Government Spying Chills Free Speech

Heidi Boghosian

by Heidi Boghosian | June 19, 2013

The following remarks were given by Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild at the Emergency Forum at Cooper Union on June 19, 2013.

Organizations such as the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU and others challenged the Bush warantless wire tapping program. In each case they were told they didn’t have standing and they couldn’t prove with certainty that they were being wire tapped. We know that that creates what’s called a chilling effect on free speech. If you’re aware of the possibility that your conversations and correspondences may be monitored it effects the way you communicate...

We have a government that’s cloaked in secrecy. And as you can see by the whistle blowers and leakers that we so honor and owe a debt of gratitude to, information is carefully being guarded and let to sift out according to what message the Obama administration wants to send us....

I think it’s important when people say I’m not doing anything wrong, I have nothing to worry about, that you remind them that if we don’t exercise our hard fought first amendment rights and fourth amendment protections that were designed to shield us from an overreaching government, and not the other way around, that our democracy is indeed very imperiled.

Main Police State Repression Government Spying Chills Free Speech


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