Spying on Democracy

Spying on Democracy
Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance
Foreword by Lewis Lapham




Press Reviews

CHOICE Magazine

"Boghosian (executive director, National Lawyers Guild) has written a fairly unbiased, balanced overview of government surveillance, corporate surveillance, and the mingling of the two. Extensive research and notes with popular, accessible media sources as well as scholarly and legal sources make this work approachable to the general public. There are plentiful examples and case studies, all backed with sources. While focused on teh surveillance of protest organizations, other types of surveillance are covered. This is a great introduction for those beginning to read about the current state of surveillance and privacy. Privacy scholars will find the very recent examples and logical arguments compelling. Highly recommended."--J.M. Keller, CHOICE Magazine


The Federal Lawyer

"[The] scope of the book and its understanding and exposure of the many and various ways in which individual liberties are being attacked is its chief virtue. . . . few recognize the pervasiveness of government and corporate spying in our age. But, as Heidi Boghosian reveals, it touches virtually every aspect of our lives, almost from the time we are born."--David Gespass, The Federal Lawyer


The Jakarta Post

"Reading this book, one realizes that the US government has initiated a double standard in its attempts to define democracy through the spying policy. Instead of creating national safety by means of mass surveillance, the constant monitoring of people while they shop, ride in elevators, tour museums, stand in line at banks, use ATMs or merely walk down street has the opposite effect."--Donny Syofyan, The Jakarta Post


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.


Publishers Weekly

"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


Grassroots Press

"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


Electric Review

" . . . 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


Publishers Weekly

"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