Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a writer for TechCrunch. In the past, he helped grow The Next Web into a leading publication. Alex also worked for midVentures in Chicago, where he attended school, and co-founded Contenture, a startup focused on micropayments and the monetization of digital content.

Alex lives in San Francisco.

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  • Lawrence Lessig’s Campaign Reform Push Comes To A Head This Friday

    Lawrence Lessig’s Campaign Reform Push Comes To A Head This Friday

    Lawrence Lessig, an American intellectual and activist, recently launched a political action committee (PAC) called Mayday PAC, with the goal of electing members to Congress who are in favor of campaign finance reform. The group is currently raising money, with a fundraising deadline of July 4 rapidly approaching. Read More

  • Arista Networks, GoPro And JD.com Spike, Pumping Fresh Oxygen Into The Tech IPO Market

    Arista Networks, GoPro And JD.com Spike, Pumping Fresh Oxygen Into The Tech IPO Market

    Three recently public technology companies are surging today, potentially indicating fresh analyst and investor enthusiasm for tech shares. GoPro is up more than 21% at the time of writing, continuing a massive bull run since its recent debut. Its shares are nearing the $50 mark. The company IPO’d at $24 per share, meaning that it has more than doubled its value since going… Read More

  • Microsoft Bolsters Encryption For OneDrive And Outlook.com

    Microsoft Bolsters Encryption For OneDrive And Outlook.com

    Microsoft announced this morning that it has bolstered the security of several of its digital products, bringing stronger encryption tools to its OneDrive and Outlook.com services. In the wake of revelations that the United States government was tapping the core fiber cables of the Internet, snooping on traffic between the data centers of large technology companies, and working to weaken… Read More

  • FBI, CIA Join NSA In “Backdoor” Searches On Americans

    FBI, CIA Join NSA In “Backdoor” Searches On Americans

    Thousands of Americans were targets of so-called “backdoor” warrantless surveillance by the NSA and other intelligence agencies last year, according to a letter sent to Senator Ron Wyden. The missive, written by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to the Senator in response to a question posed earlier this month, is plainspoken. The Office also stated that… Read More

  • Two Senators Upbraid The Intelligence Community For Insufficient Disclosure

    Two Senators Upbraid The Intelligence Community For Insufficient Disclosure

    Consider Senators Al Franken and Dean Heller unimpressed. Today the two Senators, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, released statements disparaging a recent transparency report from the U.S. intelligence community that broke down its activities in incredibly vague fashion. Read More

  • High-Skill Immigration Reform Is Dead This Year – Again

    High-Skill Immigration Reform Is Dead This Year – Again

    High-skill immigration reform failed to become law in 2013. The Senate managed to pass a comprehensive bill around a year ago that went precisely nowhere in the House. When the new year kicked off, there was some optimism that we could get something done. Misplaced optimism, really. With this Congress, having a positive outlook is something akin to masochism. Read More

  • Litecoin Slumps As Bitcoin Recovers Some Of Its Former Luster

    Litecoin Slumps As Bitcoin Recovers Some Of Its Former Luster

    During the height of the 2013 Bitcoin bubble, Litecoin soared, crossing the $40 mark late in the year. Since then, mostly tracking Bitcoin, Litecoin’s value has faded. Today, you can buy a Litecoin for just under $9. That cryptocurrencies are dealing with post-bubble excesses is hardly news. What’s more interesting is that Litecoin, which largely followed Bitcoin’s price… Read More

  • Microsoft May Prioritize The Desktop In Windows 9

    Microsoft May Prioritize The Desktop In Windows 9

    Microsoft is looking to revamp and retool its Windows 8 operating system with a blend of updates that will see the code better suit the form factors that it wants to service. However, could those updates undo its push to create the Windows Store as a favored place for developers to put applications? Read More

  • Microsoft’s Top Lawyer Calls Supreme Court Cellphone-Warrant Case “Seminal”

    Microsoft’s Top Lawyer Calls Supreme Court Cellphone-Warrant Case “Seminal”

    It’s been a busy week in the realm of policy and technology, with the Supreme court weighing in on a several issues impacting the industry, and the government releasing something akin to a transparency report regarding a portion of the NSA’s surveillance practices. The unanimous Supreme Court decision on Riley v. California caused a stir because it set new precedent regarding… Read More

  • Facebook And The Ethics Of User Manipulation [Updated]

    Facebook And The Ethics Of User Manipulation [Updated]

