September 10, 2013
The revelation of controversial NSA surveillance programs confirmed what many long suspected: the federal government is spying on U.S. citizens. Sales of George Orwell’s 1984 skyrocketed and public opinion polls now show skepticism. In leaking highly classified documents, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed mass surveillance of U.S. citizens’ phone calls and emails, and cooperation from private telecom companies. Yet supporters claim the programs are legal and it has prevented terrorist attacks. But even if this is true, what did this “security” cost? Is acceptance just a result of a slow erosion of our civil liberties? Do these programs violate the Fourth Amendment? Cato scholars Jim Harper and Julian Sanchez will discuss the intersection of privacy and security, outline how the NSA programs work, and take your questions.