Sorry, Charlie Hebdo
Je suis Charlie. French for “I am Charlie,” the phrase became a global expression of solidarity and resolve after Islamist gunmen murdered 12 people at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
“The terrorists who attacked cartoonists in Paris and in Texas hoped that murder would intimidate them—and others—into silence. As such theirs was not merely an attack on a publication; it was an attack on the foundations of liberal democracy.”
In a terrifying copycat attack Sunday in Garland, Texas, two men with assault rifles attempted to gun down people attending an event satirizing Muhammad with cartoons. A single police officer managed to shoot and kill both gunmen before they got inside the event. With some 200 people in the building, the potential for another politicized mass murder was great.
“Trumpeting the list of petition signers was no less than Glenn Greenwald, last seen lionizing Edward Snowden’s right to go public with information stolen from the National Security Agency’s efforts to track the people who committed the Paris murders and tried to do it again in Texas this week.”
On Monday authorities said one of the gunman, Elton Simpson of Phoenix, had been under surveillance for years because of interest he’d shown in joining jihadist groups overseas. He was found guilty of making false statements to the FBI, but a federal judge ruled there wasn’t enough evidence that Mr. Simpson’s activities were “sufficiently ‘related’ to international terrorism.”
Against this backdrop we have the extraordinary—almost comical—irony of some of America’s bien pensant intellectuals boycotting a ceremony Tuesday by the PEN American Center to confer its annual courage award for freedom of expression on Charlie Hebdo. PEN is an association of writers, and six prominent novelists—Peter Carey,Michael Ondaatje,Francine Prose,Teju Cole,Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi—have been trying to repeal the award for Charlie Hebdo.
Against this backdrop we have the extraordinary—almost comical—irony of some of America’s bien pensant intellectuals boycotting a ceremony Tuesday by the PEN American Center to confer its annual courage award for freedom of expression on Charlie Hebdo.
Ms. Kusher said she was uncomfortable with the “forced secular view” and “cultural intolerance” represented by Charlie Hebdo, whose signature attacks were on organized religion. Read the rest of this entry »
NYT newsroom gathers to remember David Carr. pic.twitter.com/BHlhymdnXf
— Alastair Coote (@_alastair) February 13, 2015
Brasília (AFP) – Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, wanted by US authorities and currently living in Russia, said in a TV interview that he has applied for asylum in Brazil.
“I would love to live in Brazil,” Snowden told Brazil’s Globo TV on Sunday.
Snowden’s temporary asylum in Russia expires in August. Washington has revoked his US passport, so his travel options are limited.
Snowden, who was interviewed with reporter Glenn Greenwald by his side, said that he has formally asked several countries for asylum, including Brazil.
Greenwald is an American living in Brazil. He writes for The Guardian and has published much of the information that Snowden has leaked.
Brazil’s foreign ministry however has said that it has received no formal asylum request from Snowden…(read more)
[Glenn Greenwald‘s book: No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State is available from Amazon.com]
Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, posted a pair of photos to Facebook — including a selfie of Greenwald, Snowden, Miranda, and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who was also involved in the early disclosures. Read the rest of this entry »
“One of the most encouraging aspects of the story has been that there has been a complete breakdown in the traditional, standard divisions between left and right or conservative and liberal, Republican and Democrat…”
Glenn Greenwald appeared on Meet the Press, things ended poorly for David Gregory. On Sunday morning, Greenwald appeared on the show for the first time since the contretemps, though NBC put two layers between Greenwald and Gregory, having justice correspondent Pete Williams conduct the interview and fielding the questions from social media.
“…There has been this extremely inspiring bipartisan coalition that has emerged that has demanded that there be constraints imposed on the NSA.”
