We rely on the ability to trust our communications. Without that we don’t have anything. Our economy cannot succeed.

Ben:    Chris, Richard Clarke testified a few weeks back it is more important for us to defend ourselves against attacks from China than to attack China using our cyber tools. I don’t think everybody understands there is any tension whatsoever with those two goals. Why are they in opposition to each other.

Chris:    As a country we have public officials testifying in Washington saying that cyber security is now the greatest threat this country faces. Greater than terrorism. We have had both the director of the FBI and the director of National Intelligence say this in testimony to Congress. I think it is probably true that we face some sort of cyber security threat. I think that our systems are not as safe as they could be and we are all vulnerable to compromise in one way or another. What is clear is that this government isn’t really doing anything to keep us secure and safe. This is a government that has prioritized for offense rather than defense. You know, if there were 100% increase in murders in Baltimore next year the chief of police of Baltimore would be fired. If there were a 100% increase in phishing attacks successful phishing attacks where people’s credit card numbers get stolen, no one gets fired. As a country we have basically been left to ourselves. Every individual person is left to fend for themselves online and our government has been hoarding information about information security vulnerabilities. In some cases there was a disclosure in the New York Times a report in the New York Times last fall revealing the NSA has been partnering with US technology companies to intentionally weaken the security of the software that we all use and rely on. The government has really been prioritizing its efforts on information collection. There is this fundamental conflict there is tension that a system that is secure is difficult to surveil and a system that is designed to surveil is a target waiting to be attacked. Our networks have been designed with surveillance in mind.

We need to prioritize cyber security and that’s going to mean making surveillance more difficult. Of course the NSA and our partners in the intelligence world are not crazy about us going down that path.

Ben:    So Ed, if the NSA is willing to take these steps that actually weaken security, that spread vulnerabilities that make it in some sense easier not just for us to do surveillance but for others to attack they must think there is an awfully good reason for doing that. That there are bolt collection programs that these activities facilitate the collected ____ _mentality that it really works. This is a very, very effective surveillance method that is keeping us safe. You sat on the inside of the surveillance systems for longer than people realize. Do these mass surveillance programs do  what our intelligence officials promise to Congress that they do? Are they effective?

Ed: “They are not. That is actually something I’m a little bit sympathetic to and we got to turn back the block a little bit and remember that they thought ___ was a great idea but no one had done it before, at least publicly. So they went “hey! we can spy on the world all at once. It will be great, we’ll know everything.” But the reality is, when they did it, they found out that it didn’t work. But it was a ___ so successful in collecting data. So great at the contract that no one wanted to say no. But the reality is now, we have reached point where a majority of people’s telephone communication are being recorded - we got all these metadata that are being stored - years and years. But two independent White House investigations found that it is has not helped us at all, have not helped us. Beyond that, we got to think about what are we doing with those resources, what are we getting out of that? As I said in our European Parliament testimony, we’ve actually have tremendous intelligence failures because we’re monitoring the internet; we’re monitoring, you know, everybody’s communications instead of suspects’ communications. That lack of  focus have caused us to miss news we should have had. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Bombers. the Russians have warned us about it. But we didn’t a very poor job investigating, we didn't have the resources, and we had people working on other things. If we followed the traditional model, we might have caught that. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab the underwear bomber, same thing. His father walked into a US Embassy, he went to CIA officer and said my son is dangerous. Don’t let him go to your country. Get him help. We didn’t follow up, we didn’t actually investigate this guy. We didn’t get a dedicated team to figure what was going on because we spent all of this money, we spent all of this time hacking into Google and Facebook to look at their data center. What did we get out of that? We got nothing. And there are two White House investigations that confirm that.

Ben:    Chris, if as Ed says these bulk collection programs are not that effective, the resources that go into this would be better directed at targeted surveillance. Why are they dangerous?

Chris:    Why are they dangerous? Because the government is collecting, is creating this massive database of everyone’s private information. In an NSA building somewhere probably in Maryland there is a record of everyone who has ever called an abortion clinic, everyone who has called an Alcoholics Anonymous hotline, anyone  who has ever called a gay bookstore. And they tell us don’t worry we aren’t looking at it or we aren’t looking at it in that way. We aren’t doing those kinds of searches but I think many Americans would have good reason to not want that information to exist. I think regardless of which side of the political spectrum you are you probably don’t want the government to know that you are calling an abortion clinic or calling a church or calling a gun store and you may think quite recently, that is none of the government’s business. I think when you understand that the government can collect this information on this scale they can hang onto it and figure out uses for it down the road I think many Americans are quite fearful of this slippery slope this surveillance that happens behind closed doors. Even if you trust this administration that we have right now you know the person who sits in the oval office changes every few years. You may not like the person who is going to sit there in a few years with that data that was collected today.

