'1971': Documentary Profiles Activists Who Uncovered Hoover-Era Surveillance

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Thanks to Edward Snowden, we all now know about the N.S.A.’s massive electronic spying program -- though it’s surprising how many people seem to have responded to the revelations with a shoulder shrug. We were a lot more shockable back in 1971. That was the year when a small group of activists broke into an FBI office and ultimately exposed documents about a program called COINTELPRO that would stun the nation. COINTELPRO was J. Edgar Hoover’s systematic campaign of spying and intimidation against civil rights activists, anti-war protesters and others. The documents, as well as the Watergate break-in a year later, led to restrictions on the government’s spying activities. Now, the people who broke into that FBI office have come forward. They’re featured in a new documentary called 1971. Madeleine speaks with the director.

Credits

Guest:
Johanna Hamilton - director, '1971' - @JHamilton71

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Jolie Myers, Matt Holzman, Anna Scott, Christian Bordal