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surveillance state


  • Originally published 07/19/2013

    Justyn Dillingham: Jimmy Carter’s Forgotten History Lesson

    Justyn Dillingham is a freelance writer residing in Tucson, Arizona. A former president has given the weight of his voice and reputation to the critics of the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program, blasting the federal government’s “invasion of human rights and American privacy” and suggesting that leaking the program’s existence to the press was “beneficial.” Ordinarily, this might give even the staunchest defenders of the NSA pause, for ordinarily a former president’s opinion carries considerable influence.But this time it will make little difference. For the former president is, of course, Jimmy Carter—the only former president one could imagine making such a statement, and not coincidentally one of the more widely detested former presidents in recent memory.

  • Originally published 07/14/2013

    Demystifying the NSA Surveillance Program

    The NSA scandal is fast becoming the most serious diplomatic disaster in recent American history. For a host of reasons the surveillance needs to stop right now.

  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    David T. Z. Mindich: Lincoln’s Surveillance State

    David T. Z. Mindich, a professor of media studies, journalism and digital arts at Saint Michael’s College, is the author of “Tuned Out: Why Americans Under 40 Don’t Follow the News.”COLCHESTER, Vt. — BY leaking details of the National Security Agency’s data-mining program, Edward J. Snowden revealed that the government’s surveillance efforts were far more extensive than previously understood. Many commentators have deemed the government’s activities alarming and unprecedented. The N.S.A.’s program is indeed alarming — but not, from a historical perspective, unprecedented. And history suggests that we should worry less about the surveillance itself and more about when the war in whose name the surveillance is being conducted will end.

  • Originally published 07/02/2013

    Tom Engelhardt: The Dictionary of the Global War on You (GWOY)

    Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and author of "The United States of Fear" as well as a history of the Cold War, "The End of Victory Culture" (just published in a Kindle edition), runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. His latest book, co-authored with Nick Turse, is "Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050."

  • Originally published 06/27/2013

    Todd Gitlin: The Wonderful American World of Informers and Agents Provocateurs

    Todd Gitlin is a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University, the chair of the PhD program in communications, and the author of The Whole World Is Watching: Mass Media in the Making and Unmaking of the New Left; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; and Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street.Only Martians, by now, are unaware of the phone and online data scooped up by the National Security Agency (though if it turns out that they are aware, the NSA has surely picked up their signals and crunched their metadata).  American high-tech surveillance is not, however, the only kind around.  There’s also the lower tech, up-close-and-personal kind that involves informers and sometimes government-instigated violence.

  • Originally published 06/12/2013

    Germans accuse U.S. of Stasi tactics

    (Reuters) - German outrage over a U.S. Internet spying program has broken out ahead of a visit by Barack Obama, with ministers demanding the president provide a full explanation when he lands in Berlin next week and one official likening the tactics to those of the East German Stasi.German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman has said she will raise the issue with Obama in talks next Wednesday, potentially casting a cloud over a visit that was designed to celebrate U.S.-German ties on the 50th anniversary John F. Kennedy's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech.Government surveillance is an extremely sensitive topic in Germany, where memories of the dreaded Stasi secret police and its extensive network of informants are still fresh in the minds of many citizens....

  • Originally published 06/11/2013

    Yes, PRISM Really is a Big Deal

    The truth is that the terrorist threat is much diminished from what it was when the Patriot Act was adopted in 2001, or even from 2008, when amendments to that law opened the door to PRISM.

  • Originally published 02/08/2013

    Todd Miller: The Constitution-Free Zone of our Northern Border

    Todd Miller has researched and written about U.S.-Mexican border issues for more than 10 years. He has worked on both sides of the border for BorderLinks in Tucson, Arizona, and Witness for Peace in Oaxaca, Mexico. He now writes on border and immigration issues for NACLA Report on the Americas and its blog “Border Wars,” among other places. He is at work on his first book, Border Patrol Nation, for the Open Media Series of City Lights Books.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com

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