Ben:    Ed, we lost you for a moment. Can you still hear us?

Ed:    I can hear you.

Ben:     Okay. Just before this began I got an email from Sir Tim Burners Lee the creator of the world wide web who asked for the privilege of the first question to you. I think I am willing to extend that to him. He wanted to thank you. He believes that your actions have been profoundly in the public interest.

Ed:    Thank you.

Ben:    That was applause if you couldn’t hear it. He asks if you could design from scratch an accountability system for governance over national security agencies what would you do? It is clear that intelligence agencies are going to be using the internet to collect information from all of us. Is there any way we can make oversite more accountable and improved?

Ed:    You know that is a very interesting question. It is also a very difficult question. Oversight models these are things that are very complex. They have a lot of moving parts. And when you add in secrecy you add in public oversight it gets complex. We have got a good starting point. That is what you have to remember. We have an oversight model that could work. The problem is we overseers aren’t interested in oversight. When we’ve got seven intelligence communities, house intelligence communities that are _____ to the NSA instead of holding them accountable. When we have James Clapper the director of National Intelligence in front of them and he tells a lie that they all know is a lie because they are rigged on the program because they have the questions a day in advance. And no one says anything. Allowing all Americans to believe this is a true answer. That is an incredible dangerous thing. That’s the ____. When I would say how do we fix our oversight model, how do we structure the oversight model that works. The key fact is accountability. We can’t have officials like James Clapper who can lie to everyone in the country. Who can lie to the Congress and face no not even - not even a criticism. Not even a strong worded letter, the same thing with courts. In the United States we have open courts that are supposed to decide and settle constitutional issues to interpret and apply the law. We also have the FISA court which is a secret rubber stamp court . But they are only supposed to approve warrant applications. These happen in secret because you don’t at want people to know hey the government wants to surveil you. At the same time a secret court shouldn’t be interpreting the constitution when only NSA’s lawyers are making the case on how it should be viewed. Those are the two primary factors that I think need to change.

The other thing is we need public advocates. We need public representatives. We need public oversight. Some way for trusted public figures sort of civil rights champions to advocate for us and protect the structure and make sure it is been fairly applied. We need a watch dog that watches Congress. Something that can tell us hey these guys didn’t tell you that he just lied to you. Because otherwise how do we know? If we are not informed we can’t consent to these policies. And I think that is danger.

Ben:    For what it’s worth my answer to Sir Tim is Ed Snowden. Before these disclosures all three branches of our government had gone to sleep on oversight. The courts had thrown cases out as he said, Congress allowed itself to be lied to. The executive branch did no reviews. Since Ed Snowden and since all of us have been read into these programs we are actually seeing reinvigorated oversight. It is the oversight that the constitution had in mind, but sometimes it needs a dusting off. And Ed has been the broom.

Chris:    I just wanted to also note that without Ed’s disclosures many of the tech companies would not have improved their security either at all or at the rate that they did. The PRISM story although there was a lack of clarity initially on what it really said, put the names of billion dollar American companies on the front page of the newspaper and associated them with bulk surveillance. You saw the companies doing everything in their power publicly to distance themselves and also show that they were taking security seriously. You saw companies like Google and Microsoft and Facebook rushing to encrypt their data center to data center encryption. Connections rather. You saw companies like Yahoo finally turning on SSL encryption, Apple fixed a bug in its address book app that allowed Google users’ address books to be transmitted over networks in unencrypted form. Without Ed’s disclosures there wouldn’t have been as much pressure for these tech companies to encrypt their information.

