UK Prime Minister Urges Investigation Of The Guardian Over Snowden Leaks; There Shall Be No Free Press

from the chilling-effects dept

While freedom of the press is fairly deeply engrained in the US, that's not so true elsewhere -- and that became abundantly clear with the absurd theatrics of UK officials forcing the Guardian to destroy a computer in the basement for no reason at all. And now UK Prime Minister David Cameron is ratcheting things up, urging Parliament to investigate The Guardian to see if it broke any laws:
David Cameron has encouraged a Commons select committee to investigate whether the Guardian has broken the law or damaged national security by publishing secrets leaked by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

He made his proposal in response to a question from former defence secretary Liam Fox, saying the Guardian had been guilty of double standards for exposing the scandal of phone hacking by newspapers and yet had gone on to publish secrets from the NSA taken by Snowden.
I've read that statement over and over and over again, and I still don't see what the double standard is. Both involve reporting on things of public interest, which, last I checked, is exactly what news organizations are supposed to do.

Then it gets even more bizarre, with Cameron arguing that the above-mentioned computer destruction somehow "proves" that the news organization knew it was breaking the law.
Speaking at prime minister's questions on Wednesday, Cameron said: "The plain fact is that what has happened has damaged national security and in many ways the Guardian themselves admitted that when they agreed, when asked politely by my national security adviser and cabinet secretary to destroy the files they had, they went ahead and destroyed those files.

"So they know that what they're dealing with is dangerous for national security. I think it's up to select committees in this house if they want to examine this issue and make further recommendations."
That's a plainly ludicrous interpretation of what happened. First, it wasn't a "polite" request, but there was a very clear implied threat to the Guardian if it didn't comply. Second, using oppressive censorship on the one hand to argue in support of further oppressive censorship on the other hand isn't exactly a winning argument.

In the end, what Cameron is doing is making it clear that the UK can have no free press. It can only have stenographers. When the government threatens to have you investigated for reporting on the excesses of government, you've created massive chilling effects, and guaranteed much greater corruption and abuse, as you've wiped out a key factor in keeping those things in check. Cameron's statements reflect poorly on the wider UK and its supposed belief in free speech and a free press.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 2:14am

    Yeah, read and re-read that sentence, the only possible 'double standard' I can think of in in Cameron's head, where when the public breaks the law it should be reported on, but when the government does it it should be kept quiet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 4:15am

    Hopefully that same group will look into the UK playing lapdog to the US spying on everyone.

    They are spying on their own citizens because they can, willing to bet special attention is paid to political rivals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 4:34am

    GCHQ spies on The Guardian

    GCHQ spies on the Guardian journalists, their private communications to their lawyers, their emails from their sources, their investigations the lot.

    It spies on everyone, the queries it runs are not subject to warrants, not approved by judges and appeal courts, half of the main filters are not even chosen by them, they're chosen by the NSA and out of their control.

    The law that lets them do this is the Snoopers Charter, oh hang on we rejected that law. The law the lets them is the Intercept Modernisation Program, nah we never passed that one either. We never passed any of these surveillance laws.

    In fact there is no law to permit this. Which is why Parliament decided to launch an inquiry. I assume Andrew Parker MI5 is spying on them, because he gets wind of it and tries to preempt it with an attack on the Guardian.

    So now how can the Parliamentary committee do their work when their being spied on? When the witness are being spied on? When you can't make a comment to the committee because the mafia continue to spy in violation of the f**ing law!

    When Big Brother watch prepares their presentation, the spooks will have intercepted the emails discussing it. When Guardian tries to reveal any revelation of laws being broken, GCHQ/NSA/MI5 will be there with fake astroturf and carefully timed stories fed to the press.

    How can the committee do its job properly when nobody is free to speak to them.

    This is not the job for a committee, it's a job for a special prosecutor.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 4:56am

    David Cameron has encouraged a Commons select committee to investigate whether the Guardian has broken the law or damaged national security by publishing secrets leaked by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    ...

    I've read that statement over and over and over again, and I still don't see what the double standard is. Both involve reporting on things of public interest, which, last I checked, is exactly what news organizations are supposed to do.

    Mike, it's pure confirmation bias. Cameron is working with an assumption that he believes is a fact. It's what makes him dangerous because he's an authoritarian looking for heads to bust. Your logic and facts are invalid. You've slighted him by exposing the schemes he's had on national security.

