American Surveillance: Interview with Anthony Gregory


The United States has been conducting surveillance of its citizens since it was created, but the ability of any government to spy on its citizens has dramatically improved in the digital age. How should United States balance national security and personal privacy? Does the Constitution provide adequate protection against unrestricted government surveillance? What can advocates do to strengthen personal privacy rights? These concerns will only intensify in the years to come.

Anthony Gregory’s new book American Surveillance: Intelligence, Privacy and the Fourth Amendment published by the University of Wisconsin Press examines the history of surveillance in the United States and grapples with these problems. He examines what the role the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against illegal government searches and seizures has played in protecting Americans from government surveillance and how courts have frequently circumvented it. Daniel Ellsberg has described Gregory’s book as essential to “those who want to protect liberty, peace and justice, and who want to take the debate to the highest level, will find this book indispensable.”

As a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Gregory has written pieces published by The Atlantic, Christian Science Monitor, Salon, Reason, and many others, and authored The Power of Habeas Corpus in America: From the King’s Prerogative to the War on Terror.

Read the interview at

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