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Calling out corruption from the FBI to Taser Corp.

News outlets covering the FBI and corporate weapons contractors quoted me this month, in stories about the FBI attempting to evade federal privacy law, and about Taser Corp. unleashing new havoc on a criminal "justice" system already pervaded by systemic bias.

On September 21, the Intercept ran a story about a new effort by Taser Corp. to expand evidence available to law enforcement agencies through crowdsourcing. It included:

"The lid is lifting."

In a story covering the emergence of rising activism among workers in the tech industry, the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune quoted me (and gave me the pull quote!) saying "Comfortable people are waking up. It’s easy to be aware when you’re uncomfortable; a lot of people have lost their comfort and their complacency."

Supporting resistance in Silicon Valley

Buzzfeed included my comments in a story about a protest at Palantir in Palo Alto, California, a historically unlikely site for protest (which I happen to know well, having organized resistance to the invasion of Iraq there duing my time in law school 15 years ago).

Looking back on a horrid year

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting included an interview we did this fall in its Best of CounterSpin 2016 compilation (starting at 16:10) addressing how the press in America has withered, both from within, and under a government assault disturbingly sustained by a federal court in a series of cases that I wrote about earlier this year.

CounterSpin's Best of 2016 also has important other interviews addressing various dimensions of our constitutional crisis, including police violence, the Flint water crisis (and an overlooked assault on local self-determination that made it possible), corporate complicity in climate change, white supremacy, and the rise of President P****-Grabber.

"What we're talking about here are general warrants."

News that Yahoo facilitated the NSA's war on America made the surveillance debate more complicated, but I tried to make it simple on Rising Up with Sonali Kolhatkar by explaining that, "What we're talking about here are general warrants."

"Criminalizing transparency to protect illegitimate uses of power’"

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting interviewed me for the Septembr 9 episode of their syndicated radio program, Counterspin, heard on 130 noncommercial stations across the U.S. and Canada. 

Host Janine Jackson & I discussed the problem of police retaliating against grasroots journalists for recording their activities, a petition campaign by documentary filmakers in solidarity with vulnerable communities, and how they relate to a broader crisis of transparency and executive secrecy. FAIR posted both audio & a transcript, which included my favorite passage below: 

Across all of these contexts, what we are talking about is criminalizing transparency to protect illegitimate uses of power. And that, of course, is what the Constitution is supposed to stop....We’re supposed to be committed as a country to transparency and to reining in arbitrary power, but...[we accept it] whether it’s criminalizing and persecuting whistleblowers for revealing fraud, waste and abuse, or lies by executive officials, or whether it’s jailing grassroots journalists who are recording the police departments in their communities using arbitrary violence to, in some cases, kill people extrajudicially without ever proving guilt of any offense at all, let alone a serious one...at the same time, mind you, that senior executive officials do lie about grave issues of global importance and get away with it.

Getting back on the mic after a hiatus

Among the many aspects of working at EFF that I adore is the opportunity to help represent the public interest on so many issues within the digital rights arena.  For much of 2015, I took a break from talking to journalists about policy issues, but I got back on the mic over the holidays and have tried to wield it well in the new year.

While most of my writing and press appearances in January addressed various dimensions of surveillance and the constitutional crisis it has unleashed, this discussion offered a chance to explore some concerns about social media undermining civil society:

Read on for links to another dozen articles, quotes, and interviews from early 2016....

Debating an NSA apologist on the eve of a Senate victory

On Tuesday, May 19, I was invited to join a panel on The Heat including my colleague Julian Sanchez from the Cato Institute and Fred Fleitz, a former CIA employee and Senior Vice President at the Center for Security Policy. Our discussion spanned two segments (both posted below after the jump).

Days later, popular constitutionalists scored a major victory when the Senate failed to extend section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, allowing its scheduled expiration under a previous act of Congress. It's the first time a controversial surveillance authority has ended since unconstitutional mass surveillance was first illegally imposed in secret over a decade ago, and offers me particular cause for celebration as I'll be wrapping up my time leading the Bill of Rights Defense Committee next week. 

Fighting corruption in the surveillance state

I've had a chance to publicly critique the intelligence establishment several times this month. After being quoted by the Guardian as describing the proposed USA Freedom Act as "yesterday's news," I had a chance to visit Thom Hartmann several times on The Big Picture. Here's our on April 28 interview:

That visit was followed by a series of return appearances on The Big Picture.

NYPD slowdown and police body cams

I joined Abby Martin on "Breaking the Set" tonight to talk about how the NYPD slowdown reveals an opportunity for cities to save costs by shrink unnecessarily large police departments, and why police body cameras won't help solve the police violence & accountability crisis, and could instead make mass incarceration even worse. 

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