    [This post has been updated to include comments from Adam Kramer, the Facebook employee who coauthored the study, and new information from Cornell indicating that the study was funded internally. ] A recent study conscripted Facebook users as unwitting participants during a weeklong experiment in direct emotional manipulation. The study set out to discover if the emotional tone of a… Read More

  • Gov Oversight Board Will Weigh In On The Legality Of PRISM

    Gov Oversight Board Will Weigh In On The Legality Of PRISM

    On July 2nd, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) will release a report on the government’s use of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to execute surveillance. The NSA’s PRISM program, for example, is legally grounded in Section 702. The independent oversight group is part of the Executive Branch, and is notable for its sharp rebuke of… Read More

  • Greenpeace And The EFF Flew A Protest Blimp Around The NSA’s Massive Utah Data Center

    Greenpeace And The EFF Flew A Protest Blimp Around The NSA’s Massive Utah Data Center

    When the government is out building a massive data center so that it can store more of the data that it hoovers up from around the world, what do you do? Well you probably can’t get much in the way of a day pass, but as Firefly taught us, you can’t take the skies from me. Read More

  • GoPro’s 14.6% Day 2 Rise Puts It Up 50% From Its IPO Price

    GoPro’s 14.6% Day 2 Rise Puts It Up 50% From Its IPO Price

    GoPro spiked from its offering price of $24 to $31.34 yesterday in its first day of trading. Today the company built on that success, adding nearly $5 more to its share price, ending the day at $35.92, up 14.60 percent during regular trading. All told, GoPro is now up a total of 49.67 percent from its IPO price, making it more than a successful IPO. Its rapid ascent will surely be read by… Read More

  • US Gov Releases First NSA Transparency Report

    US Gov Releases First NSA Transparency Report

    This morning the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released a report detailing its use of various legal authorities in 2013 to execute surveillance, and the number of targets impacted by each method. The move was hinted at in March of this year, when NSA Deputy Director Rick Ledgett said that the government was “actually working on a proposal right now to be transparent and to… Read More

  • Two US Government Agencies Are Working Together To Lower The Cost Of Installing Wi-Fi In Schools

    Two US Government Agencies Are Working Together To Lower The Cost Of Installing Wi-Fi In Schools

    The FCC is working with another U.S. Government agency to purchase WiFi equipment in a pooled fashion, allowing them to save money on new tools. This could help lower the cost of bringing WiFi to more American school, and perhaps allow us to move more quickly on the matter. Read More

  • Why Twitter Spiked 5% Today

    Why Twitter Spiked 5% Today

    Shares of technology stocks were mostly flat to middling today, with the rocketing GoPro IPO standing out. Twitter, however, a company still down heavily from its earlier post-IPO highs, advanced 5 percent. Why? Positive external forecasts. Evercore Group indicated that it thinks Twitter’s domestic user growth could best its first quarter tally, reassuring skittish investors worried that… Read More

  • GoPro Stock Spikes More Than 30% On Its Debut

    GoPro Stock Spikes More Than 30% On Its Debut

    This morning GoPro went public, spiking sharply in early trading. Priced at the upper end of its range, $24 per share, GoPro quickly traded higher, reaching nearly $33 per share, according to a Google Finance chart. As of writing, the company is trading for $31.07, up around 29% since its open. Read More

  • NSA Denies Any Record Of Snowden Emailing Superiors About Concerns

    NSA Denies Any Record Of Snowden Emailing Superiors About Concerns

    In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) query, the NSA today informed journalist Jason Leopold that it could not locate email pursuant to his request for “any and all emails written by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in which Mr. Snowden contacted agency officials through email to raise concerns about NSA programs.” Read More

  • Google Announces Android Auto, Promises Enabled Cars By The End Of 2014

    Google Announces Android Auto, Promises Enabled Cars By The End Of 2014

    Today in its sprawling keynote at its I/O event, Google announced Android Auto. The version of Android will be “completely voice enabled” according to the company, and will help users navigate, communicate and listen to music in their cars. The system will be “contextually aware,” Google says, and will allow for hands-free access, an important feature of an experience… Read More

  • Broadcast Stocks Trade Higher In Wake Of Aereo Ruling

    Broadcast Stocks Trade Higher In Wake Of Aereo Ruling

    This morning the United States Supreme Court ruled against Aereo, a startup that employed myriad, tiny antennas to bring broadcast television to consumers digitally, saying that it operates in violation of the Copyright Act. The startup, which previously stated that it had no ‘Plan B’ in the case of loss, is troubled. Broadcast stocks, however, are anything but. CBS is up more than… Read More