ROBERT SCHEER “They Know Everything About You”


When: February 28, 2015

Where: First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

$12 advance tickets: :: 800-838-3006 or Pegasus (3 sites) Moe’s, Walden Pond Bookstore, Diesel a Bookstore, Mrs. Dalloway’s Books  
SF: Modern Times, $15 door

Robert Scheer’s robust conversations with KPFA’s Sunday morning host Philip Maldari have become legendary for their intellectual ferocity and rich humor.  Now they meet in an open public forum for the first time.

Data-collecting corporations and snooping government agencies are destroying democracy, insists Robert Scheer. In the first week of June 2013, the American people discovered that for an entire decade, they had abjectly traded their individual privacy for the chimera of national security. The revelation that the federal government has full access to all phone records and the vast trove of presumably private personal data posted on the Internet has brought the threat of a surveillance society to the fore.

But the erosion of privacy rights extends far beyond big government. Big Business has long played a leading role in hollowing out our personal freedoms. In They Know Everything About You, Robert Scheer reveals how our most intimate habits, from private correspondence, book pages read, and lists of friends and phone conversations have been seamlessly combined in order to create detailed maps of individuals’ social and biological DNA.

The Constitution’s Fourth Amendment guarantee of the sovereignty of the individual —“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated”— is being treated as an irrelevant relic of a bygone civilization.  Our freedom has been squandered in the dubious name of national security and consumer convenience.  We must challenge, Scheer argues, the assumption that protecting national security demands sacrificing the constitutional rights of the individual.

Robert Scheer, former national affairs correspondent and columnist for the Los Angeles Times, is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Truthdig and professor at U.S.C.’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He is the author of many books, including The Great American Stickup.

Philip Maldari is the longtime host of KPFA’s Sunday morning show.

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