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6 NSA/Surveillance Blogs to Follow

March 26, 2014


Recently, I’ve been digging into the NSA surveillance controversy, prompted in part by a panel I’ll be moderating at the San Antonio Book Festival next weekend . The panel features longtime U.S. intelligence expert Dr. John Prados, whose latest book (I think it’s his latest, dude releases like five books a year) The Family Jewels: The CIA, Secrecy, and Presidential Power frames the current domestic surveillance controversies in a historical context, particularly in regards to the “Year of Intelligence” in 1975, when journalism hero Seymour Hersh shocked the nation with revelations of expansive and blatantly illegal surveillance of American citizens. Also on the panel is the equally impressive Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild and surveillance watchdog. In addition to co-hosting the weekly radio show Law and Disorder, which concerns itself mainly with civil liberties and political dissent, Boghosian’s book Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power and Public Resistance meticulously documents our current surveillance state with frightening clarity.

Maybe the Obama Administration’s forthcoming legislation regarding bulk data collection will be a game-changer. Or maybe it will be like what Prados described when I asked him* whether he’s noticed any changes in the ease or difficulty in obtaining government documents through the Freedom of Information Act: “The current administration has issued and executive order governing declassification, which is supposed to represent an improvement in so-called liberalization of the system. But, a lot of the government agencies seem to be behaving as if nothing has happened and it was business as usual.”

In either case, don’t be like the dummies in this week’s excellent This Modern World cartoon and pay attention to domestic surveillance and the Freedom of Information Act. Here’s a list of some great online resources that will help you do just that:

*look for the interview in the next issue of the Current

1) The Electronic Frontier Foundation



If you’re just dipping your toe into learning about digital surveillance, there’s hardly a better place to get familiar than the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s excellent resource, which includes a timeline and an online library of related primary source reporting. Plus, if you remember staff writer Dave Maass from our hallowed pages of yore, this is where he ended up.

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