Snitch Culture: How Citizens are Turned into the Eyes and Ears of the State, by Jim Redden


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Snitch Culture: How Citizens are Turned into the Eyes and Ears of the State, by Jim Redden

Snitch Culture: How Citizens are Turned into the Eyes and Ears of the State, by Jim Redden

Snitch Culture: How Citizens are Turned into the Eyes and Ears of the State, by Jim Redden

Ebook Free Snitch Culture: How Citizens are Turned into the Eyes and Ears of the State, by Jim Redden

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Snitch Culture: How Citizens are Turned into the Eyes and Ears of the State, by Jim Redden

In this alarming expose, investigative journalist Jim Redden examines how snooping has become so much a part of American culture that it is practically a family value, encouraged on billboards, television, and even in classrooms. From employees hired to spy on their coworkers to doctors forced to disclose medical information, the U.S. has developed a chilling network for monitoring its citizens. Worst of all, the information gathered – and widely disseminated – is often unreliable, solicited from paid and anonymous informants. “No one is safe in the Snitch Culture. Jim Redden has written a scary, fascinating, and important examination of the pervasive use and abuse of informants and snitches in the United States.” – Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love

  • Sales Rank: #809360 in Books
  • Brand: Brand: Feral House
  • Published on: 2000-10-30
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .65″ h x 5.51″ w x 8.48″ l,
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 320 pages

Features

  • Used Book in Good Condition

Most helpful customer reviews

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
This Book Tells About A Surveillance Society.
By William
This book tells about a surveillance society far more insidious and pervasive than anything George Orwell ever imagined. Here are some examples that this book mentions: Some employers have undercover agents to spy on workers. Lawyers are required to report clients who pay with cash to the government agencies. Classmates turn against each other. Friends rat each other out to the authorities.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Three Stars
By Amazon Customer
good

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
Land of the Free?
By Jeffrey Leach
Author Jim Redden wrote “Snitch Culture” in order to bring together disparate examples of how our government and our society has embraced the concept of “snitching,” or informing on one another. Everybody professes to hate a snitch. Think of all the various labels we have for someone who informs on another person: snitch, tattletale, rat, stool pigeon, whistleblower, fink, and several others I am probably forgetting. None of these words convey a positive image, do they? Think of all of the media images that show what happens to someone who snitches on another person and you will usually discover that these images are not positive ones. Nowadays, however, we live in a new era, an era that encourages citizens to inform on other people. A respected national magazine made corporate whistleblowers their “Person of the Year” recently, if memory serves me correctly. Law enforcement always pays good money for information on people who commit even the most mundane crimes. And the less said about schools the better. Perhaps our society suffers from a massive case of hypocrisy, where we believe one thing (ratting out another person is bad) but praise it nonetheless (someone broke the law! Get them!). I suspect most of us have no idea how many schemes our ruling institutions have cooked up in order to amass information about us. Certainly, the recent “Patriot Act” enacted after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack still receives much attention from watchdogs that criticize the government for its sudden interest in our library records. Well, Redden rides to the rescue with chapter after chapter of documented skullduggery from nearly any institution you can think of, both public and private.
It is difficult to summarize the most egregious cases outlined by Redden in this book because they are all horribly invasive and oftentimes ethically wrong. Perhaps the widespread use of informants in legal prosecutions ranks the highest, where federal and state attorneys pay money to nearly anyone with a story to tell. The fact that sometimes this information is an out and out lie doesn’t bother the authorities in the least, even when wrong information leads to the death or injury of an innocent person. Redden finds such an account in the case of a man seriously wounded by police when a drug snitch threw his name out at random even though this man was completely innocent of any crime. The federal government doesn’t stop there. The FBI and government intelligence apparatuses routinely spy on the American people, often in the name of “National Security.” These institutions even want to know what you are looking at on your computer, and have made attempts to do just that by attaching spy equipment to some of the biggest servers in the country. Redden goes so far as to claim that there is no war on drugs, terrorism, or youth violence but only a war on the American people over gathering information on all of us.
It isn’t just government resorting to immoral information gathering. Corporations and private watchdog groups do it quite often. Companies now monitor the Internet in order to see what their employees are doing. This may not sound like a bad idea, as wasted labor does impact a business’s bottom line. The problem comes when bosses punish people for running private websites on their own time and not accessing them from work. Yes, this apparently happened in several instances, at least according to Redden. Private watchdog groups present another example of the snitch culture. The author cites the infamous case of the Anti-Defamation League’s illegal gathering of information. The ADL, ostensibly dedicated to rooting out dangerous racist groups throughout the country, also spies on just about anyone it wants to regardless of political affiliations. A raid on their San Francisco office turned up thousands upon thousands of documents on organizations and people with absolutely zero links to racist organizations. Even worse, the ADL often shares information with police departments around the country, forming a link between private and government institutions that like to spy.
War and the threat of war constitute one of the major tenets of the snitch culture. During the conflict in Kosovo, suspicious evidence exists that an anti-war website created to oppose NATO operations in this former Yugoslavian province suffered a computer attack from the United States military. The website wasn’t really hurting anyone, just providing news accounts of activities in the region with a view towards stopping the war. The operators of the site soon learned that a private watchdog had labeled their efforts “militia” activity, and shortly thereafter the site went down after being bombarded by so many requests for information that the server crashed. Scary stuff, even if the operators of the site will never know for sure that military computer specialists launched the attack, but there are several pieces of compelling evidence that our armed forces were behind this computer generated assault. I could go on and on about the endless examples Redden cites regarding snitching, spying, and information gathering.
The one drawback to the book is one that most reviews mention: Redden rarely distinguishes between times when snitching is useful and when it is illegal. In this author’s world, ALL information gathering efforts fall into negative categories. In a way, I do agree with his analysis even though there are cases where informing on other people is a necessity. Redden recognizes that human nature always seems to make us go overboard on something when a crisis arises. Therefore, even good spying nearly always leads to abuses. “Snitch Culture” does a good job collating information about these massive abuses, but does little to present realistic solutions to the problem.

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