National Security and the First Amendment

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Anonymity - Going off the Grid
Episode 20 of The Surveillance State
With the pervasiveness of government and corporate surveillance, some people feel the urge to go off the grid. This lecture explores the benefits and challenges of anonymity for individuals and for society, delving into issues such as the freedom of political speech and the privacy of personal searches and communication.…
Metadata - Legal or Not
Episode 16 of The Surveillance State
Dig deeper into the government's electronic surveillance programs. Here, you'll learn about "metadata"--or data about data. After reviewing what metadata is and how it works, you'll examine the thorny legal issues surrounding metadata gathering in the years after 9/11, and whether collecting it violates the 4th Amendment protection against search…
Code Breaking versus Code Making
Episode 21 of The Surveillance State
As privacy has become more of a concern, many technology service providers are instituting more and stronger encryption--including biometric finger scans to unlock phones and access data. But without a "back door" for government access, the intelligence community argues, national security is at risk. Unpack the tension from a Fifth…
Insider Threats: Avoiding the Next Snowden
Not since the days of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers have we seen the likes of a classified material leak of the size and significance executed by the now infamous NSA contractor, Eric Snowden. This devastating loss of sensitive information has served as yet another wake-up call to organizations…
Some Problems with Privacy
Episode 8 of The Surveillance State
Because our privacy laws are so far behind today's technology, we need a modern conception of privacy that offers enough flexibility for national security, but that also protects against abuse. Here, reflect on the nature of privacy and consider the two extremes: a Panopticon world of total surveillance on the…
The Surveillance State - Big Data, Freedom, and You
A man shoots down a drone that is flying over his private property. A retail store uses predictive data analytics to send pregnancy-related advertising to a teenager who has not told her parents about her condition. A police officer places a GPS device on a suspected criminal's car to follow…
Technology Outruns the Law
Episode 17 of The Surveillance State
Continue your study of surveillance and the law with a look at constitutional law. After exploring cases from the 1960s and 1970s about privacy and police informants, you'll turn to the computer era. Find out what expectations of privacy we have regarding email and phone metadata, airport travel, and our…
Internet Surveillance
Episode 15 of The Surveillance State
Shift your attention to electronic surveillance, and see how the monitoring of web searches and emails allows the government to gain insights into potential security risks from abroad. But even though the surveillance program has oversight, some people fear the potential for abuse is high. Look at both sides of…
Security, Liberty, or Neither?
Episode 1 of The Surveillance State
Start by considering the tension between surveillance and the rule of law. While the pace of technological change is extremely rapid, laws are slow to keep up. Worse, the institutions responsible for creating laws often have internal conflicts about the role of privacy and security--as illustrated by a dramatic face-off…
The Most Dangerous Man in America - Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, concludes that the war is based on decades of lies and leaks 7,000 pages of top secret documents to The New York Times, making headlines around the world. THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA is a riveting story…
The Charlie Hebdo Tragedy
Episode 2 of The Surveillance State
In the wake of the attacks in France, citizens wondered whether their state was taking enough security measures to protect them or doing too much of the wrong thing. In considering this question, review three types of surveillance--physical, electronic and data--and see how each type works. Case studies of the…
Surveillance in America
Episode 4 of The Surveillance State
See what measures the American government took during the Cold War to prevent our devolution into a Stasi-like state. While the CIA and the FBI had several unauthorized surveillance programs in the 1950s and 1960s, Congress and the Supreme Court stepped in to oversee the intelligence world with several powerful…