Where There’s Smoke, China’s ‘Great Firewall’ Douses the Fire

Reading Time: 8 minutesThe moment that my international flight landed in Shanghai, China, I tried out a new VPN service on my cell phone. I’d heard about the app while studying abroad; the company promised it could bypass China’s “Great Firewall” to access YouTube, Netflix, and other government-blocked sites with lightning speed.

Thought Control: US Monitors Social Media Activity of Visa Applicants

Reading Time: 15 minutesNew State Department rules, effective since May of this year, require applicants for visas to enter the United States to disclose all of their social media accounts, including those that use a pseudonym.

ClandesTime 197 – The Spycops Scandal

For decades undercover British intelligence officers have infiltrated almost every notable political movement in the UK. In this episode I talk to Kit Klarenberg, an investigative journalist who has written extensively about this topic.

Watchdogs Challenge Surveillance in Berkeley

Reading Time: 16 minutesAre the agencies and tools intended to combat international terrorism being used more broadly against US citizens?Ultra-liberal Berkeley, California, has been the scene of provocative demonstrations staged by right-wing groups in recent years that have sparked clashes with anti-fascist groups.And the Berkeley police secretly filmed the protests, using high-tech surveillance cameras equ

The DEA and Breaking Bad: Why Hank Never Tapped Jesse’s Phone

Despite its enormous popularity there are many problems with Breaking Bad - the utterly racist depiction of Mexicans, the glorifying of a sociopathic protagonist and that incredibly boring and pointless fifth season come to mind.  But what has never been discussed before is how the show functions as propaganda for the Dr

ClandesTime 179 – The Philosophy and Politics of Superman

Superman is one of the world’s most recognisable cultural icons. A symbol of human idealism, he has been subject to a range of political and philosophical agendas over the last 80 years.

How the Pentagon Rewrote Man of Steel

The Superman reboot Man of Steel launched the (now abandoned) DC Extended Universe, and put a much darker tinge on the Superman franchise than any previous incarnation, especially the Christopher Reeve classics.  Man of Steel benefited from large-scale support from the military, but hidden until now are the d

‘All Assistance is Provided at No Cost to You’ – FBI Letter to Martin Scorcese

In late 2009 the FBI got wind of the fact that Martin Scorcese was developing The Wolf of Wall Street, about stock fraudster turned federal cooperator Jordan Belfort.  So the Bureau's Michael Kortan wrote to Scorcese to offer their help and supp

The CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office and Ice Station Zebra

The 1968 spy and counterspy classic Ice Station Zebra was inspired by a real life event during the CIA/Air Force Corona spy satellite program.  In April 1959 the satellite Discoverer 2 became the first to send a recovery capsule containing satellite surv