Alexander Sun / Flickr/CC

College Scorecard (9:00):

Two years ago, President Obama announced plans for rating colleges and universities, so students would know whether they were getting a good value.  Now, the administration has released its College Scorecard, and students and families are deciding how best to use it.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Library officials in Lebanon have agreed to resume support of Tor, an anonymous web browsing service.

The Kilton Public Library in Lebanon had set up in July what’s called a “relay node.” That’s one link in a chain of computers protects Tor users’ anonymity.

Library officials turned off the relay node after local police raised concerns about Tor’s role in facilitating the exchange of child pornography and drugs.

The first library in the country to become part of the anonymous web browsing service Tor has disconnected from that network, at least for now.

Officials at the Kilton Public Library in Lebanon were contacted by local law enforcement with concerns about Tor’s ability to conceal criminal activity. Library officials chose to disconnect from Tor pending further review.

None of the computers at the library had the Tor browser.

U.S Army Corp of Engineers

As a measles outbreak spreads to more than 100 children in 14 states, New Hampshire is considering a bill that would allow parents to opt out of a state-run immunization registry.

The state was supposed to set up an immunization registry back in the late 1990s, but it’s still in the works.

The registry would allow the state to track down and notify parents of unimmunized children if there were an outbreak of a communicable disease like measles.

The proposed bill would allow parents to opt out of that list, blocking the state from knowing their vaccination history.

Tom Simpson via flickr Creative Commons

The first Star Wars film may have been released 37 years ago, but its hold on the popular imagination remains as strong as Darth Vader’s death-grip. On today’s show, a look at the role fandom has played in the success of the Star Wars franchise.

Plus, from data collection to the latest internet tracking technology, online advertisers go to great lengths to find out who we are and what we like. We’ll enter the world of intelligent marketing to find out just how much, or little, they really know about us.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Stathis Edel / Flickr/CC

Even the least tech-savvy among us has probably built up some kind of an online “past”, whether through photos on Facebook, or a mention in a newspaper article, or public documents- from arrests to divorce to debt.  On one hand, this 'permanent record' can be a great benefit for potential employers and others curious about us, providing a sense of our job history, personal life, and accomplishments all with one Google search. At the same time, though, mistakes, embarrassing photographs, or other indiscretions are also cataloged, seemingly forever.

Over the past five years, law enforcement agencies in Vermont have invested more than $1 million in technology that gathers millions of data points every year about the whereabouts of vehicles across the state.

The Automated Plate Recognition Systems, or ALPRs, use high-speed cameras mounted on police cruisers that take photos of passing cars and relay them to an in-car computer for analysis. The technology keeps track of every license plate the cruiser passes and checks each against a “hot list” of vehicles, all in real time.

« RMTOlympic » par Inconnu — Sous licence Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

We spoke with The Atlantic’s Robinson Meyer about CV Dazzle, a way to camouflage your face from surveillance technology. He wore one of the designs featured on, where there are many more ideas for ways to make your face indistinguishable to technology using facial recognition.

kezee via Flickr CC

Bombs on bats and dolphin mine sweepers.  First, we learn about the Navy’s long-running acoustic warfare program...mimicking mammals for weaponry. Plus, we know where your cat lives. An artist uses all those adorable cat photos on the internet to pinpoint your location. And, want to make sure your face isn’t recognized on surveillance cameras? All it takes is a little make-up and creativity. Today we’re looking at the digital footprints we leave all over the internet.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

ste3ve via Flickr CC

Melissa McCarthy is hailed as a “plus-sized sweetheart,” a champion of representation for women of all sizes. But is she really just a sellout? Today we look at the difference between her roles in movies and the issues she brings to the spotlight in interviews and profiles to see if she really is the progressive comedian everyone makes her out to be. Then, it’s time for some swashbuckling history. We get answers about what’s real and what are myths when it comes to one of our favorite villains – the pirate. Plus, what is the real cost and benefit of personal privacy in a world where everything is under surveillance?

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

Kip Evans

Fabien Cousteau hopes to break the record for longest time spent in an underwater lab, and he's well on his way to achieving that goal. He spoke to us from 63 feet below the surface about Mission 31, a research and outreach adventure intended to promote ocean education and conservation. Plus, between online hacking, stored search histories, social media settings, and malware, protecting one’s privacy has become more important, and more complicated than ever. So, how much is our anonymity worth? And finally, there are over 700 different Emojis out there, and plenty of interest groups asking for more. Why, for example, is there no hot dog Emoji? Turns out, the answer is surprisingly complicated.