    That's what his agenda truly is. Cover up the crimes while he's in charge so that it doesn't come to bite him and there's no accountability for his lack of concern for his nation's needs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 5:07am

    Re:

    The UK asserts its influence over US politics via the proxy of Freemasonry. Since they can't run the US outright (hence the Revolutionary War), they must resort to covert means. Any American political figure with involvement in Freemasonry or one of its offshoots, e.g. Skull & Bones, is colluding with the UK and the world banks to undermine us from within. Even our money is draped with their symbolism, such as the all-seeing eye and "Novus Ordo Seclorum" inscribed underneath it, meaning New World Order.

    As far as UK spying is concerned, ever hear of Echelon?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Call me Al, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 5:22am

    Maybe the Guardian will change its mind on press regulation

    Cameron's comments here are unforgivable and his whole attitude matches that of the loathesome US officials that I've read so much about. Trouble is none of our political parties provide a valid alternative on this issue.

    Something else I find interesting though is how the Guardian will square this with their own championing of new press regulations. This is clearly government interference in a free press but they seemed to be all for it when it was government interference in the work of their competitors.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 5:26am

    1) Divert attention
    2) Shoot the messenger
    3) Continue with business as usual
    4) ?????
    5) Profit

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 5:35am

    Cameron is behaving like a megalomaniac, a modern day Hitler! the road he is taking the people down is a bad one and i wouldn't mind betting it ends badly too! the problem is that he is following the path dictated to him by the USG. he is facilitating in the removal of as many rights, privacy and freedoms as possible from the ordinary people, keeping wages as low as possible, except for the already wealthy bosses and doing absolutely nothing to stem the spiraling cost of all necessities for modern living. energy prices are getting completely out of hand with more rises announced this week. more and more people are on the poverty line or below than at any time in modern history. hundreds of thousands are going to be in the position of having either heating or eating this winter. the number of people relying on food banks is rising at an astonishing rate.
    and all he is worried about is whether the Guardian Newspaper broke the law? what sort of fucking half wit takes that road? the sort that doesn't give a toss about anything except himself and his ideals!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 5:42am

    Re:

    Indeed - it looks more like they applied exactly the same standard to the government as to the other papers who hacked people's phones.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 5:45am

    Re:

    To me it seems like he is trying to distract the media. The guy has admittedly got several megalomaniac tendencies with his "clean the internet"-filters and his "security by obscurity" in the Guardian-case. This is just a confused letter, but the point is to start an investigation into the legaleze language since he is confident that the laws will give him an argument in the veins of "they can be said to have broken a law and the law says what I have done is defensible". Circular arguments like those are a politicans bread and butter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 5:50am

    $50 hard drive vs $50,000+ legal fees with prospect of millions, just to start.
    for data that has already been duplicated, hmm.........

    or

    "by doing what we asked, they proved their guilt"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 5:51am

    Re:

    Well at least there is still Dennis Skinner

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 5:54am

    US readers are forgetting a few things, cameron is a plum, liam fox is a back bench plum.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:03am

    Case 1: Guardian reports on violation of privacy (wherein other news papers hacked into / spied on private communications of individuals.

    Case 2: Guardian reports on violation of privacy when governments spy on citizens

    Toryscum: WHAT HYPOCRITES! INVESTIGATE THEM (and not the agencies who did the spying)

    Cameron: LOL GUD IDEA MATE.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:15am

    Well, this is unsubtle.

    Cameron is very, very clearly wrapped around the little finger of the US government, and being pressured into releasing these ridiculous statements.
    Only US government officials are stupid enough to think that statements like "no more free press because TERRORISTS" pass the sniff test.