There are going to be people in this audience and people listening at home who are going to think what Ed did was wrong. But let me be clear about one really important thing; his disclosures have improved internet security. And the security improvements we have gotten haven’t just protected us from bulk government surveillance. They have protected us from hackers at Starbucks who are monitoring our wifi connections. They have protected us from stalkers and identity thieves and common criminals. These companies should have beene encrypting their information before and they weren't. And it really took you know, unfortunately the largest and most profound whistle blower in history to get us to the point where these companies are finally prioritizing the security of their users’ communications between them and the companies, but we all have Ed to thank for us. I really just cannot emphasize enough without him we would not have Yahoo users getting SSL. We would not have this data going over the network in encrypted form. It shouldn’t have taken that. The company should have done it by themselves. There should have been regulation or privacy regulators who are forcing companies to do this, but that isn’t taking place. It took Ed to get us to a secure place.

Ben:    Alright. Great. Remember the hashtag is askSnowden. We will take our first question. Please forgive pronunciations from Max Zurkenden. The question for Ed and Chris too - why is it less bad if big corporations get access to our information instead of the government? Ed, did you hear it?

Ed:    Yes. I - I did. This is something that has actually been debated. We see people’s opinions - people’s sort of responses to this evolving which is good. This is why we need to have these conversations because we don’t know. Right now, my thinking, I think the majority’s thinking is that the government has the ability to deprive you of rights. Governments around the world whether it is the United States government, whether it is the Yemeni government whether it is Zair any country they have police powers, they have military powers, they have intelligence powers they can literally kill you, they can jail you, they can surveil you. Companies can surveil you to sell you products, to sell you information to other companies. That can be bad, but you have legal records. First off, it is typically a voluntary contract. Secondly, you have got court challenges you could use. If you challenge the government about these things and the ACLU itself has actually challenged some of these cases, but government throws it out on state secrecy and says you can’t even asked about this. The courts aren’t allowed to tell us whether it is legal or not because we are just going to do it anyway. That’s the difference and it is something we need to watch out for.

Ben:    Chris, do you want to address it or should we take the next question?

Chris:    Sure. Just quickly. I am not crazy about the amount of data that Google and Facebook collect. Of course, everything they get the government can come and ask for too. There is the collection that the government is doing by itself and then there is the data that they can go to Google and Facebook and force them to hand over. We should remember that the web browser you are most likely using, the most popular browser right now is Chrome, most popular mobile operating system is now Android, many of the tools that we are using whether web browsers or operating systems or apps are made by advertising companies. It is not a coincidence that Chrome is probably a less privacy preserving browser. It is tweaked to allow data collection by third parties. The Android operating system is designed to facilitate disclosure of data to third parties. Even if you are okay with the data the companies are collecting you should also note that the tools that we use to browse the web and the tools that ultimately permit our data to be shared or prevent it from being shared are made by advertising companies. This makes the NSA’s job a lot easier. If the web browsers we were using were locked down by default the NSA would have a much tougher time. But advertising companies are not going to give us tools that are privacy preserving by default.

Ben:    Let’s take another question from Jodi Serrano. To Snowden from Spain. Do you think the US surveillance systems might encourage other countries to do the same?

Ed:    Yes. This is actually one of the primary dangers not just of sort of the NSA’s activities but of not addressing and resolving the issues. It is important to remember that American’s benefit profoundly from this. Because again as we discussed we got the most to lose from being hacked. At the same time every citizen in every country has something to lose. We all are at risk of unfair, unjustified, unwarranted interference in our private lives. Throughout history we have seen governments sort of repeat the trend where it increased and they get to a point where they have crossed the line. We don't’ resolve these issues if we allow the NSA to continue unrestrained. Every other government the international community will accept this as a sign, as the green light to do the same. And that is not what we want.

Chris:    I mean I think there is a difference between surveillance performed by the NSA and surveillance performed by most other governments. It is not really illegal it is more of a technical one. That is the whole world sends their data to the United States. Americans are not sending their data to Spain, Americans are not sending their photographs to France. This means that the US because of Silicon Valley because of the density of tech companies throughout the country the US enjoys an unparalleled intelligence advantage that every other government just doesn’t have. And if want the rest of the world to keep using US tech companies. If we want the rest of the world to keep trusting their data to the United States then we need to respect them. We need to respect their privacy and the way that we protect the privacy of Americans right now. I think the revelations over the past eight months have given people of other countries very reasonable reason to question whether they should be trusting their data to United States companies. I think we can get that trust back through legal changes. I think tech companies can also do a lot to get that trust back by employing encryption and other privacy technologies. The best way to get your user’s trust is to be able to say when the government comes to you sorry we don’t have the data or sorry we don’t have the data in a form that will be of any use to you. That is how you win back the trust of people in Brazil and Germany and people around the world.

