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November 2003

We invite you to speak your mind on these hot topics and global issues plucked from the pages of National Geographic magazine. For more on the subject go to the online feature page, or read the November issue of NGM.

Watching You Forum Thumbnail Watching You

"Security" has become a household word since the attacks of 9/11. But the effort to track down perpetrators and thwart future terrorist acts has the rest of us uncertain—and unsettled—about how far surveillance might eventually be able to intrude into our lives. Right now a search warrant is required to legally tap cell phones and intercept wireless communications. But if the teenage computer whiz down the street—or anyone else—wants to listen, eavesdropping isn't difficult. Swiping your supermarket card allows marketers to track your product choices and purchase habits, but a number of European and Asian countries are taking the concept a step further and adopting electronic national identification cards. Each citizen's personal profile, including financial and medical records, could someday be imbedded in a single card. But what happens if such private information falls into the wrong hands? How much access to private citizens should governments and corporations have? Who determines when surveillance intrudes too deeply? How much privacy are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of security? Enter>>

Afghanistan Forum Thumbnail Afghanistan

After decades of struggle, Afghanistan is slowly making its way toward stability. But armed warlords and other factions in the countryside beyond Kabul continue to undermine the efforts of the central government, creating fear by inflicting violence against Afghan citizens without penalty. How can the peace desired by average Afghans be achieved? Enter>>

Cuba's Wild Side Forum Thumbnail Cuba's Wild Side

More than 40 years of U.S. sanctions, loss of subsidies with the dissolution of the Soviet trade bloc in 1991, and other factors have contributed to Cuba's struggling economy. In its efforts to gain financial strength, the island nation is developing its tourism industry. Although the government has long focused on sustainable ecotourism, pressure to boost Cuba's economy sometimes resulted in the construction of environmentally destructive coastal developments such as Varadero. Some of the tourist center's many hotels were poorly constructed and built too close to the beach. Today, however, the country is fast becoming a model for environmentally conscious tourism. How can Cuba balance the need for developing tourism with protecting its environment? What will happen to Cuba's environment once the embargo is lifted? Enter>>

Hip Zips Forum Thumbnail Hip Zips

Nominate your favorite zip or postal code for coverage in the pages of National Geographic. Our magazine series—ZipUSA—takes a periodic peek at special corners of the country by zip code. We like the concept so much that we're going global and extending our stories to include international postal codes as well. So describe a weird, wacky, wonderful locale of your own choosing—it just might make it into the magazine—and read postings from other folks too. Enter>>



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