In Defense of Civil Liberties
The definition of civil liberties is straightforward. They are rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution allowing individuals to be free to speak, think, assemble, organize, worship, or petition without government or even private interference or restraints. Idaho Senator Frank Church back in the 1970s warned the country about the dangers inherent in domestic spying: “No American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. There would be no place to hide. And there would be no way to fight back.” Today, the never-ending so-called War on Terror has led to an erosion of civil liberties. The state snooping agencies, with their ballooning budgets, accrue more and more surveillance power and reach. What does it portend? As Bob Dylan said, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
This event was presented by the Lannan Foundation.
Glenn Greenwald broke the story in The Guardian of Washington’s widespread electronic dragnet. His exclusive interview with NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden was an international media sensation. He is the author of With Liberty and Justice for Some and No Place to Hide. He is the recipient of the Izzy Award from the Park Center for Independent Media for his “path breaking journalistic courage and persistence in confronting conventional wisdom, official deception, and controversial issues.” He also received an Online Journalism Award for Best Commentary for his coverage of Bradley Manning. He is co-founder of the watchdog media outlet The Intercept.