Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Noam Chomsky
Featured guests Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Noam Chomsky discuss government intrusion on the rights of private citizens.  Photo credit:  WikiLeaks / Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0), Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)  and Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación Argentina / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If the government is really trying to balance the privacy rights of Americans with “national security interests,” then it is doing so with a thumb on the scale.

The public fight between Apple and the FBI once again revealed how far the government will go to obtain, and secure continued access to, information. One person who knows about this better than most is Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower, who opened the eyes of many Americans to the massive information grab the government is perpetrating every day.

In this comprehensive video, Snowden (via satellite), MIT professor Noam Chomsky and journalist Glenn Greenwald discuss the right to privacy and whether the fight against terrorism necessarily has to lead to a restriction of that right. The event was hosted by the University of Arizona College of Behavioral Sciences in Tucson.

Watch this fascinating debate which also covers whether governments should have secrets of their own and whether the time has come to rethink the role of the media in our society.

Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Woman in dark room (Amy / Flickr – CC BY 2.0)

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5 years ago

Even if you don’t believe that the whole war on terror is a complete hoax (false flag terror events) you should still look at the response that has happened as a result. Americans are the most spied upon people in the history of the world.

People have historically always mistrusted government and for good reason. I think what we’re seeing now is a more subtle approach by TPTB to gain the kinds of power that are always resisted when a straight-forward approach is used. But again, even if government is being honest about all this, do you really want to live in a system where your every movement is surveilled? We’re pretty close to that already at this point. We’re tracked by the smartphones that we’re obsessed with. The government has created “spy centers” (pretty sure there are 3 of them in the US. I know one is in Utah) that will store every electronic communication you make (texts, phone calls, internet usage, etc) into perpetuity.

You might think you have nothing to hide but they say the average American commits 3 felonies per day. And remember that we’re not Dubya, Bill Clinton or Obama. If you inhale, you actually will have to go to jail. Non-violent drug offenders also “feed” the prison industrial complex whose lobbyists pay off our politicians to keep the jails filled. Look up Richard Sullivan and David Jones. They are two of Hillary Clinton’s biggest campaign bundlers and they represent companies and trade groups in the pharmaceutical industry, health insurance field, oil exploration business and (“surprise surprise”) the private prison industry.

I can’t remember if it was Russ who said this but someone relayed a story about people’s reaction to the media in America as opposed to other countries. In other countries people instantly didn’t trust the media. In the USA people had great trust in the media (that has thankfully changed quickly in recent years). But trust in media allows for the propaganda machine to spread more lies and allow TPTB to implement draconian measures (such as surveillance) on the public.

5 years ago

1984 by George Orwell comes to mind.

“They hate our freedoms, our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.” – George W. Bush, Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People (September 20th, 2001)

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
– George W. Bush (August 5, 2004)

“Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.” – Rudy Giuliani

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