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September 16, 2013 The Modern Law Library

Government surveillance revelations are having a chilling effect on lawyers, says author

By Richard Brust

Recent revelations regarding covert government surveillance is causing ripples in many areas, not least of which is the legal field.

“Other attorneys–especially young ones who are aware of the history–express frustration and sometimes fear that by taking on high-profile cases or controversial cases in the eyes of the government, they may be exposing themselves to surveillance and sort of be marked in a way as lawyers who represent clients of interest,” says Heidi Boghosian, author of Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance, in her interview with editor Richard Brust.

“It seems clear that in many cases, strict government measures are taken to send a message that if you engage in representing clients who are activists–and who may be successful in the work they do, or who criticize government and corporate policies–that we might hold you out as an example of what can happen to you,” she adds.

Boghosian discusses how data gathering is being used to categorize and monitor people–not just by the government, but also by corporations. Can the law turn a blind eye to the intelligence-gathering?

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In This Podcast:

Richard Brust
Heidi Boghosian is the Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild. She co-hosts the weekly civil liberties radio program, “Law and Disorder,” which airs on Pacifica’s WBAI in New York and on over 50 national affiliate stations around the country. She received her JD from Temple Law School where she was editor-in-chief of the Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review.