The Hidden Surveillance State

Cato Sponsor e-Briefing
Friday, July 27, 2012
Noon–1 p.m. (EDT)

Featuring a presentation and live discussion with Julian Sanchez, Research Fellow, Cato Institute; moderated by Caleb O. Brown, Director of Multimedia.

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Cell phone companies now receive 1.3 million requests for information from law enforcement each year, including tens if not hundreds of thousands of requests to transform phones into surreptitious 24/7 tracking devices.  Google—with its vast stores of citizens’ e-mails, online chats, and Web searches—reports getting 6,321 government demands for information.

History has proven time and again that government surveillance powers are inevitably abused without vigilant oversight. Yet as technology has granted both law enforcement and intelligence agencies a dizzying array of new ways to spy—on a scale that would have sounded like science fiction a decade ago—more and more spying escapes any meaningful scrutiny by the general public, and is often even invisible to Congress.

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