Author: Mark Boal

  • Me and My Sims

    I had to do it. Computer games are my sin, my soul. At night when I’m tired, in the morning when I awake, they are there, always ready for another round of generated joy. Every so often I go under, bingeing on photons and electrons as though they were electric cocaine. For 72 hours straight. […]

  • Click Back

    History will note Thursday, March 2, 2000, as the day DoubleClick, the Internet’s leading ad firm, took a hard look at the future—and blinked. The company had planned to combine the information it already collects from anonymous Web surfers with names and addresses in the database built by Abacus Direct. The strategy would have created […]

  • The ACLU Strikes Back

    Give the ACLU a little credit. Here they are, ready with a lawsuit against the FBI less than a month after agents pressured an ISP and filmmaker to remove a film deemed dangerous from The plaintiffs are, of course, Mike Zieper, the artist whose Y2K military takeover video was pulled, and Mark Wieger, the […]

  • The Bunker Brigade

    It’s not easy preparing for Y2K and the end of civilization. Between amassing the water jugs, batteries, and kerosene and lime, even the most devoted survivalist can let a crucial detail slip by. Fortunately, survivalist newsgroups are packed with last-minute checklists of things to do before the clocks turn. Take your pick of recipes for […]

  • Subversive Instinct

    The FBI has dropped its investigation of Mike Z., the auteur whose pulled Web site ( became a cause célèbre online after a Voice story (11/23/99) detailed the case of apparent censorship. “Our initial objective in looking into the thing was to determine, not was this something that might generate fear or panic, but was […]

  • FBI’s Shutter Speed

    Success seemed imminent. A local TV station was airing a segment about his Web site, and he began to savor those precious moments of microfame. No more dingy years of self-subsidized screenings; now there’d be an audience for his art. But then came the FBI. In a highly unusual move last week, FBI agents called […]

  • Foiling FOIA

    The Department of Justice is considering a push to repeal elements of the Freedom of Information Act, the Voice has confirmed. The change is “aimed at drafting a limited statutory exemption for information,” said Steve Mitchell, the department lawyer who drafted the proposal, “allowing the private sector to voluntarily contribute threat and vulnerability information to […]

  • The Million-Dollar Castaway

    It is a bright, hot day in July and somewhere the clocks are striking noon. contestant Number One lays on the pristine white beach and instinctively checks his watch, but there is only a tan line where his Timex used to be. He has forgotten that on this deserted island off the coast of Borneo, […]

  • Freedom Fighters

    Psst. Want to be a secret agent? Use the software that makes the NSA, CIA and FBI anxious and afraid? It’s called Freedom, and the uninspired name belies a radical edge. Freedom is the market’s first answer to surveillance online— a “privacy solution” that lets anyone browse, e-mail, or post without leaving electronic fingerprints. Be […]

  • Chillin’ With Uncle Sam

    The strangest site on the Internet has to be Check it out if you’re skeptical, and read the bizarre postings about the dangers of illegal drugs. They are written in the style of Seventeen magazine, in which grown-ups pepper their prose with the buzzwords of youth, like, uh, cool, man. But you could browse […]