Elect Tech

The massive databases that help P&G sell soap are being mined by politicians prospecting for votes and money

In 1976 a Princeton junior named John Aristotle Phillips wrote a paper so engaging that it had to be classified by the Federal Government and Pakistani agents tried to kidnap him. Phillips' paper, which showed how easy it would be for a rogue group to build a suitcase-size nuclear bomb, used source material that was all public but when assembled into one piece became a top-secret document. The story of his project and the security concerns it raised went nuclear in the national press. He got an A.

Six years later, Phillips discovered a way to make a quieter and immeasurably...

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