September 12, 2022

The ACLU of Massachusetts today launched the first episode of “Freedom Unfinished”—a new, four-part podcast that explores emerging technologies and the impact of artificial intelligence, big data, and biometric surveillance on civil liberties and democracy. “Freedom Unfinished” is hosted by ACLU of Massachusetts executive director Carol Rose and features Technology for Liberty program director Kade Crockford.  

In each episode, Rose and Crockford are joined by experts, scholars, and advocates, including U.S. Senator Ed Markey, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin, author and criminal justice expert Sandra Susan Smith, former dean of Harvard Law School and constitutional law expert Martha Minow, and many more. With some content exclusive to the Freedom Unfinished podcast, guests share stories, conversations, and perspectives to inform listeners about technology’s influence on the future of privacy, democracy, racial justice, reproductive freedom, and more.

“In the face of unprecedented threats to our democracy, ‘Freedom Unfinished’ explores how each of us can protect civil rights and civil liberties in the digital era,” said Rose. “The rapid evolution of technology and the age of information has changed almost everything about the way we live, including our civil rights and civil liberties. On the podcast, we discuss these changes with experts from many fields and backgrounds, and the way forward for civil liberties law reform in the digital age.”

The episodes include:

  • Episode 1 features Minow, Angwin, writer and researcher Tim Hwang, and ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties attorney Jacob Snow, discussing the private sector data economy.
  • Episode 2 features Just Futures Law executive director Paromita Shah, privacy and technology attorney and professor Woodrow Hartzog, and Senator Markey, discussing the rise of the surveillance state and the private-public surveillance partnership.
  • Episode 3 features Distributed AI Research Institute director of research Alex Hanna, Smith, and ACLU technology fellow Crystal Grant, discussing algorithmic injustice and racism in the technology sector.
  • Episode 4 features author and longtime New York Times journalist Stephen Kinzer, discussing his recent book on mid-20th century CIA research scientist Sidney Gottlieb, whose work serves as a warning about utilitarianism and innovation shrouded in secrecy.

The full season will be available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, the ACLU’s website, and other popular podcast platforms.

Since its launch in 2013, the ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project has worked to ensure that laws keep pace with the changing digital landscape, and to protect our core civil liberties from the threats posed by novel forms of government surveillance. Most recently, the ACLU’s “Press Pause on Face Surveillance” campaign has built awareness about the civil liberties concerns posed by facial recognition technology and the need to bring its use by government under democratic control. To date, the campaign has won eight municipal bans on the technology in Massachusetts, including in the Commonwealth’s four largest cities.

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