[Glenn Greenwald‘s book: No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State is available from Amazon.com]
The most pointed question asked how Greenweld reconciled his comparison of NSA leaker Edward Snowden to Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, given that Ellsberg stayed to face trial while Snowden fled the U.S. and eventually defected to Russia. He quoted Ellsberg’s op-ed arguing that the justice system had become considerably harsher toward whistleblowers. “If Edward Snowden were to go on trial, he would be rendered incommunicado, he would not be released on bail, he couldn’t argue his case to the public,” Greenwald said. Read the rest of this entry »
‘One cannot critique the surveillance state without critiquing the rest of the existing political apparatus’Posted: January 26, 2014
Big Government Fans Rally Around the Surveillance State
Sheldon Richman writes: If I understand Princeton historian Sean Wilentz correctly, progressives ought not to be grateful to Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Glenn Greenwald for exposing government spying because they are not card-carrying progressives. (“Would You Feel Differently About Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange If You Knew What They Really Thought?”) Apparently they have either hung out with libertarians, praised or supported a libertarian, or said something sympathetic to some part of the libertarian philosophy — which cancels out anything they might have gotten credit for. (Wilentz is no stickler for consistency, since he criticizes Greenwald for taking libertarian positions now and also for making anti-immigration statements in the past. So is he too libertarian, Professor, or not libertarian enough? For an analysis of Wilentz’s McCarthyite tactics, see Justin Raimondo.)
The problem for Wilentz is that when guys like these disclose that the government conducts comprehensive surveillance in ways that would have made O’Brien drool, it puts the entire progressive agenda in jeopardy.
From...where else but the Daily Caller? Look at renegade journalist Glenn Greenwald getting all territorial about his NSA leaker Edward Snowden today. It’s as if he’s saying to The Washington Post, ‘BACK OFF BITCH, HE’S MINE.’
I can’t really blame him. Back in the summer of 2001 when Chandra Levy went missing amid an affair with slimeball, blow-dried Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.) that involved oil massages in his Adams Morgan love palace, it was my story at The Hill. As in MY STORY. Any reporter or intern who even breathed in the direction of Levy and Condit got glances filled with cold daggers in their skulls and a firm declaration that it was my beat and not to be touched. Looking back on that, that was a little ridiculous and I don’t even know how I got away with that attitude. But live and learn, and share. There’s plenty of room for multiple stories on a topic.
But not Snowden. Mess with the facts on Snowden and you might as well rip out Greenwald’s liver at this point.
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and the other tech titans have had to fight for their lives against their own government. An exclusive look inside their year from hell—and why the Internet will never be the same.
Christoph Niemann writes: On June 6, 2013, Washington Post reporters called the communications departments of Apple, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and other Internet companies. The day before, a report in the British newspaper The Guardian had shocked Americans with evidence that the telecommunications giant Verizon had voluntarily handed a database of every call made on its network to the National Security Agency. The piece was by reporter Glenn Greenwald, and the information came from Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old IT consultant who had left the US with hundreds of thousands of documents detailing the NSA’s secret procedures.
Greenwald was the first but not the only journalist that Snowden reached out to. The Post’s Barton Gellman had also connected with him. Now, collaborating with documentary filmmaker and Snowden confidante Laura Poitras, he was going to extend the story to Silicon Valley. Gellman wanted to be the first to expose a top-secret NSA program called Prism. Snowden’s files indicated that some of the biggest companies on the web had granted the NSA and FBI direct access to their servers, giving the agencies the ability to grab a person’s audio, video, photos, emails, and documents. The government urged Gellman not to identify the firms involved, but Gellman thought it was important. “Naming those companies is what would make it real to Americans,” he says. Now a team of Post reporters was reaching out to those companies for comment.
Catherine Herridge reports: The evidence surrounding the case of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggests he did not act alone when he downloaded some 200,000 documents, according to the Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee.
“We know he did some things capability-wise that was beyond his capabilities. Which means he used someone else’s help to try and steal things from the United States, the people of the United States. Classified information, information we use to keep America safe,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told Fox News.
Rogers, who receives regular briefings and has access to classified information about the Snowden investigation, says there are questions about the former contractor’s time in Hong Kong, and his alleged contact with a third party.
