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Pratap Chatterjee, Executive Director
Pratap is an investigative journalist and producer. He is the author of "Halliburton's Army" (Nation Books, 2009) "Iraq Inc.: A Profitable Occupation" (Seven Stories Press, 2004) and "The Earth Brokers" (Routledge Press, 1994).
He has many years of experience working in radio, print and digital media, including hosting a weekly radio show on Berkeley station KPFA, working as global environment editor for InterPress Service and as a freelance writer for the Financial Times, the Guardian and the Independent of London.
He has won five Project Censored awards as well as a Silver Reel from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters for his work in Afghanistan, and the best business story award from the National Newspaper Association (US), among others. He has also appeared as a commentator on numerous radio and television shows ranging from BBC World Service, CNN International, Democracy Now!, Fox and MSNBC.
Pratap serves on the board of Amnesty International USA and Corporate Europe Observatory.
Rough interview Notes-- mostly my questions
You're finding that the internet is being used against people" by corporations?
recording and storing everything, using private companies to store it.
Tell us about corpwatch.org
tracks corporate malfeasance" fraud, waste, corrupt practices-- we cover the halliburtons of the world, companies like Enron
Greenwash awards: false claims about being good stewards of the environment-- like Chevron.
What campaigns are you involved with?
Started after Sept 911, when US sent military to Iraq, Afghanistan-- that it would be a huge boondoggle for companies like hallburton, blackwater
A lot of government services companies are providing surveillance and intelligence-- working for FBI, CIA--
This is the new profiteering-- data and meta-data acquisition, analysis and storage?
this came out of the war on terrorism.
Can you talk about how the FDA used technology to spy on its own scientists?
The security agencies are building back door access to all kinds of technologies.
years ago we had phones. Period. Now we have email, Skype, landlines, cell phones, twitter, Facebook, and many ways for people to communicate.
4th amendment and universal declaration of human rights-- article 17 prohibits.
It seems that if the technology is there, there will be government people there who think they can do just about anything.
It's gotten much worse under the Obama administration.
And it's being done with the support of Democrats
Are there any members of congress standing up to this
Mark Udall and Ron Wyden"
Almost half of congress has been opposed to this surveillance.
Justin Amash and John Conyers amendment-- Obama went ballistic to block it.
People who voted for the amendment-- tea-party and liberal democrats.
How can we make people in congress uncomfortable with this?
Rally on Oct. 26-- ACLU, EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) tenth anniversary of the Patriot Act-- protest against
There are a number of heads of the security wing of the government have lied to congress. Do you see anything being done about it?
James Clapper head of NSA
his boss ODNI Keith Alexander
In March 2013, Ron Wyden asked Clapper if NSA collects data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.
I see the internet has been a major catalyst of the bottom up revolution. But there is a dark side-- where the internet i s being used to protect and consolidate top-down power and disrupt and break up bottom-up, grassroots, horizontal power. Can you talk about that?
the good side is the freeing up of opportunity to create media, like Matt Drudge.
we live in a global world and we also need global rights.
70% of the spying done in the US is done by corporations.
Companies have access to information in private business will tie it to data that they are managing for the security agencies, not necessarily knowing who the person is.
They're already doing that.
Data which google said was anonymized could be de-anonymized.
it seems to me that corporations are getting more use of this info than the government.
And it seems that this big data technology is emerging so fast there are very few people who have their heads around this.
PC: there needs to be regulation, fines and prosecution.
But that's not happening.
Did the government fine JP Morgan ($11 billion) based on new laws or old laws?
Are there people in congress working on the regulations you're referring to?
In terms of what you're doing at corpwatch, what's at the cutting edge?
What do you think of the businesses and people who are in the business of making it easier for governments and corporations to spy on people.
Actually, the phone companies, like ATT and Verizon are profiting selling information to the government.
Data profiteers. it seems to me that these data profiteers are bad. They're vile, like war profiteers.
This is something that is ubiquitous on the web. Are there lines that need to be drawn?
we need to be able to opt out of it-- the option not to be tracked, and if the government wants to go after people they need to have a warrant. And they need to go to jail if they lie.
You've written about software that goes in email that when you click on it downloads malware that can can access your data, turn on your microphone, your video, steal your password...
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