Politically motivated surveillance is a prominent feature of today’s National Security State and is part of a playbook of tactics aggressively used by police against Muslims, dissidents, social change movements, and other targeted groups and individuals. Less known, but no less offensive or threatening is the government’s ongoing attacks against the sanctity of attorney-client privilege.
Efforts by government to monitor communications between attorneys and their clients – a violation of the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – is unfortunately nothing new. State-sanctioned surveillance of lawyers and legal groups like the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) has been going on for decades. And, recent disclosures by The Intercept of meta-data and recorded communication between prisoners and their attorneys indicate that such Constitutional violations are still being carried out today, literally as we speak.