Ben:    So let me just cut in with a question here. I do think that a certain degree of perhaps hopelessness may have crept in to the global public with this constant constant of stories about the the NSA’s capabilities the GCHQ’s capabilities and activities. All the ways to get around defenses. Chris I hear you and Ed going back to encryption again and again as being something that still works. Maybe if you take a moment Ed after the discussions we have had about how NSA has worked to weaken encryption should people still be confident that the basic encryption that we use protects us from surveillance or at least mass surveillance?

Ed:    Right. The bottom line I have repeated this again and again is that encryption does work. We need to think of encryption not as this sort of arcane black art. What is sort of a basic protection it is a defense against the dark arts for the digital realm. This is something we all need to be not only implementing but actively researching and improving on an academic level. The grad students of today and tomorrow need to keep today’s threat on online to inform tomorrows. We need all those brilliant Belgian cryptographers to go alright we know that these encryption algorithms we are using today work typically it is the random number generators that are attacked as opposed to the encryption algorithms themselves. How can we make them ____ how can we test them? This is _____ it is not going to go away tomorrow, but it is the steps we take today. The moral commitment. The philosophical commitment, the commercial commitment to protect and enforce our liberties through technical standards to allow us to reclaim the open and trusted.

Ben:    Chris, very briefly, you hang out with cryptographers. They are not happy campers these days.

Chris:    No. Of all the stories that have come out the one that has had the biggest impact in the security community is the story - is the news that the NSA has subverted the design of cryptographic and random number generator algorithms. I think it is fair to say there is a group in the cryptographic community now who have become radicalized as a result of these disclosures and cryptographers actually can be radicals. They are not just mild mannered people. We should remember that regular consumers do not pick their own encryption algorithms. Regular consumers just use the services that are provided to them. The people that pick the crypto that pick particular algorithms, pick the key sizes they are the security engineers at Google and Facebook and Microsoft. And the cryptographers who are working with open source projects. And those people are all really pissed. And I think that’s good. Those people should be mad and those people can make a difference. The fact that these disclosures have so angered the security community I think is a really good sign. Ultimately, the tools that come out in six months or a year or two years are going to be far more secure than they were before. That is because that part of a tech community feel like they were lied to.

Ben:    Let’s take a couple of more questions from Twitter. Melissa Nixsik I hope. What steps do you suggest the average person take now to ensure a more secure digital experience? Is there anything we can do on individual level to confront the issues of mass surveillance that we are talking about today. Ed, it’s okay if the answer is no.

Ed:    There are basic steps it is a really complicated subject matter today. And that is the difficulty. Again it is the Glenn Greenwald test. How do you answer this? For me there are a couple of key technologies; there is full disk encryption to protect your actual physical computer and devices in case they are seized. Then there are network encryption which are things like SSL that added sort of transparency we can’t help that. You can install a couple of browser plug ins. NoScript to block Active X attempts in the browser, Ghostery to block ads and tracking cookies. But there is also TOR, TOR T O R is a mixed routing network which is very important because it is encrypted from the user through the ISP to the end of sort of a cloud a network of routers that you go through. Because of this your ISP, your communications provider can no longer spy on you be default. The way they do now, today when you go to any website. By using TOR you shift their focus to either attacking the TOR cloud itself which is incredible difficult, or to try to monitor the exits from TOR and the entrances to TOR and then try to figure out what fits. And it is very difficult. Those basic steps will encrypt your hardware and you encrypt your network communications you are far, far more hardened than the average user - it becomes very difficult for any sort of a mass surveillance. You will still be vulnerable to targeted surveillance. If there is a warrant against you if the NSA is after you they are still going to get you. But mass surveillance that is untargeted and collect-it-all approach you will be much safer.

Ben:    You know, when there is a question about average users and the answer is TOR we have failed.

Chris: We failed.

Ben:    Right?