    I wonder if this is going to become a major issue eventually? Are we going to have generals and/or world leaders insisting that "free press with government oversight" is somehow not an oxymoron? Or maybe dead tree media will die out before that has a chance to happen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:17am

    he's totally pissed off at being caught with his surveillance fingers in the till! like all people when caught having done wrong, shout as loud as possible over something else to try to get the people focusing on anything other than the real issue! like others have said, the price for stopping terror is too high when everything else in the 'freedom and privacy' case is thrown out the window.
    instead of forcing this issue, he needs to ask the people what they want, instead of making them lose everything on his say-so. like all politicians, the thing he is best at is lying!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:20am

    Treason

    What news agencies publish top secret governmental/ ally documents and enable possible national security breaches with no second thought as to how that might really impact real human lives is nothing less than treasonous. What the hell does anyone expect, but the full force of someone bigger than themselves to come down on their numbskulls.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Hans, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:26am

    Cameron is Head Of Government but We The People are Head Of State. Why are we letting our servant, Cameron & alleged criminals, NSA, et al set the agenda. Instead of putting them in jail waiting for prosecution, we're allowing these alleged criminals to intimidate the witnesses! It's time to put the NSA et al in jail waiting for prosecution for treason against the fourth amendment, treason for spying for Israel, treason for perjury against We The People.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re:

    is colluding with the UK and the world banks to undermine us from within

    We have already been undermined (past tense, bud)

    But try to have some semblence of a nice day!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Tim Griffiths (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:37am

    He is telling us how dangerous he is.

    Cameron is urging for the Guardian to be punished for publishing documents his government couldn't keep secure. It's what a child does when they've been caught doing something they know they shouldn't have, deflect the blame on to someone else for the same problem. "But mummy Johnny Guardian told everyone about the secret stuff! That's bad! If he didn't do that then it no one would know I lost them!".

    A random IT contractor with no special access or privileges than any of the other thousand posts took our government's documents from right under their nose. He acted with such impunity that it's an undeniable fact that the only reason we know these documents had been taken is because he made a choice to tell us. If Snowden, or the people at the Guardian, were less civic minded they could have easily profited from that information in deeply dangerous ways instead of publishing them to force a much needed debate about these programs.

    The thing is that there is an inescapable universal rule that means given we know Snowden did it then it could have be done before him. Given we only know it was done at all because of Snowden himself then it becomes even more likely that the NSA has had leaks before now. Leading to the ultimate irony that Cameron and others are attacking Snowden and the Guardian when their actions means such leaks, in the unlikely event they haven't happened before, can never have happen in a way that is actually dangerous and damaging in the ways people are trying to claim these leaks have been.

    "The plain fact is that what has happened has damaged national security and in many ways the Guardian themselves admitted that when they agreed, when asked politely by my national security adviser and cabinet secretary to destroy the files they had, they went ahead and destroyed those files.

    So they know that what they're dealing with is dangerous for national security.


    And you sir just admitted that you think those files are so dangerous to national security they had to be destroyed but not so dangerous you bothered to make sure the people you blindly handed them over to were able to protect them.

    He is quite literally making the case for why he thinks his own incompetence is dangerous.

    Let me say that again because god damn me does to bear repeating. My government couldn't protect secrets they think are so damaging they want to investigate the press for leaking them. Not the people who couldn't see or didn't bother to look in to the security protecting those documents but the people who brought the gaping security holes to attention in a way that actually demanded action.

    It would be funny if it was so fucking horrifying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:43am

    Re: Well, this is unsubtle.

    Please, don't forget the American lives sacrificed so Brits could have their tea instead of stiff stepping around zeig heiling each other on the war torn cobblestone streets of London.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, but nevertheless a continuing onslaught through systematic crippling of our rights and economy and the erosion of society.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    If the Guardian did not do anything wrong or illegal you would expect they would welcome an investigation to clear their names and reputation.

    If on the other hand the Guardian does feel it has 'crossed the line' they might not be so willing to stand up to scrutiny !

    Being investigated does not mean you are guilty of anything.

    It's clear from history Journalists and media are not immune from investigation on many issues, often leading to conviction or ruling against them.
    Again, media is not a 'free pass' to skirt the law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 7:34am

    Re:

    Look at it from the government perspective. The reporting of the phone hacking scandal supports their objective of increasing control over society. The Snowden leaks oppose this policy. Therefore the first is in the public interest, it supports government policy, the second is not in the public interest, it opposes government policy. (Public interest from a government perspective is that which supports their policies only).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Duke (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 7:36am

    I have no problem with an investigation into whether or not the Guardian has broken the law (although by a competent authority, not a select committee of MPs). Newspapers shouldn't be immune from a mere investigation into illegal activity.

