If You Have Nothing to Hide . . . »

For years, the national security establishment has been telling us, “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” Ergo, the feds ought to be provided complete access to all of our emails, cell calls, internet browsing records, location, private in-home conversations, banking records, credit card transactions, etc., etc., etc., held forever,...
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Privacy Rights, Cronyism, and Jason Bourne »

Hollywood’s rediscovery of freedom is cropping up in interesting places more and more. I’ve discussed themes emphasizing individual responsibility and skepticism about government in films such as Captain America: Civil War, the Divergent trilogy, and other media, but these ideas might have real staying power if what I just saw in Jason Bourne, the Matt Damon vehicle...
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Politics and American Surveillance »

Editor: Today is the publication date of the Independent Institute’s newest book, American Surveillance: Intelligence, Privacy, and the Fourth Amendment, by Anthony Gregory (Research Fellow, Independent Institute). Published for Independent by the University of Wisconsin Press, this widely acclaimed new book traces the history of government surveillance in the U.S. that transcends party divides,...
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Government’s Demonstrated Security Incompetence Warrants Abolishing Its Powers »

The pro-surveillance state narrative says that 9/11 resulted from U.S. security agencies’ “Failure to connect the dots.” Apparently this “failure” stemmed from there being too few agencies and/or their having too-limited powers, because its “correction” necessitated the creation of the new Department of Homeland Security (is the purpose of the Defense Department—which failed to...
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The Long Road Back from Torture »

If it’s true that the first step towards recovery is admitting you have a problem, then last week’s release of the report detailing the CIA’s torturing of prisoners can at least hopefully provide the impetus for Americans to disavow such methods and begin to rein in the out-of-control security state that has grown especially...
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Terror and Torture in the Name of “National Security” »

The Senate Committee on Intelligence has finally released its study on the CIA’s “Enhanced Interrogation Program” (what may be called “torture techniques” by some) after a delay of more than a year. The report is some 525 pages. (You can access the entire report here.) The findings of the report are appalling. Here are...
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Never Forget »

...that 9/11 was successfully carried out because American government agencies with very large budgets, and with more than sufficient spying authority, ignored multiple reports that had been spoon-fed them by their own agents: In a memo from the Phoenix FBI to headquarters, the agents recommended an urgent nationwide review of flight schools “for any...
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NSA “Fatigue”? »

Last month I saw a New York Times account of the latest interview with Edward Snowden headlined, “Racy Photos Were Often Shared at N.S.A., Snowden Says“—yet not widely picked up elsewhere—and I wondered, “Oh dear, if sex isn’t selling continued interest in NSA spying revelations, we’re in trouble.” Now, in an in-depth interview in...
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For John Kerry, Where He Stands Depends on Where He Sits »

Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry told Chuck Todd today on MSNBC: “Edward Snowden is a coward. He is a traitor. And he has betrayed his country.” Snowden gave documents to journalists that revealed the scope and reach of unconstitutional spying by the federal government on American citizens. Today Kerry also told CBS...
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NSA Chief Recommends Severely Curtailing Spying. Obama Won’t. »

  A few weeks ago, Obama triumphantly announced NSA spying “reforms” that got lots of front page coverage, but amounted to: Absolutely No Change. Further, his speech carried his full endorsement of the sweeping collection and storage in bulk of private phone calls, emails, email address books, online transaction information, location data, and more,...
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