How Many Times Has the Government Spied on You Today?

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The Snowden revelations, while dramatic, have done little to amp up public concern about personal surveillance.

After all, thanks to technology, electronic spying is cheap —  so cheap the government can’t afford not to do it.

But what is the cost to society and to freedom? In this WhoWhatWhy Podcast, Jennifer Granick, the Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, talks to Jeff Schechtman about the technology that tracks and stores emails and follows personal movement, about the amassing and mining of metadata, and how all this information is used and misused by the government.

She reveals government efforts to get social-media passwords and phone PINs from foreigners entering the country, and explains the underlying reason that the US government spies on foreigners: they are spying on us.

Granick reminds us that surveillance is not just something that happens to other people, and that antiquated 20th-Century laws and post-9/11 oversight are no match for the high-tech wizardry of modern-day surveillance in the wrong hands.

Jennifer Granick is the author of American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What to Do About It (Cambridge University Press, January 2017)

Full text of interview.

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