Tag: Surveillance

The Fictionalized Surveillance State »

Recent polling conducted by Amy Zegart at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation reveals an unsurprising degree of public uncertainty and confusion regarding the NSA. We should expect that, flooded with news reports, most Americans don’t know the exact contours of the program. What caught my eye, however, was this little nugget,...
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T-shirts and Free Speech: The Newest NSA Threats »

National security is no laughing matter. That’s why the NSA has been awfully busy spying on us as well as our allies abroad and is now tackling a terrifying emerging threat: T-shirts. Back in 2011 the NSA, along with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), sent cease-and-desist letters to a Minnesota T-shirt manufacturer Dan...
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The Whole Surveillance State Must Go »

The NSA surveillance scandal has awakened Americans to their dwindling privacy rights. Now is the time to stand up and consistently defend the Fourth Amendment. For years, the government has spied on all our financial dealings, our medical records, our bank transactions. Liberals shrugged because it all served to build the regulatory state they...
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The Emperor in Denial »

President Obama tries to have it both ways when talking of American foreign policy. He sold himself to the public in 2008 as a more prudential steward of U.S. power. He would avoid “dumb wars,” as he had called the Iraq fiasco in a speech years before. He would save money by bringing the...
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Aircraft Targeted for Unconstitutional Searches »

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits searches and seizures without probable cause. Since 9/11 searches without probable cause have increased alarmingly, as most Americans must know. Here is another case that applies to a narrow enough population that most Americans are probably unaware of it. That population is general aviation pilots and the...
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NSA Spying Threatens Law-Abiding Americans »

I was talking with an older German citizen about the NSA’s data collection program that has recently been the subject of much debate. He worked for the East German government during the Cold War and viewed the NSA’s activities as similar to the Stasi’s under communist rule, but potentially more threatening. The argument often...
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“Parallel Construction”: Government Term for Lying About Its Investigations »

President Obama pledged to create “...an unprecedented level of openness in Government...” and to “... work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.” With all the recent revelations about IRS abuses and NSA snooping that the president wants to keep secret, transparency in government increasingly appears...
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NSA Collects ‘Word for Word’ Every Domestic Communication »

It has been interesting to me that the most frequent question that I have been asked in the aftermath of our, “Civil Liberties and Security in an Age of Terrorism,” is regarding my description of our cell phones as a government listening device. Even though the information that U.S. surveillance agencies can remotely turn...
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Obamacare: All Your Intimate Information Available to (Almost) Anyone »

Does it bother you that a 29 year-old high school drop-out and former security guard could “wire-tap” all of your email and phone communications basically on his own authority? Will it bother you when almost anyone can access your name, birth date, Social Security number, gender, ethnicity, family size, Indian status, incarceration status, veteran...
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Government Claims It Can Legally Prevent People from Telling Others What It Is Doing to Them »

Among the many facts recently revealed about the NSA’s constitutionally questionable collection of personal information, one that I find especially troubling is the government’s claim that it can legally prevent people from telling others what government is doing to them. The NSA has apparently ordered Microsoft to turn over some information to them, but...
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