Surveillance State

FBI Director James Comey and Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei  Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr, and oncenoticiasipn / YouTube

China and the US: Big Brothers-In-Law?

“Big Brother” is getting even bigger in China. In a development that the author of “1984” would surely have appreciated, China recently passed an “anti-terrorism law” that seems an excuse for a clampdown. It also eerily mirrors calls by US officials for access to encrypted communications.

Movie night - who is watching? Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Clay Junell / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Does Mass Surveillance Change the Way We Behave?

What effect does the awareness of surveillance have on the behavior of people? WhoWhatWhy looked at the available results of research being conducted, and found that we may be reaching the tipping point — when awareness of being watched starts to affect behavior.

Screen shot of the FBI's Biometric Center of Excellence main web page. Photo credit:  BCOE / FBI.GOV

The FBI Wants YOUR Face and Fingerprints

The FBI will be developing software to enable its agents to collect fingerprints and pictures of anyone they encounter. This personal material could then be compared to the Bureau’s massive biometrics database. What could possibly go wrong with this?

L-R: J. Kirk Wiebe, Thomas Drake, William Binney Photo credit: J. Kirk Wiebe / Twitter, Slowking / Wikimedia, Rama / Wikimedia

Whistleblowers File $100 Million Suit against NSA, FBI

In a $100 million lawsuit that has garnered virtually no public attention, five National Security Agency whistleblowers are accusing the federal government of illegally retaliating against them for alerting the NSA and Congress to a waste of taxpayer funds that benefitted a well-connected contractor.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has called Snowden on a traitor in one breath, and then praised whistleblowers in the other. Why the double standard? Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

No Love For Snowden

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs recently praised whistleblowers, though he has been an outspoken opponent of Edward Snowden. Why the double standard when it comes to Snowden?