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American Spies
Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What to Do About It


Award Winner
  • Date Published: May 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107103238

£ 59.99

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About the Authors
  • US intelligence agencies - the eponymous American spies - are exceedingly aggressive, pushing and sometimes bursting through the technological, legal and political boundaries of lawful surveillance. Written for a general audience by a surveillance law expert, this book educates readers about how the reality of modern surveillance differs from popular understanding. Weaving the history of American surveillance - from J. Edgar Hoover through the tragedy of September 11th to the fusion centers and mosque infiltrators of today - the book shows that mass surveillance and democracy are fundamentally incompatible. Granick shows how surveillance law has fallen behind while surveillance technology has given American spies vast new powers. She skillfully guides the reader through proposals for reining in massive surveillance with the ultimate goal of surveillance reform.

    • An intellectually sophisticated exposition of the technology and law enabling massive modern surveillance
    • Written in an entertaining and accessible style
    • Reveals what is different and dangerous about modern surveillance, which the public may have lost sight of from the more recent and complex Snowden disclosures
    Read more


    • Winner, 2016 Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… what makes American Spies of value is Granick's perspective as a lawyer. What may be most interesting for the layperson is her uncovering of fraud in surveillance law. Legal terms have been perverted to the purpose of allowing those who run the spy agencies to deny they are spying. American Spies is well organized, to the point …' Robert Schaefer, New York Journal of Books

    'Any book addressing modern surveillance faces … hurdles, yet Jennifer Stisa Granick, Director of Civil Liberties at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, manages to provide an expansive, nuanced, and engaging assessment of the complex surveillance state under which people in America live. American Spies is accessible to a wide audience, acting as an introduction to modern surveillance or a review for experienced lawyers. Indeed, the layperson who does not have extensive knowledge regarding surveillance law can engage in a worthwhile manner, as long as one managers the necessarily expansive use of acronyms in the text.' Alexandra Funk, The Champion

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107103238
    • length: 354 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Modern surveillance: massive, classified, and indiscriminate
    2. Word games
    3. Snowden, surveillance whistleblowers, and democracy
    4. We kill people based on metadata
    5. The shadow of September 11th
    6. Modern surveillance and counterterrorism
    7. Americans caught up in the foreign intelligence net
    8. Warrantless wiretapping of Americans under Section 702
    9. Nothing to hide?: a short history of surveillance abuses
    10. The minimal comfort of minimization
    11. Do unto others: why Americans should protect foreigners' privacy rights
    12. US surveillance law before September 11th
    13. American spies after September 11th: illegality and legalism
    14. Modern surveillance and the Fourth Amendment
    15. The failures of external oversight
    16. The National InSecurity Agency
    17. The future of surveillance.

  • Author

    Jennifer Stisa Granick, Stanford Law School
    Jennifer Granick is Director of Civil Liberties at Stanford Law School. She practices, speaks and writes about computer crime and security, electronic surveillance, consumer privacy, and data protection.


    • Winner, 2016 Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology

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