RSSCategory: Orwellian

How Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald broke the NSA story

November 29, 2013 | By | Reply More

This is an interview with Laura Poitras regarding her early contacts with Edward Snowden. Excellent background and a peak into Poitras’ thought process.

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Hillary Clinton: China was bad when it spied on its own citizens.

November 28, 2013 | By | Reply More

Now that we know that the NSA planted spyware on 50,000 networks, and now that we know numerous other revelations thanks to the courage of Edward Snowden, It’s time for Hillary Clinton to follow the logic of her criticism of China four years ago. The following excerpt is from the U.K. Guardian:

Less than four years ago Hillary Clinton, chastising China, declared that “countries or individuals that engage in cyber attacks should face consequences and international condemnation. In an interconnected world, an attack on one nation’s networks can be an attack on all.” Given what we now know to be the “Five Eyes” complete stranglehold on the world’s internet infrastructure, how can we possibly reconcile repeated American appeals to internet freedom and condemnation of Chinese internet monitoring with US-sponsored network hacking?

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Investigative journalism is being killed off

November 27, 2013 | By | Reply More

The remarks by Paul Steiger, ProPublica Founder upon receiving an award from the Committee to Protect Journalists:

What has changed is the position of us, American journalists. We are still far better off than our beleaguered cousins in danger zones abroad, of course. But financially, I don’t need to tell this group of the hammering our industry has taken in the last decade. Publications shrinking or even closing, journalists bought out or laid off, beats shrunk or eliminated.

And now, more recently, we are facing new barriers to our ability to do our jobs – denial of access and silencing of sources.

For the starkest comparison, I urge any of you who haven’t already done so to read last month’s report, commissioned by CPJ and written by Len Downie, former editor of the Washington Post. It lays out in chilling detail how an administration that took office promising to be the most transparent in history instead has carried out the most intrusive surveillance of reporters ever attempted.

It also has made the most concerted effort at least since the plumbers and the enemies lists of the Nixon Administration to intimidate officials in Washington from ever talking to a reporter.

Consider this: As we now know from the Snowden documents, investigators seeking to trace the source of a leak can go back and discover anyone in government who has talked by phone or email with the reporter who broke the story. Match that against the list of all who had access to the leaked info and voila!

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Sign of the times regarding government surveillance

November 21, 2013 | By | 3 Replies More

Back in June, ProPublica published an article advising methods for communicating over the Internet while maintaining privacy. Edward Snowden’s revelations have now caused ProPublica to issue a big red flag on its article. Encryption might no longer be effective.

How did we get to this point where it is obviously illegal for the government to break into my house and rummage through my drawers without probable cause, but they rummage through my data with the help of and coercion of corporate communications companies? They do it because they CAN do it. These revelations also point out that in the political world explanations are streams of sounds (or scribbles) that would lack any punch except that they are created by entities that can threaten violence. In the case of the NSA, it is the violence of the police state. It is a violence so pronounced that it has ruined the possibility of investigative journalism which, until recent times, was the People’s best chance to keep their government in check.

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Elizabeth Warren’s war on opacity

November 7, 2013 | By | Reply More
Elizabeth Warren’s war on opacity

I am in Washington DC for the national conference of the National Consumer Law Center. Our special guest today was Senator Elizabeth Warren. In a blistering plain-language talk, delivered to an audience of approximately 900 consumer lawyers, Warren took aim at lobbyists, courts and the campaign finance system. [more . . . ]

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Scotland Yard attempts to criminalize journalism

November 2, 2013 | By | Reply More

Read this quote prepared by Scotland Yard in consultation with the MI5 slowly and carefully:

“Additionally the disclosure, or threat of disclosure, is designed to influence a government and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism…”

Glenn Greenwald’s contention is proven true by the above words of the British Government. Greenwald is contending: “For all the lecturing it doles out to the world about press freedoms, the UK offers virtually none…They are absolutely and explicitly equating terrorism with journalism.”

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Epitaph for the tomb of modern journalism

October 14, 2013 | By | Reply More

Glenn Greenwald takes issue with a recent comment by U.K. “journalist” Chris Blackhurst: “Edwared Snowden’s secrets may be dangerous. I would not have published them.” This leaves Greenwald in a state somewhere between seething and despondent:

What Blackhurst is revealing here is indeed a predominant mindset among many in the media class. Journalists should not disobey the dictates of those in power. Once national security state officials decree that what they are doing should be kept concealed from the public – once they pound their mighty “SECRET” stamp onto their behavior – it is the supreme duty of all citizens, including journalists, to honor that and never utter in public what they have done. Indeed, it is not only morally wrong, but criminal, to defy these dictates. After all, “who am I to disbelieve them?”

That this mentality condemns – and would render outlawed – most of the worthwhile investigative journalism over the last several decades never seems to occur to good journalistic servants like Blackhurst. National security state officials also decreed that it would “not be in the public interest” to report on the Pentagon Papers, or the My Lai massacre, or the network of CIA black sites in which detainees were tortured, or the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program, or the documents negating claims of Iraqi WMDs, or a whole litany of waste, corruption and illegality that once bore the “top secret” label.

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Edward Snowden wins Sam Adams award

October 13, 2013 | By | Reply More

From WikiLeaks:

This week Edward Snowden received the Integrity Award from the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. These videos from the award ceremony are the first of Mr Snowden after being granted asylum in Russia.

The videos show Mr Snowden as he was given the award by Ray McGovern (ex-CIA) who said “Sam Adams Associates are proud to honor Mr. Snowden’s decision to heed his conscience and give priority to the Common Good over concerns about his own personal future. We are confident that others with similar moral fiber will follow his example in illuminating dark corners and exposing crimes that put our civil rights as free citizens in jeopardy…. Just as Private Manning and Julian Assange exposed criminality with documentary evidence, Mr. Snowden’s beacon of light has pierced a thick cloud of deception. And, again like them, he has been denied some of the freedoms that whistleblowers have every right to enjoy.”

Also present at the ceremony was WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison who took Mr Snowden from Hong Kong to Moscow and obtained his asylum. The previous award winners, all United States Government whistleblowers, Thomas Drake (NSA), Jesselyn Raddack (DoJ) and Coleen Rowley (FBI), were also in attendance. These videos were filmed on the October 9 and are released for the first time today.

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I have nothing to hide

October 9, 2013 | By | Reply More

Film Maker Laura Poitras responds as follows to those who say (in reaction to revelations regarding the surveillance state) “I have nothing to hide”:

If someone says, “I have nothing to hide,” does that mean they want a camera in their bedroom? Or that they want their computer to be a two-way camera, feeding information into a government office? Do they want a switch that can be flipped so that your phone becomes a microphone streaming your personal conversations to the government? Most people who make the argument “I have nothing to hide” don’t fully understand the technical capabilities that the government has. They are vast. All these devices that we carry around with us can, at the flip of a switch, be turned against us. Our most intimate moments, our beings, ourselves… It can become an Orwellian nightmare where all these tools that we surround ourselves with can beam our whole life to people sitting in some secret government facility.
It’s not that the government is necessarily interested, it’s that there’s nothing to stop them, legally or technologically. And a person would never know when it’s happening. They won’t tell you because it’s all a secret. I have a Gmail account, and I assume that everything is being handed over, probably in real time, to the government, and I think I should have a right to know that that’s happening. There are no technical constraints to this becoming a full surveillance state. And we hardly have any oversight, and any laws that exist are all happening in secret.

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