This is an interview with Laura Poitras regarding her early contacts with Edward Snowden. Excellent background and a peak into Poitras’ thought process.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
In this interview/inquisition, Glenn Greenwald puts up with more establishment media questioning, i.e., reporters who feel that their job is to do the bidding of their governments rather than to shed light on government abuses and corruption.
Glenn Greenwald recently answered questions on Reddit, including the following:
Reddit comment: “Thanks for doing this. At the university I work at, we are putting together a workshop for Media Professionals, including journalists regarding IT security. We plan on covering: PGP, truecrypt, TOR, OTR, and strongbox. What tools, concepts, or techniques should we be teaching aspiring journalists?”
Glenn Greenwald: “That’s so great to hear. One of the most gratifying things I’ve seen since this all started is how many journalists now communicate using PGP, Pidgen, OTR, TOR and similar instruments of encryption.
Just as was true for me, so many national security journalists – including some of the most accomplished ones at large media outlets, the ones who work on the most sensitive materials – had no idea about any of that and used none of it. Now they do. In this age of a War on Whistleblowers and sources and ubiquitous surveillance, it’s absolutely vital that journalists learn advanced encryption methods and use it.”
It’s a shame that modern day journalists need to spend so much time learning about and using encryption technology to protect their sources from spying by the United States and other governments. What would the founding fathers have said about this more than 200 years ago, that the federal government is spying on its own citizens without probable cause and even spying on journalists?