Democracy Now! - 2/25/16

On today's episode of DemocracyNow! 

Donald Trump is the front-runner as he enters the final Republican presidential debate ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday primary. He is also featured on the cover of a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, "The Year in Hate and Extremism." We speak with SPLC President Richard Cohen, who notes that "[o]ver 60 percent of the people who support Trump believe that President Obama is a secret Muslim and wasn’t born in this country." The report points to the presidential election cycle as one of the primary reasons for the rising number of hate groups across the U.S., saying last year was marked by a level of hate speech in mainstream politics not seen in decades. The Investigation Discovery network will premiere a series titled "Hate in America," based on the work of the 

As the government continues to take a bite out of Apple, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the FBI’s request to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters is the "software equivalent of cancer." In an interview on ABC, he explained why the tech giant is resisting a court order to help unlock the phone. TheFBI says Apple is overstating the security risk to its devices, and argues the litigation is limited. "It won’t be unique to this one phone. It would be something that the government can use against any phone. And even if you think that it’s OK for the government to be able to break the encryption of anybody’s phone … what backdoor is accessible to the U.S. government would also be accessible to whatever is the American enemy du jour," says our guest Barry Eisler, who has written about government surveillance in fictional form. He is also a former CIA agent. Eisler is the author of several books, most recently, "The God’s Eye View."

We speak with former CIA agent Barry Eisler about the role of Edward Snowden in raising public awareness about encryption and privacy ahead of the FBI’s push for Apple to break the encryption of the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. "So much of Snowden’s revelations were about this very thing. And the fact that the public knows about corporate cooperation with the government now is in part, I think, what has emboldened Apple to push back," Eisler says. "If we didn’t know about these things, I would expect that Apple would be quietly cooperating. There would be no cost to their doing so." Eisner also discusses his new novel, "The God’s Eye View," which he says is "grounded in things that are actually happening in the world. … I realized I was not going nearly far enough in what I had imagined."

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