Campaign Cash Influences Expansion and Institutionalization of 'National Surveillance State'

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Posted Oct. 30, 2013

Interview with Paul Jorgensen, assistant professor of political science at the University of Texas-Pan American, conducted by Scott Harris

surveillance

New revelations about the scope of America’s National Security Agency surveillance program continued this week with reports from journalist Glenn Greenwald, working with documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, detailing U.S. surveillance of phone communications of millions of European citizens and leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Earlier revelations included information that the NSA had long-monitored phone data in Brazil, France, Mexico and more recently, Spain.

News reports about the NSA spy program targeting U.S. allies came the same week that thousands gathered in Washington, D.C. for a protest march and rally in opposition to dragnet surveillance. On Oct. 26, a diverse coalition of left and right groups, organized under the banner "Stop Watching U.S.," called on Congress to investigate the full extent of the NSA spy programs and to institute reforms to protect citizen’s privacy rights.

Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Paul Jorgensen, assistant professor of political science at the University of Texas-Pan American, who discusses a new study he co-wrote with Thomas Ferguson, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and UMass statistician Jie Chen, titled, "Who Buys the Spies? The Hidden Corporate Cash Behind America's Out of Control National Surveillance State." Here Jorgensen talks about the report and the concern that campaign contributions injected into the U.S. political system by companies profiting from surveillance contracts have expanded and institutionalized unaccountable government spying.

Read the "Who Buys the Spies?" report.

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