The defenders of government surveillance have used the media’s fascination with personalities to turn attention onto leaker Edward Snowden and away from what he disclosed. What Snowden’s leak should prompt is a re-examination of the National Security Agency (NSA) and other national security agencies and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) that is supposed to authorize their activies.
Assessing a decade of surveillance television
If the details of the NSA scandal have seemed eerily familiar, perhaps it’s because TV drama has been playing out similar scenarios for years. The past decade has seen a flood of national-security related TV shows that refract our anxieties du jour and offer different spins on the hazards of big data and the assorted ways we justify privacy invasion in the name of national security. In recent years technology has morphed from a snazzy instrument in the game of taking out enemies, as it was in most Cold-War-era spy shows, into a threat in and of itself. Elsewhere, PRISM-esque technology serves as a deus ex machina, a quick and justified way to solve crimes and thwart terrorism. If you want to fuel your paranoia about the national security apparatus, here’s what to watch—and how they stack up against the real thing.
What the NSA owes Pink Floyd
Someone at the National Security Agency is apparently a Pink Floyd fan.
How Congress whiffed on drones
How Congress whiffed on drones.
The Obama administration's drone strike memo is unconstitutional
The flimsy legal reasoning of the Obama administration's drone memo is unconstitutional.