Spying on Democracy
Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance
Foreword by Lewis Lapham
Book News, Inc.
"Heidi Boghosian, the executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, examines the nexus of corporate power, the US surveillance state and resistance to both. In addition to discussing the history of spying on Americans by Americans, and the ways Americans have resisted individually and organizationally, many of the chapters focus on how people are categorized and monitored based on their activities. These range from how the NYPD has spied on bicyclist activists and helped Citibank and MasterCard corporatize cycling in NYC; spying on children at McDonalds; spying on the press; spying on lawyers and progressive lawyer associations like the National Lawyers Guild and the People's Law Office; the use of drones; and environmental activists. The book is part catalogue and history, but also concludes with an eye toward further activism."--Book News, Inc.
"In a typical day 'your image is caught on surveillance cameras at least 200 times,' warns Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, in this well-researched dossier on the pervasive lengths the U.S. government and corporations will go to track citizens' personal habits. Rejecting the notion that the domestic 'surveillance net' of technologies such as biometric scanning, drones, and RFID chips keep Americans safer from terrorism, the author argues that such relentless scrutiny makes Americans less free by silencing critics and encouraging complacency with waning expectations of privacy. Timely examples are provided, including one from a Pennsylvania school district which remotely monitored students via cameras on school laptops, as well as a breakdown of the police tactics used during the Occupy movement. These examples are carefully connected to their societal consequences: among the areas directly affected, claims the author, are free speech, attorney-client privileges, investigative journalism, and the ability to protest injustice. Boghosian concludes with a survey of organizations devoted to protecting civil liberties. But real freedom, she stresses, must be defended on the personal level through committed encouragement of dissent. An informative read for parents, students, and activists, especially those interested in the implications of technology in today's society."--Publishers Weekly
"Heidi Boghosian is a brave and patriotic individual in the same manner as Edward Snowden. If the efforts of these patriots go unheeded we are in for a sorry ride to the end of freedom of speech and expression. Buy the book. Inform yourself. And remember, everyone is always watching you."--Emanuele Corso, Grassroots Press
San Francisco Book Review
"If the Edward Snowden and NSA spying incidents peaked your interest in surveillance, Spying on Democracy by Heidi Boghosian is sure to quench your thirst. Within these pages, you'll discover a whole new world of surveillance you never even knew existed."-- Jennifer Melville, San Francisco Book Review
The Brooklyn Rail
"In a dozen short, punchy, and very readable chapters, Boghosian paints a picture of an increasingly integrated, government-corporate surveillance hydra. . . . Boghosian combines an activist's commitment and first-person experiences—along with an extensive knowledge of court decisions, government reports, whistleblower revelations, and media accounts—to tell her compelling story."--David Rosen, The Brooklyn Rail
" . . . Spying On Democracy is the most important book in circulation right now and an absolute must-read for every American"-- John Aiello, Electric Review
The New York Journal of Books
"Heidi Boghosian's Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance is a timely, controversial, and engaging account of government and corporate surveillance of daily life. . . . Ms. Boghosian is a gifted writer." -- Jeffrey D. Simon, The New York Journal of Books
The Electronic Privacy Information Center Newsletter
"Spying on Democracy is an excellent collection . . . fast-paced, active, and punctuated with photographs . . . a colorful, illustrative primer on governmental and private-sector intelligence gathering. "-- Julia Horwitz, The Electronic Privacy Information Center Newsletter
"With ex-CIA staffer Edward Snowden's leaks about National Security Agency surveillance in the headlines, Heidi Boghosian’s Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance feels especially timely. Boghosian reveals how the government acquires information from telecommunications companies and other organizations to create databases about 'persons of interest.'"
Jun 8, 2013
Heidi Boghosian said today: '"The Obama administration has built on the worst abuses of Bush's 'anti-terrorism' surveillance agenda, expanding and institutionalizing warrantless domestic surveillance, criminalizing certain Internet activity, tightening government secrecy, all based on increasingly secret interpretations of laws like the USA PATRIOT Act."
- Staff infoZine, Kansas City Info Zine