Glenn Greenwald 3-Pack
First program: Why Privacy Matters
Rights exercised by large corporations have never been stronger in the United States. They respond to distant policy initiatives, lawsuits, and latent threats to their bottom lines with lightning speed and a full court press. Their lobbyists vet new regulations and bills with legislators. They kill bills. They write bills. The more glaring examples corporate-friendly legislation, regulatory policies and court decisions are ones that run roughshod over environmental protection: the Keystone Pipeline, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the massive reductions in fines leveled on Exxon-Mobile oil spills from Alaska to Newark Bay. Communities are fighting back. The cry for Home Rule is heard in municipalities around the country. Local community rights ordinance campaigns hope to fend off polluting fossil fuel enterprises, GMOs, and crude oil train bombs.
Second program: The Surveillance State
The June 2013 revelations of massive government spying should not really come as a surprise. Since Sept 11 there has been a steady drift to more and more state power, secrecy and totalitarianism all in the name of national security. Snooping, prying, eavesdropping, call it what you want the government is doing it on a scale never before seen. Sophisticated new technologies allow for more intrusions into our private lives. Beyond the ever present cameras, there is deep data-mining, nanosecond biometric identification and drone aircraft in the skies above. The invasive monitoring of public space and the simultaneous erosion of our rights has been largely a bi-partisan affair. State surveillance power, undermining basic freedoms in the name of protecting them, is growing relentlessly. The swelling domestic databases of the NSA probably contain your personal information including emails, text messages, and phone calls. And this burgeoning Orwellian apparatus has become a cash cow for corporations such as Booz Allen Hamilton. Comedian Stephen Colbert sarcastically observes, There are bound to be casualties in the never-ending war on terror and one of them just happens to be the U.S. Constitution.
Third program: Unmasking the NSA
Imagine a gigantic vacuum cleaner scooping up all electronic communications. That’s what the National Security Agency does. Think you are safe from NSA snooping? That you can hide behind clever passwords? Think again. The Agency has the capability to generate one billion password guesses per second. On top of that it can remotely activate your cell phone and computer and use them as eavesdropping and tracking devices. The NSA is at the center of a system of monitoring and control beyond the wildest dreams of the greatest tyrants in history. The so-called War on Terror has unleashed a war on civil liberties. White House claims of national security justify massive abuses. We have to give up freedoms in order to preserve them we are told. But hey, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about.
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