Along with the privacy advocates and the national security establishment, there is another set of players with strong views on NSA surveillance programs: U.S. tech companies.
Google and five other companies weighed in on the surveillance debate last month, sending a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supporting legislation to reform National Security Agency surveillance programs.
If the answer is "not recently," then you can count yourself among the millions of Americans who just don't write letters anymore. The post office says the average American home receives only one personal letter about every two months.
But there are a few determined people who are doing their best to wreck that average.
"It's becoming a lost art," says Deb Bruzewski.
Every day she curls up on her plaid couch in her home in Auburn, Mich., to write a few of her 60 letters for the week.
Men walk amid rubble after Boko Haram militants raided the town of Benisheik in northeast Nigeria, on Sept. 19. The Islamist group has been waging an insurgency in northern and central Nigeria for the past four years and was recently placed on the U.S. list of terrorist groups.
A poster in the northeastern city of Maiduguri shows a photograph of Abubakar Shekau, a Boko Haram leader who has claimed responsibility for recent attacks. The U.S. has placed a $7 million bounty on Shekau.
Credit Pius Utomi Ekpei / AFP/Getty Images
Nigerian soldiers arrive in Yola, Nigeria, on May 20, following the declaration of a state of emergency there and in two other states.
The Nigerian military identified this man as a former member of Boko Haram. He was captured after being hit in the leg by a bullet.
For four years, the Islamist militants of Boko Haram have been waging a deadly campaign in northern and central Nigeria, killing thousands of people. In response, the Nigerian military is cracking down on the group, and the United States last week designated Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
This year, there are three college players being called "the next LeBron James." Meanwhile, many are speculating about where the first LeBron James, now playing for the Miami Heat, will be next season.
College basketball seems to get started sooner every year, like puberty in American children. Why does everything have to begin so early now, before you have time to get ready for it?
Things move so fast in college basketball that there are three players this year who are being called "the next LeBron James. " In the NBA, most of the talk is already about where the superstars will be next season.
NASA's PhoneSat, a 4-by-4-inch CubeSat satellite, will use an Android smartphone as its motherboard. It was among the 29 satellites launched Tuesday from Wallops Island, Va. Another miniature satellite, developed by high school students, also was on board.
The first satellite ever developed by high school students to make it to space is believed to be orbiting Earth after getting a ride aboard a U.S. military rocket Tuesday night from Wallops Island, Va.
Fittingly, perhaps, you can send it a text message.
The satellite, using a voice synthesizer, is built to transform that text into an audio message that can be heard over certain radio frequencies around the globe, and in different languages.