Author: Heidi Boghosian
Until the watershed leak of top-secret documents by Edward Snowden to the Guardian UK and the Washington Post, most Americans did not realize the extent to which our government is actively acquiring personal information from telecommunications companies and other corporations. As made startlingly clear, the National Security Agency (NSA) has collected information on every phone call Americans have made over the past seven years. In that same time, the NSA and the FBI have gained the ability to access emails, photos, audio and video chats, and additional content from Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, YouTube, Skype, Apple and others, allegedly in order to track foreign targets.
In Spying on Democracy, National Lawyers Guild Executive Director Heidi Boghosian documents the disturbing increase in surveillance of ordinary citizens and the danger it poses to our privacy, our civil liberties and the future of democracy itself. Boghosian reveals how technology is being used to categorize and monitor people based on their associations, their movements, their purchases and their perceived political beliefs. She shows how corporations and government intelligence agencies mine data from sources as diverse as surveillance cameras and unmanned drones to iris scans and medical records, while combing websites, email, phone records and social media for resale to third parties, including U.S. intelligence agencies.