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The People Speak, May 20, 2014

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The People Speak
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BEN BLUM - a 13 year old student filmmaker won a C-SPAN award for his documentary on warrantless government spying.  Featured in the film was MARK KLEIN a retired AT&t tech who blew the whistle when he discovered that AT&T had given the NSA an office to spy on customers.  Ben appears in this episode of The People Speak with his hero Mark and both tell the story of how the NSA has been spying on Americans for more than a decade -  way before Edward Snowden became famous for his leaks about the NSA.

Guest, Ben Blum

Guest Name
Ben Blum
Guest Occupation
Whistleblower and Documentary Filmmaker
Guest Biography

BEN BLUM is a 13 year old documentary filmmaker who lives in San Rafael, CA. He is an 8th grader at Saint Mark's School, also in San Rafael. His latest video, Data Obsession, focuses on the overuse of government surveillance in the U.S, and won second place in the national C-SPAN StudentCam competition; out of over 5,000 people. In addition, he runs a highly acclaimed Youtube channel, which has accumulated over 1.1 million views and 4,000 subscribers.  His channel can be accessed at   He is passionate about U.S. history, current events, and foreign affairs.  Currently, he is working on a documentary relating to human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Ben's school - Saint Mark's - is so proud of Ben and wants everyone to know that Ben is a product of his environment as you can tell from Saint Mark's description:

"For over a decade Saint Mark's media and information literacy program has fostered in students the ability to understand information, interpret meaning and communicate with others across multiple forms of media, from novels to news, from writing an essay to producing a video. This innovative program, honored by the National Association of Independent Schools with a Leading Edge Award, raises students' awareness of how mass media influences individuals and society.

Students learn to identify and deconstruct the codes and conventions media use to sell, persuade, entertain and educate. They also learn fundamental critical thinking, communication, research and technology skills, along with how to use the power of voice to make a difference in the world."

Please visit Ben's Youtube Channel to view his award winning CSPAN StudentCam film and other works:

Guest, Mark Klein

Guest Name
Mark Klein
Guest Biography

MARK KLEIN is the whistleblower who exposed AT&T’s participation in the National Security Agency’s illegal warrantless spying on millions of Americans.  Klein grew up in New York City and in 1962 entered Cornell University’s School of Engineering. As the 1960s exploded in social upheaval he was moved with his generation to investigate society and graduated in 1966 with a B.A. in history. Later he returned to technical school, obtaining certificates in electronics and computers which led to employment in computer manufacturing in the 1970s.  He was hired by AT&T in 1981 as a communications technician and worked for the company for over 22 years. In 2003, he discovered the illicit NSA installation in San Francisco and three years later brought it to public attention. He retired from AT&T in May 2004, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife.

ABOUT MARK KLEIN'S BOOK: Wiring Up The Big Brother Machine...And Fighting It

Whistleblower Mark Klein tells the story of the illegal government spying apparatus installed at an AT&T office by the National Security Agency, and his battle to bring it to light and protect Americans’ 4th Amendment rights. After the New York Times revealed in 2005 that the NSA was spying on Americans’ phone calls and e-mail without Constitutionally-required court warrants, the Bush administration openly defended this practice which also violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. All details of the highly secret program remained hidden from the public—until Klein came forward. A technician for over 22 years at telecom giant AT&T, Klein was working in the Internet room in San Francisco in 2003 and discovered the NSA was vacuuming everyone’s communications into a secret room, and he had the documents to prove it. He went to the media in 2006, and then became a witness in a lawsuit brought against the company by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The People Speak

Show Host

The People Speak has evolved over the years with many great guests who have been interviewed by some very fine hosts.

We are a 55 minute show airing every other Sunday between 5-6pm Pacific/8-9pm Eastern. The show features a guest interview from any number of realms of interest (entertainment, science, philosophy, healing, spirituality, activism, politics, literature, etc.).

The guests share their stories, lives, strategies, books, philosophy, films, music, or whatever it is they use as a vehicle for making a difference for the better.

The radio show name, The People Speak, is based on the idea of allowing our audience - the People - a chance to interact with the guests during the hour, and we take phone or text questions from them during the interview.

Past guests include such notables as Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the late Howard Zinn, Nobel Laureates Mairead Maguire, Shirin Ebadi, Kathryn Najimy, Oliver Stone, Jesse Ventura, Richard Belzer, Cynthia McKinney, Cindy Sheehan, Scott Horton, Joan Jett, Willie Nelson, George Galloway, Roseanne Barr, Ed Asner, Chevy Chase, as well as various reps from Amnesty International, UN World Food Programme, and many others.

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