Surveillance in America

Surveillance in America : Critical Analysis of the FBI, 1920 to the Present

4.6 (5 ratings by Goodreads)
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Surveillance in America provides a historical exploration of FBI surveillance practices and policies since 1920 based on recently declassified FBI files. Using the new information available through these documents, Ivan Greenberg sheds light on the activities and beliefs of top FBI officials as they develop and implement surveillance practices. Paying particular attention to the uses of the media, Greenberg provides a thorough reconsideration of the Watergate scandal and the role of W. Mark Felt as "Deep Throat." He exposes new evidence which suggests that Felt led a faction at the FBI that worked together to bring down President Nixon. The book concludes with an in-depth treatment of surveillance practices since the year 2000. He considers the question of "surveillance as harassment" and looks at the further erosion of privacy. stemming from Obama's counter-terror policies which extend those of the Bush Administration's second term. The startling increase in surveillance since the events of September 11th, reveal the extent to which America is losing the battle for civil liberties.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 398 pages
  • 160.02 x 228.6 x 30.48mm | 703.06g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739172476
  • 9780739172476

Table of contents

Introduction 1. A Class Analysis of Early FBI Spying 2. Manipulating the Media 3. Threatening Historians 4. The Ideology of the FBI 5. The Deep Throat Faction 6. Surveillance Society Policing 7. Postscript: The 10th Anniversary of 9/11
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Review quote

Can we speak freely if the FBI is listening in? Greenberg addresses this critical question through a sweeping and documented historical review of nearly a century of political spying. Read it; the FBI will. -- David Cole, Author of No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System In this tightly argued and impressively researched monograph, Greenberg, the author of the well-received Dangers of Dissent (2010), extends his earlier analysis of the threat expansive surveillance operations pose to civil liberties. Based on research in FBI records released in response to (his own and other) Freedom of Information Act requests and extensive reading of the relevant secondary literature, this book surveys FBI surveillance operations since 1920. Greenberg recounts in detail how FBI investigations extended beyond legitimate security threats to encompass radical and labor union activists, historians and prominent writers, reporters, and social justice proponents, and, in an interesting chapter, relates FBI Associate Director W. Mark Felt's questionable actions in the Watergate affair. In addition, the author pinpoints the fundamental shift in the conduct of such operations from the secret use of recognizably illegal or extralegal investigative procedures during the post-World War I through the Cold War eras to their legalization through permissive, wide-ranging legislation enacted in the 1990s, 2001, and 2008. Greenberg's sobering account offers a welcome perspective for assessing the current debate over the proper balance between security and liberty interests in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. CHOICE
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About Ivan Greenberg

Ivan Greenberg is the author of The Dangers of Dissent: The FBI and Civil Liberties since 1965.
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