The company that owns Ritz, Nabisco and other snack brands wants to install grocery shelves that track the age and gender of passers-by; the NSA accesses Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s email; meanwhile, the stenographer who went on a Freemason-themed rant in Congress says God made her do it. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

This Snack Food Corporation Has a Creepy Plan to Spy on You in the Grocery Store Mondelez International, whose properties include Chips Ahoy, Nabisco, Ritz and other high-profile snack brands, says it’s planning to debut a grocery shelf in 2015 that comes equipped with sensors to determine the age and sex of passing customers.

Fresh Leak on US Spying: NSA Accessed Mexican President’s Email The National Security Agency (NSA) has a division for particularly difficult missions. Called “Tailored Access Operations” (TAO), this department devises special methods for special targets.

This Controversial Invention Promises to Banish All Web Ads AdTrap, an unassuming rectangular box, can, in some ways, be thought of as a time machine.

Pipeline Pranksters: The Yes Men Pose As Oil Executives You’ve heard of TransCanada, the Canadian oil giant that plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline. But do you know about its doppelgänger, SaveCanada?

Corporations Using Foreign Tribunals To Attack Domestic Court Rulings Should an international tribunal of three private attorneys, sitting outside of any domestic legal system, have the power to overrule domestic courts?

The New Republic Asks Its Reporters To Sell Subscriptions You hear a lot these days about “Swiss Army knife journalists,” who are expected not just to report, write and edit stories but also to shoot photos and videos, tape podcasts, analyze data sets and write code.

Fracking Booms, Workers Busted Fracking is promoted by everyone from the CEO of Exxon to President Obama as the solution to climate change, economic growth, jobs, and energy independence.

House Stenographer Explains Her Freemason-Themed Outburst Dianne Reidy, the stenographer who provided a fittingly bizarre coda to the shutdown with her rant about how the Freemasons wrote the Constitution, offered up an explanation for why she decided to begin yelling on the House floor in the first place: God told her to.

U.S. Citizenship and N.S.A. Surveillance – Legal Safeguard or Practical Backdoor? The main takeaway of two recent disclosures around N.S.A. surveillance practices, is that Americans must re-think ‘U.S. citizenship’ as the guiding legal principle to protect against untargeted surveillance of their communications.

Can This Be Home? Borderlessness & The Internet Citizen A Cuban blogger once described the Internet as a place where Cubans (the few who were online) could experience a form of citizenship—an active, participatory democratic experience—that they couldn’t have in real life.

The Nakba in the New Yorker The publication of Avi Shavit’s “Lydda, 1948: A city, a massacre and the Middle East Today” in The New Yorker, October 21, 2013, is a welcome chink in the wall of silence around the Nakba, the forced dispossession and expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and land before, during, and after the creation of the Jewish state.

Scientists Like to Think of Science as Self-Correcting. To an Alarming Degree, It Is Not “I see a train wreck looming,” warned Daniel Kahneman, an eminent psychologist, in an open letter last year.


If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.