Chris:    I will just add to what Ed said in saying that a privacy preserving experience may not be a secure experience and vice versa. I am constantly torn. I personally feel like FIrefox is the more privacy preserving browser, but I know that Chrome is the more secure browser. I am stuck with this choice am I more worried about passive surveillance of my communications and my web browsing information or am I more worried about being attacked? I go back and forth on those. I think until we have a browser or a piece of software that optimizes for both privacy and security I think users are going to be sort of stuck with two bad choices. I’ll just note that in addition to what Ed said I mean I really think that consumers need to rethink their relationship with many of the companies to whom they entrust their private data. I really think what this comes down to is if you are getting the service for free the company isn’t going to be optimizing your experience with your best interest in mind. I am not going to say if you are not paying for the product you are the product. We pay for our telephone calls, we pay for our wireless service and those companies still treat us like crap. But you know if you want a secure online back up service you are going to have to pay for it. If you want a secure voice or video communications product you are going to have to pay for it. That doesn’t mean you have to pay thousands of dollars a year, but you have to pay something so that company has a sustainable business model that doesn’t revolve around collecting and monetizing your data.

Ben:    Okay. We have another question about encryption from Sean. Isn’t it just a matter of time before NSA can decrypt even the best encryption? I am particularly interested in your answer to this in light of your confidence that data that you were able to take is secure and has remained secure.

Ed:    Let’s put it this way - the United States government has assembled a massive investigation team into me personally, into my work with journalists and they still have no idea you know what - what documents were provided to the journalists, what they have, what they don’t have. Because of encryption works. Now the only way to get around that, is to have a computer that is so massive and so powerful you can work the entire universe into the energy power into this decryption machine and they still might not be able to do it. Or you break into the computer and try to steal their keys and bypass the encryption. That happens today and that happens every day. That is the way around it.

Now, there are still ways to protect and encrypt data that no one can break. That is by making sure the keys are never exposed. If the key itself can’t be observed the key can’t be stolen. THe encryption can’t be ______. And any cryptographer any mathematician in the world will tell you that the math is sound. The only way to get through encryption on a target basis particularly when you start railing encryption, not using one algorithm but every algorithm you are using _____ you are using all kinds of sophisticated techniques to make sure that no one person, no single point of failure exist there is no way in there is no way around it. That is going to continue to be the case I think until our understanding of mathematics and physics changes fundamentally.

Chris:    I will just add that -

Ed:    If I could follow up on that I would say the US government’s investigation supports that. We have both public and private acknowledgements that they know at this point the Russian government, the Chinese government any other government has possession of any of this information. And that would be easy for them to find out. Remember these are the guys that are spying on everyone in the world. They have got human intelligence assets embedded in these governments. They have got electronic signal assets in these governments. If suddenly the Chinese government knew everything the NSA is doing we would notice the changes. We would notice the changes, we would see official communicating and our assets will tell us hey somewhere they have a warehouse they put you know, a thousand of their most skilled researchers in there. That has never happened and it is never going to happen.

Chris:    I will just add that I think Ed’s right. If the government really wants to get into your computer if they want to figure out what you are saying and who you are saying it to they will find a way. But that won’t involve breaking the encryption that will involve hacking into your device. Whether your phone or your laptop they will take advantage of either vulnerabilities that haven’t been patched or vulnerabilities that no one knows about. But hacking technologies don’t scale. If you are a target of the NSA it is going to be game over no matter what. Unless you are taking really, really sophisticated steps to protect yourself - but most people that will be beyond their reach. But encryption makes bulk surveillance too expensive. Really the goal here isn’t to blind the NSA. The goal isn’t to stop the government from going after legitimate surveillance targets. The goal here is to make it so that they cannot spy on innocent people because they can’t. RIght now so many of our communications our telephone calls, our text messages, our emails, our instant message are just there for the taking. And if we start using encrypted communication services suddenly it becomes too expensive for the NSA to spy on everyone. Suddenly they will need to actually have a good reason to dedicate those resources to either try and break the encryption or to try and hack into your device. So encryption technology even if imperfect has the potential to raise the cost of surveillance to the point that it no longer becomes economically feasible for the government to to spy on everyone.

Ben:    Can we get another question on the screen from Twitter? Please? Thanks. Okay. Good question from David Myer. Is it possible to reap the benefits of big data on a societal level while not opening ourselves to constant mass surveillance? How do we enjoy the scientific benefits even some of the commercial benefits of this without turning ourselves into a dystopian surveillance state? In two minutes or less. Ed?

Ed:    This is a really difficult question. There are a lot of advancements in things like encrypted search to make the data unreadable format, or supply warrants or something. But in general it is a difficult problem. The bottom line is data should not be collected without people’s knowledge and consent. If data is being clandestinely acquired and the public doesn’t have any way to review it and it is not legislatively authorized, it is not reviewed by courts, it is not consonant with our constitution that is a problem. So if we want to use that it makes the result of a public debate which has been ______ -

Ben:    Chris, you want to take on that question?

