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Episode 2 of 22
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.”
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