    In fact, I'm surprised this hasn't already happened. Given the rhetoric about how damaging these revelations have been, it seems odd that it has been several months before anyone has considered a formal investigation. It's almost as if the Government doesn't actually think they've done anything illegal or all that damaging (or are more worried about the political backlash if they do do something, than the threat to public security).

    If it turns out that the Guardian's actions were illegal (and thus not in the public interest) they should surely be punished? If it turns out their actions were legal, but not in the public interest (the damage to national security being disproportionately greater than the advantages brought by transparency and public awareness) the law may need to be changed. Similarly, if their actions were illegal but proportionate (i.e. in the public interest) the law will need to be changed to fix that.

    Of course that isn't what this is about; the questions, debate etc. is all about politics; both inside Parliament and within the Press.

    But being a newspaper that is causing the Government embarrassment shouldn't make them immune to prosecution. But nor should it be the cause of it. The law should be applied to all equally.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 7:40am

    Re:

    "If the Guardian did not do anything wrong or illegal you would expect they would welcome an investigation to clear their names and reputation."

    This again? Man, when is the "you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" going to get old? Any sane person can clearly see it's bullshit.

    Just because the Guardian didn't do anything illegal doesn't mean they have to put up with proving themselves to every crackpot who can string two thoughts together. The accusation is that they have double standards for exposing the scandal on phone hacking and exposing the scandal of the NSA. That's not scrutiny, that's insanity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    I'm_Having_None_Of_It, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re:

    Excuse me? Take a good long look at WHO is holding the levers of power, thereby creating the government shutdown we've just emerged from. Freemasons? I think not.

    Your argument is invalid and your scorn of the UK misplaced.

    Scorn them for being Uncle Sam's prison bitch, by all means. I'll join you, but can the histrionics and tinfoil hattery. We all know where the problem is. It's on the Far Right and no amount of shouting "Squirrel" is going to fool anyone.

    That said, authoritarians are found on both sides of the aisle and what scares me is how much they've realised they have in common. Perhaps we should just call them "Authoritarian" and leave it at that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Re: Treason

    "with no second thought as to how that might really impact real human lives"

    Pray tell do share your unique knowledge of vague one?

    Would Al Qaida (trained by the CIA) know more about CIA techniques perhaps? Would Abu Dabu the terrorist stop updating his Facebook page?

    Or are you just spouting vague nonsense to justify covering a major violation of the laws. The laws that protect our democracies from dictators for decades?

    We outlived the IRA, and in the last 2 years you GCHQ creeps have done more damage to our freedom than they ever did.

    " What the hell does anyone expect, but the full force of someone bigger than themselves to come down on their numbskulls."

    I expect GCHQ to obey the laws of the UK. I expect a special prosecutor to be appointed and the head of MI5 to resign in shame.

    General Alexander can promise all kinds of protections to Americans (even if he's lying), but he offers no such protections for the UK. You helped him spy on us. You are traitors to the UK.

    The democracy pyramid stops at Parliament. It does not extend to the NSA. GCHQ does not answer to the NSA. NSA can complain you weren't reaching your quota, but Parliament didn't set any such quota.

    Go home, and tell your children you've sold them out to a foreign power. Then do the decent thing. F*ing traitors.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Re: Treason

    What news agencies publish top secret governmental/ ally documents and enable possible national security breaches with no second thought as to how that might really impact real human lives is nothing less than treasonous.


    Care to point out where ANY of the Snowden leaks have impacted human lives beyond making those in power uncomfortable?

    I also disagree with you labeling it "treasonous". I know this story concerns the UK and not the US, but Ben Franklin still expressed it the best with:
    "It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 8:44am

    Re:

    "If the Guardian did not do anything wrong or illegal you would expect they would welcome an investigation to clear their names and reputation."

    Well in the same vein, if the NSA and GCHQ did nothing wrong then they'd not be bothered by the leaks, and would also welcome an independent investigation right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Well, this is unsubtle.

    Oh, come on! I will quote Cleese in Fawlty Towers: "Don't talk about the war!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Re:

    That is the thing about secret services: The law does not apply to them equally.

    They are a necessity, but they are also an extremely clumsy construct in a rule-bound society since interaction with them is under strict secrecy clauses or obscure legal obligations.