Chris:    No.

Ben:    We have another question that is about everyday users. Maybe you can give us another one because I think we have answered this one. Friends, backstage? Okay. From Tim Shurack[ph] Wasn'tSA mass surveillance the solution - Chris can you read that?

Chris:    Wasn’t NSA’s mass surveillance  a solution to the internet driven by privatization and the handing over of our signals intelligence analysis to SCIC - isn’t this a result of letting contractors in to run the show?

Ed:    So the problem is when the NSA gets a pot of money they don’t typically develop the solutions themselves. They bring in a bunch of contractors the _____ SCIC’s the khakis they say hey what can you guys do for us? What solutions are you working on and they get the gigantic _____ works. And the problem is you got contractors and private companies at that point influencing policy. It was not uncommon for me at the NSA as a private employee to write the same point papers and kind of policy suggestion that I get as an official employee of the government at the CIA. The problem with that is you have people who aren’t accountable. They have no sort of government recourse against them who are saying yes let’s do that, let’s put all this money in mass surveillance _____pitch but it doesn’t serve the public interest. One thing you’ve seen recently is the government has gone and changed their talking points. They have moved their verbiage away from public interest into national interest. We should be concerned about that because with national interest talking about the state becomes distinct from the public interest, what benefits the people. We really are at the point where we have to marry those up or it gets harder and harder to control and we risk losing control of a representative democracy.

Ben:    So Ed maybe let me ask you what will turn out to be a final question - in your early interviews with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras you said that your biggest fear was that there would be little or no reaction to these disclosures. Where you sit now how satisfied are you with the global debate that you helped to launch and do you feel that it was worth the price that you’ve paid in order to bring us to this moment?

Ed:     When I came public with this it wasn’t so i can sort of single-handedly change the government, tell them what to do and override what the public thinks was ____. What I wanted to do was inform the public so they could make a decision and provide their consent for what we should be doing. And the results of these revelations, the results of all the incredible responsible and careful reporting that by the way have been coordinated with the government, and the government never said any single one of these stories have risk a human life. The result is that the public has benefited, the government has benefited, and every society in the world has benefited. We are in secure place. We have more secure communications. And we are going to have a better sort of civic interaction as a result of understanding what’s being done in our name and what’s being done against us. And so when it comes to will I do this again, the answer is absolutely yes. Regardless of what happens to me, this is something we had the right to know. I took an oath to support and defend the constitution and I saw that the constituted was violated on a massive scale. The interpretation of the 4th amendment has been changed (clap). Thank you. The interpretation of the constitution has been changed in secret from no unreasonable search and seizure to hey, any seizure is fine, just don’t search it. That is something that the public ought to know about.

Ben:    You can see behind Ed isa green screen of is that Article 1 of the constitution?

Ed:    That is correct.

Ben:    We the people - there is another organization here that is also interested in the constitution. I would be remiss if I didn’t say to all of you that the ACLU has a table - table 1144. I promise that it will not all be about surveillance. There will also be marijuana. So please come and say hi to us if you are not members of the ACLU it is cheap to sign up. We have ACLU whistles. We have t-shirts that you can get with membership. You can talk to me and CHris a little bit more about the work we are doing and our other ACLU colleagues. And with that I would really like all of us to thank Ed Snowden for choosing this venue for this conversation.

Ed:     Thank you all very much.

# # # 

 

 

 

Liveblogging SXSW: Starting Friday, March 7

If you followed our coverage of the Oscars, the Sochi OlympicsSuper BowlGrammysGolden Globes and the State of the Union, you already know that Inside is redefining the live blog for the mobile age. Next we’ll be taking on SXSW when it kicks off this week and we’ll take Inside’s live blogs to the next level, covering all the panels, parties, performances, promotions and premieres.

Starting Friday, March 7, when the Interactive section opens, and through the Film and Music’s section’s close on Sunday, March 16,  you will be able to find all of coverage in the /sxsw topic. Don’t miss a update by following /sxsw in the app or by bookmarking inside.com/sxsw to get direct access on the mobile. Got a tip, photo or video? Drop us a line at sxsw@inside.com

The Academy Awards may be the biggest night in Hollywood, but the Oscars are a contained event with three hours of actual show and 10 hours of prep and fallout. The action in Austin, however, presents a larger challenge of three concurrent festivals with hundreds of events. So, we're going to figure out what 'live blogging' means in the context of 20 simultaneous keynotes and panels--it should be fun!

