Journalist Jon Fasman says local police are frequently able to access very powerful surveillance tools — including publicly accessible CCTV cameras, automatic license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices — with little oversight. Fasman embedded with different police departments across the country to see how officers integrate technology into their day-to-day job.
Kai Strittmatter's new book, We Have Been Harmonized: Life in China's Surveillance State, examines the role of surveillance in China's authoritarian state. He warns that Chinese President Xi Jinping, who came to power in 2012, has embraced an ideological rigidity unknown since the days of Mao Zedong.
In 2013, Edward Snowden was an IT systems expert working under contract for the National Security Agency when he traveled to Hong Kong to provide three journalists with thousands of top-secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance of American citizens.
Today's Internet users have become accustomed to stories of hacking, identity theft and cyberattacks, but there was a time when the freedom and anonymity of the Web were new, and no one was sure what rules — if any — applied to its use.
Whether it's logs of phone calls or GPS data, commentator Geoff Nunberg says it still says a lot about who you are: "Tell me where you've been and who you've been talking to, and I'll tell you about your politics, your health, your sexual orientation, your finances," he says.
Shane Harris, an author and journalist who covers intelligence, surveillance and cybersecurity for a number of publications, says that the revelations about the NSA from Edward Snowden are nothing new, and that such programs have a significant recent history in the United States.
"Big Data" had just as much to do with President Obama's victory as phrases like "Etch A Sketch" and "47 percent," says linguist Geoff Nunberg. Big Data is also behind anxieties about intrusions on our privacy, whether from the government's anti-terrorist data sweeps or the ads that track us on the Web.
In February, President Obama signed an aviation bill requiring the FAA to make plans to integrate drones into American airspace. Brooking Institution senior fellow John Villasenor explains what these drones will be able to see -- and how our privacy and national security may be affected.
America's anti-terrorism strategy has evolved in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks. New York Times reporters Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt explain some of the tactics used by the United States over the past decade to disrupt al-Quaida both in real life and online.
Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the National Security Agency stepped up its efforts to collect intelligence domestically by filtering millions of phone conversations and e-mail messages. In his new book, The Shadow Factory, journalist James Bamford reveals that the ultra-secret agency has half a million people on its watch lists.
In 2005, The New York Times revealed that the National Security Agency had performed wiretaps and other surveillance without court orders. It was a story the Bush administration hoped to keep under wraps, says reporter Eric Lichtblau. Lichtblau's new book is Bush's Law.
Richard Linklater's new film, A Scanner Darkly, is based on the book by Philip K. Dick -- a haunting tale of drug addiction, paranoia and surveillance set in the America of the near future. Live-action footage is overlaid with an animation technique first used in Linklater's 2001 film Waking Life.
Sen. Joe Biden has been in the spotlight lately because of his work on two panels: the Judiciary Committee, which questioned new Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and the Foreign Relations Committee, on which Biden is the top Democrat.
In December, New York Times and Eric Lichtblau broke the news that the Bush administration had authorized a domestic eavesdropping program. Risen's new book is State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.