Last June, we learned that the U.S. government was spying on Americans. Since then, we have learned much more, such as that the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ communications by Americans has not been essential to preventing terrorist attacks and that the system of oversight for intelligence activities is broken. The NSA and the Obama Administration have misled Congress and the American people, who have likely had their constitutional rights violated.
This month, the President gave a landmark speech, acknowledging the dangers posed to our civil liberties by unchecked and overreaching intelligence gathering, but was scant on specific reforms. What needs to change?
Of course, without whistleblowing by NSA contractor Edward Snowden there never would have been such a speech, public discussion, or opportunity for reform. Snowden’s classified revelations are arguably the most consequential since the Pentagon Papers—and also the most controversial. Snowden is a hero to some, a traitor to others. Were there “safe channels” he could have used, as President Obama has said? What is the value of his whistleblowing? What are the prospects for future Snowdens?
Angela Canterbury, our speaker, is an experienced advocate, policy analyst, and public campaign strategist who serves as the Director of Public Policy at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) in Washington, DC. Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government. At POGO, Canterbury advances public policies to combat corruption and to promote openness and accountability in government. She has been instrumental in efforts that have improved the financial regulatory system, lobbying and congressional ethics rules, whistleblower protections, the Freedom of Information Act, and other open government initiatives. She has testified before Congress and been quoted or appeared in several news outlets. Prior to joining POGO, Canterbury served as the director of advocacy for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, and before that she worked with the League of Women Voters of the U.S. Prior to that she worked with democracy and civil society programs in Ukraine, and was formerly a campaign manager and political consultant.
This meetup is $6.
Jessica, Matt and Tiffany