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Between emails, text messaging, social media, smartphones, and other mainstays of modern living, Americans spend most of their lives in the digital realm. And yet, as most Americans have known for at least the past decade, these communications — including private photos, banking information, personal contacts, and more — are far from secure.
The National Security Agency and other government agencies keep and analyze communications by Americans, both at home and abroad, often without a warrant or any semblance of transparency. These measures sacrifice liberty for a false sense of security. Yet they are popularly championed by members of both parties — who, in a recent bipartisan effort, reauthorized and strengthened FISA Section 702, the source of many of the federal government’s surveillance powers.
What is FISA Section 702 and what does it do? Is there any way to reverse the damage that has been done or at least prevent further intrusions into our privacy? Is privacy a realistic expectation — or even a possibility — in the Digital Age? Have we officially abandoned the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights?
Rep. Justin Amash recently led a defeated effort to bring much-needed reforms to FISA Section 702. Cato policy analyst Patrick G. Eddington formerly worked at the CIA, where he got an inside perspective on the vast surveillance apparatus the American people are subjected to daily.
On Monday, February 12, join them for an important #CatoDigital discussion about the future of privacy in America.
#CatoDigital is a regular event series at the Cato Institute highlighting the intersection of tech, social media, and the ideas of liberty.If you can’t make it to the Cato Institute, you can watch this event live online at cato.org/live, and join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #CatoDigital.