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July 26, 2016
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They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy

By Robert Scheer

Truthdig Editor in Chief
Book Cover

They Know Everything About You is a groundbreaking exposé of how government agencies and tech corporations monitor virtually every aspect of our lives, and a fierce defense of privacy and democracy.

The revelation that the government has access to a vast trove of personal online data demonstrates that we already live in a surveillance society. But the erosion of privacy rights extends far beyond big government. Intelligence agencies such as the NSA and CIA are using Silicon Valley corporate partners as their data spies. Seemingly progressive tech companies are joining forces with snooping government agencies to create a brave new world of wired tyranny.

Life in the digital age poses an unprecedented challenge to our constitutional liberties, which guarantee a wall of privacy between the individual and the government. The basic assumption of democracy requires the ability of the individual to experiment with ideas and associations within a protected zone, as secured by the Constitution. The unobserved moment embodies the most basic of human rights, yet it is being squandered in the name of national security and consumer convenience.

Robert Scheer argues that the information revolution, while a source of public enlightenment, contains the seeds of freedom’s destruction in the form of a surveillance state that exceeds the wildest dream of the most ingenious dictator. The technology of surveillance, unless vigorously resisted, represents an existential threat to the liberation of the human spirit.

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REVIEWS

DANIEL ELLSBERG, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers
They Know Everything About You is a brilliant book. Robert Scheer, who covered my 1971 trial after I released the Pentagon Papers, has been following privacy and surveillance issues for decades. He is a key voice and his book— cogent, timely, and fascinating—is an indispensable text for our time.”
ROBERT B. REICH, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley
“Robert Scheer reminds us that privacy is everything—the protector of our liberty, the guarantor of our personal autonomy, the fountainhead of our democracy—and yet it’s disappearing faster than an electronic blip moving at warp speed from your computer to the NSA. With clarity and precision, Scheer dissects the military-intelligence complex, showing it to be neither very secure nor very intelligent, but, rather, dangerous to us all."
JOHN W. DEAN, bestselling author and former Nixon White House counsel
“The Great American Stickup exposes the ugly truth behind the economic meltdown: the fix is in. Seduced by campaign cash and hordes of lobbyists, political leaders of both parties regularly do Wall Street's bidding--leaving Main Street to fend for itself. Even worse, Scheer shows that the people that nearly drove our economy over the cliff still have their hands on the wheel.”
CHRIS HEDGES, Senior fellow of The Nation Institute and coauthor of Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt
“Robert Scheer is one of the most important journalists in America. He is not only brilliant, possessed by a fierce and uncompromising integrity, but is a lyrical and often moving writer. All of these talents are on full display in his latest book about the rise of the security and surveillance state and the terrifying dystopia that will be visited upon us all unless our right to privacy is returned to us.”

More Reviews

  • “Even readers familiar with Edward Snowden’s revelations about the scope of the NSA’s gathering of personal information will find that Scheer powerfully connects the dots of our chilling Orwellian present, one in which privacy is considered a luxury, rather than a right.” — Publishers Weekly
  • “Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Scheer examines how online convenience has supplanted bedrock American values of personal freedom and the right to privacy…Scheer provides more than enough solid journalism to show that the digital dirt is knee-deep and getting deeper.”— Kirkus Reviews
  • “This is what journalism looks like, provided by one of the greatest reporters of our times. Scheer has written a powerful indictment of the present-day corporate-government surveillance regime that has effectively eliminated the right to privacy. Like a master surgeon, he dissects the self-serving rationales for the wholesale illegal spying on Americans and shows them to be nonsense.” — Robert W. McChesney, author of Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century

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