Blog post 12: Government surveillance

Three articles are assigned for the week. Read all articles. Find them in the Course Schedule and on Ares. The West and Meyer articles are linked on the Course Schedule.

Content of the post: After reading the articles (and making notes, as always), you will choose two (2) specific points from West’s article about Edward Snowden’s “lessons.” The points are numbered 1–17 in the article, so specify by number the point you are addressing, and avoid excessive quoting.

You must then discuss the relevant arguments in Richards (2013) for EACH of your two points from the Snowden article.

Alternatively, you may choose one (1) point from West’s article and also Meyer’s article (the entire article), and then discuss the relevant arguments in Richards (2013) for EACH of those.

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How effective is surveillance?

Here is a short article from ProPublica, a well-respected independent non-profit news organization:

What’s the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much (Nov. 18, 2015)

Very pertinent to yesterday’s presentation and discussion.

Transparency is a big issue: The government claims surveillance has helped to prevent some attacks, but no evidence is given. We are simply supposed to believe the claim because the government said so.

Some optional reading

From time to time I’ll post a reading recommendation. It will be related to the topics in this course. You may ignore it if you like.

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This new report, The Politics of Media Development: The Importance of Engaging Government and Civil Society, comes from the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA). It’s a PDF and free to download.