David Cameron Working To Stop UK Press From Publishing Anything More From Snowden Leaks

from the no-free-press dept

It looks like Glenn Greenwald picked the right time to leave the UK’s The Guardian newspaper. Last week, we noted that David Cameron was pushing for an investigation into the paper for publishing stories based on Ed Snowden’s leaks, and now Cameron is going even further in his attempt to stomp out any sense of a free press in the UK, threatening to make moves to block UK publications from writing anything else new about as-yet-unreleased Snowden documents. Because that’ll stop the outrage.

David Cameron threatened on Monday to act to stop newspapers publishing what he called damaging leaks from former U.S. intelligence operative Edward Snowden.

“If they don’t demonstrate some social responsibility it will be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act,” Cameron told parliament.

I love that phrase “social responsibility.” Because an awful lot of people would argue that the Guardian has demonstrated a hell of a lot more “social responsibility” in publishing the stories they have, revealing the massive overreach of the NSA, GCHQ and others in violating the civil liberties of people around the globe.

Later in his talk, Cameron suggests that he doesn’t want to have to take direct action — which is an implication that he might do exactly that:

“I don’t want to have to use injunctions or D-notices (publication bans) or the other tougher measures. I think it’s much better to appeal to newspapers’ sense of social responsibility,” he said.

There’s that “social responsibility” phrase again. I don’t think it means quite what Cameron seems to think it means. Social responsibility is not being stenographers for the government’s point of view. Quite the opposite. You’d think that someone in Cameron’s position would understand that.

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Comments on “David Cameron Working To Stop UK Press From Publishing Anything More From Snowden Leaks”

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G Thompson (profile) says:

What is he going to do? Issue D notices??? Muwahahah!

And as far as I understand it unless he actually declares a State of War there IS NOTHING the UK government can legally or otherwise do that would stop the UK media from reporting on it.

It takes a brave idiot (Cameron) to even contemplate what even Ms Thatcher would never of even in her wildest dreams imagined the merest thought of doing..

The Anonymousness says:

These actions by the politicians are a necessary part of the protocol that has been developed to bring about the Unified Global Directorate. The revelations, which we are seeing of the abuses by the various national governments that are being published at this time, and the various governmental responses, which are about social responsibility and “we need to do this to protect you” mindset, are all intended to generate a particular public response.

This public response will be used to bring about a fundamental structural change in the way people are governed. This change will appear to increase freedom of the individual but will in fact be used to create greater control over the individual.

As was noted many years ago, all such activities require an increase in the legislative burden to control the problems. This legislative burden is then used to create even more legislation, which ends up reducing your freedom of action by reducing your requirement as an individual to act responsibly by your choice. The end result is that there are more rights and less responsibilities. This ultimately is detrimental for the individual.

My own children have been taught that you have only one right and that is to choose your path in path. This means that you are fully responsible for the choices you make and the actions you do as a result of these choices. You cannot blame anyone else for the results that occur from your choices, decisions and actions.

Unfortunately, our politicians and other leaders like to lay the blame for the results of their choices, decisions and actions at the feet of anyone else but themselves.

As individuals, each of us needs to accept that when we make choices and decisions that we are accountable for them and accept that if it goes against the choices made by others that there will be consequences. This includes accepting that when we make public statements, either known or anonymously, that others will not necessarily agree and may even go gunning for us.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Sounds like you are talking about EU: A project for the political elite with a massive fear of letting the people make more than a few suggestions.

Actually a supranational system can be positive if it has a focus on removing barriers from the national laws instead of just streamlining them. Unfortunately politicians and officials seems to be unable to achieve that.

Ninja (profile) says:

Cameron is clearly a douche. If my experiences with some British are evidence of the national level then he’s screwed next elections. Then again we thought Tony Blair was bad at the time…

I’ll say this: he can take his “social responsibility” whatever the twisted definition he gave it and shove up his ass. For all we care it would be of great “social responsibility” if people personally threw him out with some old fashioned whipping for trampling with freedom of speech and freedom of press. It’s clear he considers the Government to be above all regardless of crimes and harmful things it commits against its people.

ricebowl (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Tony Blair was and remains ‘bad.’ I’m not sure where to place him in relation to Cameron, since they’re both clearly obnoxious and, it seems, demonstrate no functional capacity as to why they were ever trusted to lead a nation.

