The Independent Institute

 
        

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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The USA’s Trifurcated Legal System »

The FBI’s recommendation against the prosecution of Hillary Clinton for her wanton, illegal mishandling of classified information in her emails puts on display once again the reality of the so-called rule of law in the USA. This reality is, above all, that the system is trifurcated: there is effectively one set of rules for...
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Apple Encryption and the Erosion of Privacy »

In the wake of the terror attack in San Bernardino late last year, the FBI and other government agents set out to uncover as much information about the attackers as possible. After searching the suspects’ home, speaking with the families of the perpetrators, and looking for other clues, authorities had uncovered a great deal...
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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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Government Charges Hastert with “Crime” of Withdrawing His Own Money »

Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has been charged with lying to the FBI about the reason he was withdrawing money from bank accounts. Should what Hastert did be illegal, or any of the government’s business? Let’s look at the facts. From the charges, it appears that Hastert (1) withdrew...
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Obama’s Dangerous Call for Collaboration »

President Obama held a much-publicized White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford last Friday, culminating with his signing onstage a new executive order calling for “collaboration” between government and technology companies to fight cyber crime. Tech executives from Google, Yahoo, and Facebook to their credit declined invitations to attend, while Apple...
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Modern Tech Suggests Government Data on Police-Related Homicides Flawed »

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) publishes statistics on police-involved homicides, while on duty, of civilians. Its system relies on voluntary self-reporting by the nation’s more than 18,000 local and state police agencies. Self-reporting works well when there is an incentive to report and an incentive to report accurately. But police departments have no...
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Tap and Track: Not Just for the NSA »

The National Security Agency has come under intense scrutiny over the past several years for its warrantless wiretapping and other surveillance tactics. Members of the public have been the subjects of surveillance, as well as a over 120 world leaders, including close U.S. allies like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Knowing this, the backlash against...
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NSA Mission Creep: It’s for the Children »

In the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s, and numerous other credible whistleblowers‘ irrefutable revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies are capturing and indefinitely storing millions of innocent Americans’ phone calls, emails, internet transactions, and even movements and whereabouts at any given time—Apple and other tech companies are rightfully responding to...
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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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