“I Have Nothing to Hide” and 20 Other Myths About Surveillance and Privacy; and Julian Assange Update: Attorney Marjorie Cohn

“I Have Nothing to Hide” and 20 Other Myths About Surveillance and Privacy

Should we give up our privacy all together because we think we have nothing to hide? This is the perhaps the most pervasive of the myths about surveillance and privacy that Heidi Boghosian explores in her new book titled I Have Nothing to Hide and 20 Other Myths About Surveillance and Privacy.

Other popular misconceptions detailed in the book include the notion that surveillance makes the nation safer, no one wants to spy on kids, police don’t monitor social media, metadata doesn’t reveal much about me, Congress and the courts protect us from surveillance, and there’s nothing I can do to stop surveillance.

Privacy is a fundamental right, and one that we often take for granted in the digital era. In her new book from Beacon Press, Heidi debunks some of the reasons these myths have evolved and why we unquestioningly believe them. She warns of the dangers they present to our freedoms and suggests ways to protect ourselves from the government and corporations.

Guest – Attorney Heidi Boghosian is a New York City attorney, activist, and nonprofit director. She currently runs the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, a charitable organization providing support to activist organizations. Before that she was executive director of the National Lawyers Guild. Her book I Have Nothing to Hide: And 20 Other Myths About Surveillance and Privacy was published in July 2021 (Beacon Press) and her earlier book Spying on Democracy was published in 2013.


Julian Assange Update: Attorney Marjorie Cohn

The Julian Assange case is the most important civil liberties first amendment freedom to write/freedom to learn case of our times. Democracy cannot thrive without a free press that watches over the government and tells the truth. The government wants secrecy. We need transparency.

Julian Assange was a young Australian computer genius when he figured out a way for whistle blowers to reveal truths of government corruption, duplicity, and war crimes. Whistleblowers could report these things with anonymity.

The great Australian journalist John Pilger describes his accomplishments: WikiLeaks, of which Assange is founder and publisher, exposed the secrets and lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, the murderous role of the Pentagon in dozens of countries, the blueprint for the 20-year catastrophe in Afghanistan, the attempts by Washington to overthrow elected governments such as Venezuela’s, the collusion between nominal political opponents (Bush and Obama), and the CIA Vault campaign that turned your mobile phone, even your TV set, into a spy in your mitts. And there is much more.

The US government soon realized Julian Assange had to be crushed and silenced. Years ago the Department of Defense issued orders to smear his name. He was falsely accused of everything from rape to abusing his pet cat. Their smear campaign was largely effective with many leftists and liberals give only lukewarm support to Julian who now sits in solitary in Britain’s infamous Belmarsh prison awaiting extradition to a court in eastern Virginia which will certainly convict him and imprison him for the rest of his life. He faces charges of spying under the 1917 Espionage Act, which was never intended to be used against journalists but is now used regularly against whistleblowers.

He is in terrible physical and psychological shape. A lower court judge in Great Britain recently ruled that its likely that he will commit suicide and refused Americas request to extradite him. But an appeals court in Britain wants to take another look at the lower courts evaluation. A hearing is scheduled for October 27th.

Guest – Attorney Marjorie Cohn is a retired constitutional law professor from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. She is a past president of the National Lawyers Guild and a regular columnist in the online magazine Truthout where she has a recent column on Julian Assange.

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