    In this case, the legal obligations center around a secrecy attached to the release of information with only indirect links to GCHQ. How these informations are shared with other secret services is the embarrasment. Data transfer is extremely sensitive and transfer of secret data should be even more so. That is what Cameron sees red about. Therefore I highly doubt that the investigation will have an even slightly relevant focus. Cameron wants to punish someone, not investigate!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    On the other hand we have also seen authoritarians take their problems out on the media by shooting the messenger and create chilling effects by accusing those that are not guilty of anything. It works even better when the target was someone everyone knew was innocent and got convicted anyway.

    Privacy and wanting to avoid a legal fight are not shields or proxies for bad acts. Please drill that into your head.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Anonymoose Custard (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    It's always been pretty clear to me that the UK doesn't have a Free Press when I found out that it's illegal to use public video from the House of Commons for the purposes of satire.

    Without satire and free expression, no press can be truly Free.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    aldestrawk (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    the double standard

    I think I understand what Cameron means by double standard. The Guardian wrote about and criticized the phone hacking done by other newspapers. The phone hacking illegally invaded the privacy of individuals. Now the Guardian is publishing information acquired illegally by Snowden. There is an equivalency made about an individual's privacy with the government's privacy, its official secrets. There is another argument implied in this that is hard for me, as an American, or any American to see. UK law tends to treat ill-gotten information as ill-gotten no matter how many times removed from the original source. I saw this in the recent censorship case brought against researchers Flavio Garcia et. al. concerning the publication of weaknesses in the Megamos Crypto based vehicle immobilizers. In that case the High Court judge in his preliminary ruling said that because the Megamos Crytpo algorithm that was published by a Bulgarian company on the internet possible might have been acquired illegally then that information was tainted. That meant that the analysis by Garcia et. al. was also tainted and could be kept from being published through prior restraint.
    If one assumes that the information that Snowden acquired is similarly tainted, then the Gaurdian's act of publishing portions of it is also tainted and possibly illegal. There, now you have a double standard being used by the Guardian. I am not expert in UK law so if anyone with more knowledge can expound on this, please do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Re: Treason

    So in your world where any reporting on these activities is treason, even reporting on it in a country whose government wasn't even the one that was doing the spying revealed by the documents, how would one go about exercising their right to affect change in their government? You know, do the thing that democracy is fundamentally built on? If an allegedly democratic government is engaged in activities a majority of the citizens are against how are they supposed to unite and vote against it, an essential step in any legitimate democracy, if talking about it is treason? Who are you just going to admit that you'd rather democracy was, at best, an illusion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    DP, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    What is he on?

    Hmm. Sounds like a man obsessed - or maybe POSSESSED! Throwing the toys out of the buggy and being childish when he comes across something he doesn't like will hardly endear him to the great UK public. Smacks of trying to find something - ANYTHING - to get the Guardian on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 11:31am

    sounds like fear to me .. losing imaginary control .. lashing out like a bully.. unintelligent banterings from a control freak who just found out he has no actually power only perceived power that can be taken away on a whim ..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Enrique, Oct 17th, 2013 @ 12:35pm

    did you say "deeply engrained"...?

    So they say, "freedom of the press is fairly deeply engrained in the US", whereas so it seems "that's not so true elsewhere".... wWow, that's quiet a statement. Did anyone know that Committe for the Protection of Journalists just published its 1st ever report on the US? And guess what, the report says not much has changed since Nixon times... well let's count: that's maybe about 50 years of "desengrainment", at the least...? How much "dirtier" does it have to get in order for tech insiders to take notice?

    Obama’s Efforts to Control Media Are ‘Most Aggressive’ Since Nixon, Report Says
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/10/obama-nixon-media-war/
    “Six government employees, plus two contractors including Edward Snowden, have been subjects of felony criminal prosecutions since 2009 under the 1917 Espionage Act, accused of leaking classified information to the press—compared with a total of three such prosecutions in all previous U.S. administrations,” said the committee’s report, prepared by Leonard Downie Jr., the former executive editor of The Washington Post.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    aldestrawk (profile), Oct 17th, 2013 @ 4:54pm

    Re: did you say "deeply engrained"...?

    Even during the Nixon administration the Pentagon Papers were allowed to be published at the New York Times without prior restraint. There are a lot of countries that don't have that level of press freedom including the UK. The chilling effect from the Obama administration's pursuit of leakers is an important and unfortunate side effect. However, it is indirect, not a direct attack upon press freedom. You may argue that is just quibbling about the details but wait and see what happens in the UK concerning the Guardian.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 4:18am

    linoit.com/users/Nicolae

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 5:06am

    Re: Re: Well, this is unsubtle.

