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Sunday, June 16, 2013

On the Media: Calling for a National Conversation, Offshore Leaks, and More


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Brooke looks into just what it means to have a national conversation about government surveillance, international journalists focus on another big leak story, and the dubious explanatory power of bathtubs. 

How Do We Have a National Conversation?

This week, President Obama told Charlie Rose that he would like to have a national conversation about government surveillance. Brooke explores what it means to truly have a "national conversation" with the American Library Association's Lynne Bradley, the Constitution Project's Sharon Bradford Franklin, and California Congressman Henry Waxman.

We Aren't Watching You - Yet

Last week, a bill called the We Are Watching You Act was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s meant to protect consumers from new technology that could monitor them as they watch TV or play video games. Brooke speaks to Rep. Walter Jones, one of the bill's cosponsors, about why he feels these regulations are necessary.

Who's Watching Who

Brooke asks the Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray the key question about the We Are Watching You Act: who, exactly, is watching us -- and how?

Offshore Leaks

While the US is focusing on leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, international journalists have been reporting stories from a massive trove of documents called the "Offshore Leaks" that reveals the mysterious world of offshore tax havens. Brooke talks to Gerard Ryle, the Director of the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium for Investigative Journalism about coordinating the reporting on these leaks around the world.

Fracking Feud

As hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, continues its spread throughout the nation, oil industry representatives and environmentalists vie for control over coverage of the issue. Brooke speaks to ProPublic's Abrham Lustgarten about how advocates on both sides of the issue are attempting to control the narrative.

Terrorists vs. Bathtubs

In a Guardian livechat this week, NSA leaker Edward Snowden advised Americans to consider the trade off they make between privacy and security: "Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it.” These "X kills more people than Y" comparisons crop up all the time, in discussions of terrorism, gun control, even obesity. Brooke talks to risk analyst Peter Sandman about why they aren't very persuasive .
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