USAID’s first drone; the Socrates of the NSA; and more.

  • The Department of Homeland Security has monitored the social media accounts of prominent civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, Jason Leopold reports for Vice.

  • Speaking of surveillance, The Intercept has an excellent piece by Peter Maass about the “Socrates of the National Security Agency,” their in-house ethicist.

  • The notices contained in New York City’s City Record newspaper—including schedules for public hearings, land-sales and contract awards—will now be available online in a searchable and downloadable format. “Cracking open unstructured data is always an adventure. Cracking open NYC’s most valuable newspaper has been historic. Never before has the public had this level of access to the City Record team and its underlying data,” said Noel Hidalgo, executive director and co-founder of BetaNYC (and Civic Hall member), who helped develop the tool.

  • Google’s new umbrella organization, Alphabet, does not include the statement “Don’t be evil,” Brian Merchant reports for Motherboard.

  • Patrick Meier wrote a blog post about the USAID’s first project that deployed a drone, which they used to map artisanal diamond mining sites in Western Guinea.

  • The privacy policy for Microsoft’s interactive bot-with-feelings we mentioned recently? Kashmir Hill points out in Fusion that it includes the phrase “Please do not worry.” Well, okay then.

  • This. (a Civic Hall member) announced $600,000 in seed funding yesterday and has starting building version 2.0. Congrats!