    I think you have the wrong country. We didn't need saving, we did that ourselves long before you got around to joining the party. Now, if you want to argue if everyone on the continent would have been speaking German or Russian, that's another matter. But we would have been in more danger from Russia than Germany in the long term!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    Re:

    In Britain, the Queen is the Head of State. Cameron is just the most senior Member of the Parliament representing the people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    Re: Re:

    representing => supposedly representing

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 6:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your own "leadership" is crippling your rights and economy without any assistance from those horrible foreigners. And a they are doing fine job as well.
    There is no conspiracy, just corruption and incompetence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 6:23am

    Re:

    I think Cameron just explained to his country and the world that he is an idiot and a bloody liar.
    Deriving any other message from his ramblings is a lost cause.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Take a good long look at WHO is holding the levers of power, thereby creating the government shutdown we've just emerged from. Freemasons? I think not."

    Think again. Freemasonry has been pervasive here since the days of the early colonists. Virtually every President, including the first, George Washington, was either a Mason or worked alongside them. Their influence is pervasive throughout government.

    "We all know where the problem is. It's on the Far Right..."

    As opposed to the Far Left? Democrat, Republican, two sides of the same coin.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Freemasonry has been pervasive here since the days of the early colonists. Virtually every President, including the first, George Washington, was either a Mason or worked alongside them. Their influence is pervasive throughout government.


    Yes, so what? You'll need more than just "they're everywhere" to make your case. There are a lot of groups that have been around for as long as (or longer), and are as pervasive as the masons. Christianity, for one.

    So why is freemasonry special?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re:

    The Queen is head of state in name only. She's said that she'll dissolve the monarchy at any time if Parliament asks her to do so, and has not actually used her power as queen in a very, very long time. If she were to do so in any way that was at odds with what Parliament wanted, it would immediately throw the nation into a political crisis.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anon-Y-Mouse, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    We all know where the problem is. It's on the Far Right and no amount of shouting "Squirrel" is going to fool anyone.
    I can't agree with you on that. It's money in politics. Campaign $$$ swaying politicians to make laws that help the rich get richer at the expense of the rest. When you look at changes like free trade agreements, lowering of taxes on money leaving the USA, tax breaks for foreign investment, tax cuts for the wealthy, the SEC being blocked from regulating collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps, etc..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Enrique, Oct 20th, 2013 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: did you say "deeply engrained"...?

    May I ask what your sources are? May I then suggest Wikipedia, for instance? 1. Papers were initially published without prior knowledge of the government (so there was no opportunity for "prior restraint"), and 2.: "The administration argued Ellsberg and Russo were guilty of a felony under the Espionage Act of 1917, because they had no authority to publish classified documents.[17] After failing to persuade the Times to voluntarily cease publication on June 14,[5] Attorney General John N. Mitchell and Nixon obtained a federal court injunction forcing the Times to cease publication after three articles.[5]". Shortly after, "The Washington Post began publishing its own series of articles based upon the Pentagon Papers;[5]... That day, Assistant U.S. Attorney General William Rehnquist asked the Post to cease publication. After the paper refused, Rehnquist sought an injunction in U.S. district court". So, you can keep on taking real facts for "side effects", and let freedom of the press legends go their own way... just wait and see...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Michael Price, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 5:26am

    2 Standards, no waiting.

    The Guardian has a double standard, when private citizens bug phones they report it, that's one standard.
    When the government bugs phones they report it, that's another standard.
    The government only has one standard, what they do is right and what other people do is wrong.
    So when they bug phones it's right and when other people bug phones it's bad.
    Statists logic is not like our logic, it's more advanced.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Michael Price, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 5:45am

    Re: Treason

    But when governments spy and lie with no second thought aa to how that might really impact real human lives that isn't treason?
    In any case wouldn't pretending that we didn't know about their scummy activities really impact real humans lives?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Michael Price, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 5:46am

    Re: Cameron is an idiot and a bloody liar.

    And this is news?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    investigation, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 4:40pm

    which, last I checked, is exactly what news organizations are supposed to do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This