Of course, the problem with the British system is that there are two main Political parties, neither of which show merit, compassion or understanding for the electorate that elected them into power. And with the current debacle of Government, it seems the traditional third option, Liberal Democrats, will never be trusted again.

On the plus-side, this gives us the chance to vote for an independent, or otherwise non-traditional, party (Pirate Party, hopefully…); but I suspect there are enough people still holding on to the traditional ideals of Conservative and Labour, despite the growing confluence of both those systems of belief.

Ah, well: perhaps revolution will come, in time.

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Won't stop the news, will stop the debate.

So in this country, thanks to things like super injunctions we’ve had the absurd situation in many people know a given thing, every one can easily find out a given thing, but no one can talk about in public for fear of legal action. This has largely just involved celebrity legal cases and could, in the most sad way, be laughed off as absurd but it gives us a template for what Cameron is suggesting here.

By forcing our newspapers to stop reporting on the leaks it does not stop the leaks from being reported on. Given that as yet he has not implemented a national internet filter, that reporting will be easily available to pretty much every one. In short every one will know what has been leaked regardless.

So the question becomes why would he stamp on the neck of the UK’s press at a point when it will not actually stop the leaks? Well that’s simple really… the one and only thing that will change is our ability to have an open and honest national debate about what the meaning of what is being reported. It shuts down a persons ability to publicly question the governments actions.

At this points it’s worth remembering these leaks are the government’s own damn fault and that the damage has already been done at the point they failed to protect their information. Shutting down our press will do nothing to change that. What’s happening here is simply a re-framing of that to making any damage the presses responsibility so it can publicly stifle debate about programs it’s worried are illegal.

Anonymous Coward says:

now who thinks this prat is not a megalomaniac!! he and the whole of the UK government need to be taken to the ECHR! perhaps a shot up the ass from them will bring him down to Earth!
i wonder what he is really up to? he is doing whatever it takes to please the US entertainment industries. he is doing whatever it takes to ensure the whole UK system collapses! he is doing whatever it takes to see more and more people in poverty!
perhaps he just wants to give the UK over to Islam or something. he definitely isn’t interested in keeping the UK as the UK, a center that has been admired by all for decades

Quinn Wilde (user link) says:

He knows.

Social responsibility is not being stenographers for the government’s point of view… You’d think that someone in Cameron’s position would understand that.

He understands it, but that is off message.

I’m sure, like many bullshitters, he is secretly pleased when the truth conveniently aligns with the agenda he must present.

But this is one of those other times and his smile won’t have been any less convincing as he made the statement.

Cloudsplitter says:

Cameron and crew are drowning in their
own shit, their real problem is that they have been caught, and the more that comes out, and it all will. The worse it will get for them. The shoe that has not droped yet and the real pisser in all of this is the economic spying that has been going on in this spying, you can not collect the amount of data those bastards were stealing and not be tempted to use the data for personal or group profit, the smell of corruption is all over this, and it will get stronger by the day.

Anonymous Coward says:

He doesn't have the support in Parliament

Well Cameron won’t be proposing laws to do it, he doesn’t have the support of Parliament.

They were told Snoopers Charter was needed by the spooks and are angry that nobody mentioned the spooks were already doing far more than would be legal, even under Snoopers Charter.

So the benefits of a free press are crystal clear to them.

General Alexander did a weird video trying to defend the program and calling for curbs on press freedom too. If he does that on youtube and not in Congress then it’s very telling.

Hope he didn’t spend tax money on that production.

Anonymous Coward says:


On the other hand, the British judicial system is not as tightly tied into government corruption as the American one.

It will be quite interesting to see the results when Cameron tries getting court orders. Once a British judge has arrived at the state “not amused”, you better not get in his way. And bootlickers are harder to find in that profession in the UK than in the US.

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