The Continuous Action

Walter Shaub

The Continuous Action, a five-part podcast exploring the labor of democracy, will work to pin down what our troubled republic demands of us, ordinary citizens, right now. Join Walt Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, and Virginia Heffernan, journalist and host of Trumpcast, as they talk with analysts, activists, government leaders and philanthropists to break down some of the biggest issues our democracy faces — and to identify some paths forward. The podcast is broken into five episodes on the following topics: defending voting rights, pursuing truth in government, addressing government surveillance, reining in the executive branch, and getting the government we deserve.


The inspiration for the title “The Continuous Action” comes from the admonition by John Lewis that “freedom is not a state; it is an act.” Speaking of our duty as citizens, he proclaimed: “Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.”

The Continuous Action is sponsored by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), hosted by Walt Shaub and Virginia Heffernan, and produced by Myron Kaplan. Stay tuned on the latest from POGO: pogo.org/subscribe


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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The Eyes On Your Face
May 6 2022
The Eyes On Your Face
In Episode 3, hosts Walt Shaub and Virginia Heffernan grapple with government surveillance, focusing in particular on facial recognition technology and the ways that the government could — and already does — abuse this pervasive technology. Facial recognition expert Jake Laperruque describes the arms race between technology companies developing new software to be used by law enforcement on one side, and lawmakers and privacy advocates working to regulate this fast-developing technology on the other. Framing privacy as a human rights issue, Laperruque reminds us of the abuses of the post-9/11 era, when the government carried out indiscriminate surveillance of Muslim communities.  In our next interview, we step back and look more broadly at how targeted surveillance of all types can harm vulnerable populations, a problem that technology like facial recognition software exacerbates. Law professor and former prosecutor Paul Butler explains how the Supreme Court has unleashed the forces of control on minority populations. Finally, Maya Wang, the senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch, paints a picture of the future we must avoid. As always, the show concludes with ideas about the actions listeners can take to help address these wrongs. This episode features some good news, as the hosts break down a recent victory by privacy advocates that forced the IRS to back off a plan that would have force some Americans to use problematic facial ID tech to access their tax records.The Continuous Action is sponsored by The Project On Government Oversight. Stay tuned on the latest from POGO: pogo.org/subscribeFor show notes, visit: pogo.org/series-collections/the-continuous-action/  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.