Podcast: The Last Days of Privacy

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FYI: There’s some funny, but still NSFW language in the audio edition of this book, so be advised if you are listening to this at work to use your headphones.

New episodes will run on the 1st and 15th of every month all through 2018. You can support this project by buying a print edition of the book to give to a friend.

Show Notes:

Episode 2 of 22

Previous Episodes:

Episode 1: Your Web Camera Told You To Do What?!

 The Last Days of Privacy

Where did the erosion of privacy in America get its start? The government has been collecting data for many years. The conditions leading to the last days of privacy really have their roots in the World War I era, when fascism and communism were on the rise abroad and immigration was rising at home. Listen to the episode to hear more about World War I and the last days of privacy.

Some highlights of today’s episode include:

● Where mass data collection by the government got its start
● How fear, paranoia, and misinformation led to distrust of immigrants and outsiders
● The passage of the Espionage Act, the law under which Edward Snowden would be prosecuted if he returns to the US
● How President Wilson’s reasons for the Espionage Act were similar to the rationale that led to the passage of the Patriot Act and the election of Donald Trump
● The beginnings of a global communication network and how that allowed for propaganda campaigns and yellow journalism


“There seem to be specific moments, historically speaking, when the public gets worked up about government data collection. Then we forget about it.”

“Remember that time the NSA was passing around sexy photos of people they came across in their data collection efforts? No? Well, that was only a few years ago.”

“Now throw in a fear of communism, global war, as well as good old-fashioned prejudice, and you can see how the government did what it did in terms of its spying on its own people.”


Podcast Motor (Episode Sponsor)

A Brief History of the United States Spying on You

The NSA was passing around your sexy photos

(Other news links can be found in the print edition’s bibliography.)


This chapter is narrated by Roger Wayne and was produced in New York City by John Marshall Media. Post-production, editing, and podcast creation services were provided by PodcastMotor.com.

For questions or comments, you can email me at bj@bjmendelson.com or TEXT (don’t call) 646-331-8341

And, again, you can support this project by purchasing the print edition of this book here.

We encourage you to purchase a copy to donate to your local library.