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America's Spy State: How the Telecoms Sell Out Your Privacy

Your seemingly private information is a public commodity, subject to the dictates of the security state and market opportunists.

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In 2009, a New York judge dismissed the ACLU’s original suit on the grounds that its clients, including Amnesty International, couldn’t prove that their communications would be monitored under the new law. In 2011, a federal appeals court reversed the 2009 ruling and, in May 2012, the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to re-impose the state’s right to warrantless wiretaps and other surveillance practices on the basis of national security.

It’s a flip-of-a-coin to prognosticate on how the Court will decide this case. Will it replay it sweeping, conservative Citizens United decision or will it follow the privacy protections extended in the recent Jones decision prohibited GPS tracking of an alleged drug dealer? Stay tuned.

Today’s spy-state recalls the World War I era “red scare,” marked by the roundup of immigrant anarchists and socialist and, in many cases, their deportation. Similarly, it resonates with the anti-communism of the post-World War II era, the age of J. Edgar Hoover, Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon. Today’s politicians, both Democrat and Republican, know how to play the security card to appease popular fears during a period of profound economic restructuring.


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