In his recent book Beyond Snowden: Privacy, Mass Surveillance, and the Struggle to Reform the NSA, civil liberties activist and former intelligence official Timothy Edgar calls for a renewed conversation on mass surveillance reform in the global and digital age. This month, Benjamin Wittes interviewed Edgar on his new book at the Hoover Book Soiree.
With the rise of modern technologies, the scope and scale of government surveillance has exploded. The use of digital communication has made communication more efficient, but also much more vulnerable. Governments, meanwhile, are increasing their capacity to exploit these vulnerabilities, and companies, their ability to thwart them. Both the PATRIOT act and the Snowden disclosures pushed the issue to the front of the national conversation. Today, the legal and policy debate—over what kind of surveillance tools are acceptable, against whom, and with with whose authorization—continues in full force.