The [ INSIDE ] team

@inside || iTunes App Store || Join our mailing list || Blackberry || Mobile Web

Inside 1.0.1: What’s New?

In the month since we launched, we listened closely to your feedback and we’re proud to announce our first iPhone update is released. It is speedier, more stable and has a bunch of the most requested new features. So without further ado, here is version 1.0.1:

Topics Tab Gets a Facelift 
Say farewell to scrolling forever in the topics list to find /whistleblowing or /yemen. There is now a search bar so you can simply type in any topic you want to get up-to-the-minute news and quickly add it to the topics you follow. We also added a new “Followed” tab that shows you all the topics you’re following and makes trimming the ones you no longer want to see in /myfeed a breeze.  

Animated GIFs Supported
This is one our favorites! Our users can now actually see Lupita Nyong'o dance with Pharrell during his “Happy” performance at the Oscars or the workings of the next-generation pacemaker over and over and over again. We believe animated GIFs are the perfect way to tell stories on this new news platform, which is why we’re the only news app that supports GIFs. You’ll be seeing a lot more of them!  

Two Thumbs Are Better Than One
Now there are two buttons under every update: thumbs up and thumbs down buttons. Use them to tell other users (and us!) which stories you like and dislike. In the near future, we’ll be using your ratings to highlight the stories that are trending on Inside and a lot more. Additionally, the more stories you thumb up, the smarter the app will be in learning what kind of stories most interest you. So don’t be shy and start thumbing!

We have been making great progress with our Android version and it will be available in spring. 

Let us know what you think. You can leave us a comment at www.inside.com/inside, tweet us @inside, or send us an email at feedback@inside.com.  

The [ INSIDE ] team

@inside || iTunes App Store || Join our mailing list || Blackberry || Mobile Web
 
 

Feedback Report: What You Told Us One Week In

We have received a tremendous amount of feedback since we launched last week — thank you! Most of what we’ve heard has been about new features requests and ways we can make Inside even better. Well, fellow news junkies, here are the most common comments and how we are tackling them:

“No seriously, where is the search bar?”
Fear not, it’s in the works for the 1.0.2 update, which we are aiming to release the week of February 17. In their in-depth reviews Nieman Lab’s Staci D. Kramer and MediaBistro’s Angela Washeck, as well as @royr and @jp_skier noted that there’s no search box for Topics. For now, here is the hack to quickly find and follow your favorite topics: log in to the mobile web version by going to www.inside.com/all. Then insert the topic of choice after inside.com (e.g. inside.com/sundance). With over 2,000 topics in our system, there’s a good chance we already have the topic you’re looking for. From there you can follow the topic. 

“I’ve thumbed down the updates, but those crime stories are still showing up in /Myfeed!”
Our voting system is not where it needs to be; this has been echoed by @billbarol on Twitter, as well as zeroin123 on the App store. We are redoing the whole algorithm and the voting/thumbing process. For now, /Myfeed will show you just the topics you are following. You can do that two ways: manually follow a topic or be automatically subscribed after thumbing two updates in that topic (and to see what topics you’re following, head over to your /Profile). Just forget about thumbing down for now. Stay tuned for updates! 

“Two taps? That’s just ‘thumb’!” 
Speaking of thumbs, @tomwilliams on Twitter said “Other thing I don't like is that I have to tap twice to ‘unlike’.” As part of our overhaul of the voting/thumb system, you will also no longer need to tap-tap the thumb in order to down vote an update. There will be two thumbs in our next design: one up and one down. 

“What am I looking at? Better images please.”
@rutvikdave from Twitter and bpat31 from the App store both highlighted the pixelated images and some seemingly random cropping. Like Google News and others, we show thumbnails of the images from the sources we link to, and to ensure we’re not taking too much of it, we automatically crop just a portion of the image. This can lead to some poor quality images on Inside, but you can always see the full version by following the link to the original source.

“Just let me log in already.” 
We have received a couple of emails about login issues. @senthils1988 even shared the screenshot on Twitter of an issue he is encountering when trying to login. Our 1.0.2 release will simplify the process and clean-up the login screen so it’s foolproof. 

