Rise of the American Corporate Security State 9781626561946

Six Reasons to Be Afraid

Rise of the American Corporate Security State

Edward Snowden's dramatic NSA revelations are only the tip of an iceberg that threatens to sink the Constitution.

* Written by the executive director of one of the organizations representing Edward Snowden in the United States

* Warns that government-corporate "cooperation" in gathering intelligence has fueled an enormous erosion of our civil liberties

* Links the blurring of lines between government and business with the failure to prosecute those responsible for the 2008 economic collapse

Edward Snowden's dramatic NSA revelations are only the tip of an iceberg that threatens to sink the Constitution. As Beatrice Edwards reveals, a host of government agencies are rendering our Bill of Rights meaningless by heavy surveillance of average citizens, political persecution of dissenters, and the threat of indefinite detention now codified into law. Corporations assist and reap handsome profits as a result-70 percent of the $56.2 billion US intelligence budget is paid to private contractors.

As a result, we now live in a Corporate Security State where the government is more interested in safeguarding the health of the companies that serve it than the citizens who support it. How did we get here? And is there a way out?

Edwards lays out the steps intelligence agencies took in the wake of 9/11 to illegitimately extend their reach (and their budgets). Private corporations were only too eager to supply them with the latest surveillance technology and consumer data, essentially becoming an unofficial, and unaccountable, extension of those agencies. Edwards shows how the government has concealed its actions by greatly expanding both the classification of documents-the Obama administration has refused more Freedom of Information Act requests than Bush's-and the prosecution of whistleblowers, many of whom she has worked with personally.

Further, she exposes how the bogus claim of an imminent "cyber war" is being used to justify businesses spying on employees and customers, as well as government and business sharing their ill-gotten information. This is why the Justice Department isn't going after the corporations responsible for the financial collapse of 2008-as Edwards shows, all too often they're partners in crime.

But she offers a plan for fighting back-steps we can demand to restore transparency to government, keep private information private, and make democracy a reality once again.

Read more and meet author below


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Overview

Edward Snowden's dramatic NSA revelations are only the tip of an iceberg that threatens to sink the Constitution.

* Written by the executive director of one of the organizations representing Edward Snowden in the United States

* Warns that government-corporate "cooperation" in gathering intelligence has fueled an enormous erosion of our civil liberties

* Links the blurring of lines between government and business with the failure to prosecute those responsible for the 2008 economic collapse

Edward Snowden's dramatic NSA revelations are only the tip of an iceberg that threatens to sink the Constitution. As Beatrice Edwards reveals, a host of government agencies are rendering our Bill of Rights meaningless by heavy surveillance of average citizens, political persecution of dissenters, and the threat of indefinite detention now codified into law. Corporations assist and reap handsome profits as a result-70 percent of the $56.2 billion US intelligence budget is paid to private contractors.

As a result, we now live in a Corporate Security State where the government is more interested in safeguarding the health of the companies that serve it than the citizens who support it. How did we get here? And is there a way out?

Edwards lays out the steps intelligence agencies took in the wake of 9/11 to illegitimately extend their reach (and their budgets). Private corporations were only too eager to supply them with the latest surveillance technology and consumer data, essentially becoming an unofficial, and unaccountable, extension of those agencies. Edwards shows how the government has concealed its actions by greatly expanding both the classification of documents-the Obama administration has refused more Freedom of Information Act requests than Bush's-and the prosecution of whistleblowers, many of whom she has worked with personally.

Further, she exposes how the bogus claim of an imminent "cyber war" is being used to justify businesses spying on employees and customers, as well as government and business sharing their ill-gotten information. This is why the Justice Department isn't going after the corporations responsible for the financial collapse of 2008-as Edwards shows, all too often they're partners in crime.

But she offers a plan for fighting back-steps we can demand to restore transparency to government, keep private information private, and make democracy a reality once again.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Beatrice Edwards


Beatrice Edwards is the executive director of the Government Accountability Project (GAP) in Washington, D.C. She works with whistleblowers from government, corporations, and international financial institutions on issues of illegality, abuse, and corruption. For ten years, she was a contributing columnist to The Texas Observer, working under the pseudonym “Gabriela Bocagrande,” and she received a Project Censored award in 2002. Currently, she writes for GAP’s inhouse blog and for The Huffington Post about corruption and surveillance issues.

Ms. Edwards holds an M.A. from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. from American University; she speaks publicly about the need for whistleblower and witness protection, as well as strong anticorruption measures in public and private organizations. She has spoken at conferences in Bangkok, Delhi, Paris, Sao Paulo, Moscow, and Cali, as well as around the United States. In March 2013, she helped to establish an international network of whistleblower protection organizations, About the Government Accountability Project

The mission of the Government Accountability Project (GAP) is to protect the public interest by advancing the rights of employees to speak out about serious problems they discover at work. To achieve this mission, GAP assists whistleblowers in making disclosures to institutional policymakers, the public, and the media. Over the decades GAP's staff has developed inhouse expertise in several broad program areas, including strengthening the legal rights of whistleblowers, increasing food and drug safety, ensuring safe and cost-effective cleanup at nuclear weapons facilities, enforcing environmental and worker protections, pursuing national security, promoting corporate accountability, and increasing accountability mechanisms in international institutions.

Since its founding in 1977, GAP has helped more than five thousand whistleblowers and expanded to a twenty-member staff in our Washington, D.C. office. We also conduct an accredited legal clinic for law students and operate a highly popular internship program.

Hundreds of whistleblowers contact GAP each year. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, we are only able to take less than 5 percent of relevant cases that come to us, no matter how worthy they may be. Our goal is that whether we can provide representation, you will be better off as a whistleblower for having contacted us. If nothing else, we will provide a diagnosis of your options and attorney referrals. If you would like to learn more about GAP, please visit our website. To request GAP assistance in blowing the whistle or challenging whistleblower retaliation, please fill out our intake application under the Request GAP Assistance tab on our website.

Government Accountability Project

1612 K Street, N.W. Suite 1100

Washington, D.C. 20006

http://www.whistleblower.org

Tel: (202) 457-0034

Fax: (202) 457-9855

info (at) whistleblower.org

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Contents

Foreword

Preface

Part I The National Security State

Chapter 1 The Government-Corporate Complex: What It Knows about You

Reason to be afraid #1

Average citizens are subject to ever-expanding surveillance and data collection by the government-corporate complex.

Chapter 2 Official Secrets: Absolute Control

Reason to be afraid #2

Control of information by the government-corporate complex is expanding

Chapter 3 The Constitution Impaired: The Bill of Rights Annulled

Reason to be afraid #3

The separation of powers established by the Constitution is eroding. Rights guaranteed by constitutional amendments are becoming irrelevant. Reporting a crime may be a crime, and informing the public of the truth is treason.

Part II The Corporate Security Complex

Chapter 4 Zombie Bill: The Corporate Security Campaign That Will Not Die

Reason to be afraid #4

The government-corporate surveillance complex is consolidating. What has been a confidential but informal

collaboration now seeks to legalize its special status.

Chapter 5 Financial Reform: Dead on Arrival

Reason to be afraid #5

Financial reforms enacted after the crisis are inoperable and ineffective because of inadequate investigations and intensive corporate lobbying.

Chapter 6 Prosecution Deferred: Justice Denied

R eason to be afraid #6

Systemic corruption and a fundamental conflict of interest are driving us toward the precipice of new economic crises.

Chapter 7 The New Regime

Acknowledgments

Endnotes

Index

About the Author

About the Government Accountability Project

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