Listen to the full show and click Read More for individual segments.

Boston Magazine, Times Books, Hot Dog Emoji Coalition

Today on Word of Mouth, the Boston Marathon bombings happened a year ago this month, but questions about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s possible involvement in a triple homicide remain. Investigative reporter Susan Zalkind discusses the complicated case, and whether police missed their chance to apprehend Tsarnaev long before the marathon bombs. Plus, between online hacking, stored search histories, social media settings, and malware,protecting one’s privacy has become more important, and more complicated than ever. So, how much is our anonymity worth? We'll ask  And finally, there are over 700 different Emojis out there, and plenty of interest groups asking for more. Why, for example, is there no hot dog Emoji? Turns out, the answer is surprisingly complicated.

The House not only rejected allowing police to use license plate scanners, it then took the extra step of voting 214-135 to forbid that the issue be revisited in any form this year.

While supporters argued that plates information would be retained in the scanners for just 3 minutes, and might help solve crimes, critics like Manchester Democrat Joel Winters argued they erode privacy and embolden police to improperly conduct surveillance on the innocent.

Some customers of TD Bank in New Hampshire say they had their information sent to other customers because of what the bank called a "vendor error."

WMUR-TV reports TD Bank said a national firm responsible for printing and mailing statements accidentally sent some customers statements that had other customers' information on the back.

Stephania Pearce said she saw someone else's canceled checks on the back of her bank statement. She said she was offered a new account number at her branch in Alton.

Curtis Gregory Perry via Flickr Creative Commons

Activism and innovation among Greeks started long before that country's debt crisis. In 2002, an Athens community fed up by slow and expensive service set up its own private internet. More than 1000 members of the Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network have free access to the web with speeds up to 30 times faster than commercial telecom carriers in the area. Given global concerns over the extent of the NSA’s surveillance program, independent “mesh” networks like the one in Athens could be adapted in other communities.

Joe Kloc is a reporter for The Daily Dot.

Angus McDiarmid via flickr Creative Commons

Facial recognition databases containing millions of are being scanned by local and federal government agencies to help curb everything from driver’s license fraud to terrorism. The growing library of faces also consists of non-offenders and innocent witnesses; many of the photos were taken without the subject’s consent or knowledge. For some, this accumulation of facial data is adding to growing concerns over individual privacy rights.

Craig Timberg is the Washington Post’s national technology reporter and has been covering this story along with Ellen Nakashima.

Richard Holt® via flickr Creative Commons

Privacy is a topic we’ve visited and revisited on this program, especially when it comes to the web community’s reaction to shifting policies on our social media and email accounts. Revelations made by former CIA and Booz Allen employee Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency’s sweeping electronic surveillance program could forever change the “privacy conversation.” Joining us with more on the internet’s reaction to the unfolding NSA story is Brady Carlson, our always-vigilant eye on social media and the world of the web.

The Privacy Paradox

Jan 23, 2013

As technology advances, our private lives more and more enter the public domain, causing some to call for more laws protecting our personal lives. Others say privacy is not so easily defined and warn against restricting the free flow of information.  We’ll look at this debate, and several bills in the State Legislature tightening up privacy laws.


di's eyes via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: The Science of Changing Your Mind/Sex and Religion

Ever wonder whether hard facts play a part in changing a person's mind? Turns out, not so much. Boing Boing's Maggie Koerth-Baker wrote about the real influences on choice for The New York Times Magazine. 


Photo Credit Daquella Manera via Flickr Creative Commons

Greta Garbo is best known throughout her storied career for her plea from the 1932 film Grand Hotel. She later left the spotlight and chose to live the rest of her life privately and anonymously – an exit considered freakish by the public and a press which shadowed her the rest of her life. Today, we know far more about everyday citizens who’s allure falls far short of Garbo’s.

The expansion of forensic databases by US federal agencies. DNA collection of convicted felons is a well- publicized procedure. Recently released documents reveal that the department of homeland security and other federal agencies will be required to collect DNA from any person over the age of fourteen who has been detained -- regardless of criminal activity -- and that plans to include children under 14 are being explored.  

(Photo by James Gordon via Flickr Creative Commons)

Produced by Jonathan Lynch

Ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? Well, you may want to get used to it. While the US government has been putting un-manned drones to heavy use in war zones in recent years, the flying robots will soon be soaring American skies.

Internet surfers have long worried that they have insufficient control over their online privacy — despite the privacy policies many people agree to when they visit websites or use online services.