As for last week’s bug report, the team has been diligently working on getting them squashed. Speed and stability is our number one priority; you probably have already experienced the vast improvements and it will only get better after our 1.0.1 iOS app hits the App Store later this week. Our Android version is still in the works and will be available in spring. 

You can leave us a comment at www.inside.com/inside, tweet us @inside, or send us an email at feedback@inside.com.  

The [ INSIDE ] team

24hr Beta Bug Report

Thanks for trying Inside! We appreciate all of your feedback, including your bug reports. Here are some of the most common issues you told us about and what we’re doing to fix them.

1) Where is Android? Rest assured, an Android version is in the works for spring. But for now, the gap between mobile browsers and native apps is closing fast and we built our mobile web version to be awesome on any device. Inside is optimized for Android’s Chrome browser so you can visit www.inside.com/all and get the same functionality as the iOS app. And if you want to be notified as soon as the Android version is available, sign up for our email newsletter and you’ll be the first to know.

2) Where is search for topics? Less than two days after launch, and Inside already has more than 2,000 topics! Scrolling forever to get to /xbox or /zosiamamet isn’t an acceptable option. We will be implementing a search bar to put in “All Topics” so you will be able to quickly find topics you care most about.

3) Faster faster! We have optimized the code and servers with the help of our friends at New Relic and are happy to report that the load times are now 20-80% faster. 

4) My Feed isn’t where it needs to be just yet. We’re still learning about our learning algorithm. My Feed is a work in progress and we’re still working to make it amazing. Which it will be!

5) Social media integration is misbehaving. The good news is that when you connect your social media accounts to your Inside profile, it’s working. The bad news is that you won’t see that in your settings. This is a bug we’ll be fixing with our 1.0.1 update in the App Store.

Thanks for your patience and please keep that feedback coming! Send to feedback@inside.com

The [ INSIDE ] Team

Building the world’s greatest news product

For the past year I’ve been working with my team to conceive of what would be the best news product in the world. It’s a huge mission and with the launch of Inside we take the first step. 

We decided that the best news product in the world today would have the following characteristics:

inside_update.png

1. It would be mobile — specifically for smartphones
2. It would be real-time
3. It would be fact-filled 
4. It would connect folks to the world’s best journalism
5. It would respect the reader’s time 

When we researched the space we found a ton of great journalism in the world, but it was being drowned out by a lot of “other” stuff. Mainly link-baiting, reblogging and generally low-quality content. 

Readers need help navigating this new world filled with social media, blogging and stories breaking in real time — be it on Reddit, Twitter or blogs. 

Inside is an app that’s available today on your iPhone, Blackberry and mobile web browser. An Android version will be coming soon. 

Here’s how it works:

1,000 Updates a Day
Every day a team of curators find the 1,000 most important and fascinating stories in the world and the journalists who did the best job telling those stories. They write a 300-character “update” on the story and link directly to the source. These updates have a short “embedded headline,” generally contain 10 facts and are categorized in up to three topics. 

What they don’t contain is fluff, bias or deceptive headlines. 

They are designed, like our entire product, to save you time. 

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Your Personalized Feed 
You can vote any update up or down, which will customize your “My Feed.” The /myfeed is where you get the stories you care most about. There are two other feeds in the app: /allupdates (where you can see all updates to the system in real-time) and /topnews (where you can see the 25 stories of the day as selected by our curators). 

We’re sort of like Pandora for news. 

Swiping The Deck
We decided to use the metaphor of a feed for our app with one very important difference: the hidden deck of cards. When you’re on an update about the /stateoftheunion or the /grammys, you can use your thumb to slide the update to the left (grab the image!) and reveal the previous update in that topic. 

With over 20,000 updates a month you’ll be able scroll and slide the deck to your heart’s delight without ever using anything other than your thumb.

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[ Note: We are not responsible for any thumb fatigue or injury you may incur. ] 

In Summary
We’re not sure exactly where this journey will lead, but we know that news is critically important to our society and we want to showcase the amazing journalism occurring today by doing the best curation in the world. 

We take our responsibility for selecting stories and sources extremely seriously, and we hope you challenge us and let us know how we are doing often. You can post your comment under any update or email the team@inside.com any time with your thoughts. 

all the best, @jason, @GabrielSnyder & the Inside team 

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