“There was some activity there in China about who he talked to and what was the purpose of his visit there, how was it arranged, how did he arrange a visa so quickly to Russia? Those kinds of questions have not been answered in a satisfactory way.”
Glenn Reynolds writes: Last week, stung by reactions to phone-snooping on reporters (and, in at least one case, a reporter’s parents), the Justice Department issued new guidelines for dealing with the media when investigating leaks. Many people are cheering these guidelines, but I’m not sure they’re good enough. Read the rest of this entry »
The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy led directly to the passage of a historic law, the Gun Control Act of 1968. Does that change your view of the assassinations? Should we be grateful for the deaths of these two men?
Of course not. That’s lunatic logic. But the same reasoning is now being applied to the actions of Edward Snowden. Yes, the thinking goes, Snowden may have violated the law, but the outcome has been so worthwhile. According to Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who was one of the primary vehicles for Snowden’s disclosures, Snowden “is very pleased with the debate that is arising in many countries around the world on Internet privacy and U.S. spying. It is exactly the debate he wanted to inform.”
In this debate, Snowden himself says, those who followed the law were nothing better than Nazis: “I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg, in 1945: ‘Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.’ ”
To be sure, Snowden has prompted an international discussion about surveillance, but it’s worthwhile to note that this debate is no academic exercise. It has real costs. Consider just a few.
What if Snowden’s wrong? What if there is no pervasive illegality in the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs?
NSA Journalist Glenn Greenwald’s Partner Reportedly Detained at Airport for 9 Hours, Questioned Under Terrorism ActPosted: August 18, 2013
Authorities in London on Sunday reportedly detained and questioned for nine hours the gay partner of Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who has authored a series of recent articles exposing mass surveillance programs by the National Surveillance Agency (NSA).
The Guardian, Greenwald’s employer, reports the journalist’s partner, David Miranda, was held for nearly nine hours and questioned under the Terrorism Act at the UK’s Heathrow airport. Officials also confiscated Miranda’s electronics, including his cell phone, laptop, camera, and memory sticks, according to The Guardian, without saying when they would return the items.
FILE — Journalist Glenn Greenwald speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 14, 2013. (AP)
According to the report, Miranda was stopped by UK airport officials at 8:30 AM and told he would be detained for questioning under schedule seven of the Terrorism Act of 2000. The law, reportedly allows officers to search and detain individuals at key transportation areas.
Snowden: NSA targeted journalists critical of government after 9/11
Leaker Edward Snowden accused the National Security Agency of targeting reporters who wrote critically about the government after the 9/11 attacks and warned it was “unforgivably reckless” for journalists to use unencrypted email messages when discussing sensitive matters.
Snowden said in an interview with the New York Times Magazine published Tuesday that he came to trust Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker who, along with Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, helped report his disclosure of secret surveillance programs, because she herself had been targeted by the NSA.
“Laura and [Guardian reporter] Glenn [Greenwald] are among the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics throughout this period, even in the face of withering personal criticism, and resulted in Laura specifically becoming targeted by the very programs involved in the recent disclosures,” Snowden said for the article, a profile of Poitras.
Snowden didn’t detail how Poitras was targeted by the NSA surveillance programs he disclosed, but suggested the agency tracked her emails and cautioned other journalists that they could be under surveillance.
By GLENN HARLAN REYNOLDS
Sen. Dick Durbin thinks it’s time for Congress to decide who’s a real reporter. In The Chicago Sun-Times last week, he wrote: “Everyone, regardless of the mode of expression, has a constitutionally protected right to free speech. But when it comes to freedom of the press, I believe we must define a journalist and the constitutional and statutory protections those journalists should receive.”
How do you decide who is a journalist? Essentially, he says, it’s someone who gets a paycheck from a media organization: “A journalist gathers information for a media outlet that disseminates the information through a broadly defined ‘medium’ — including newspaper, nonfiction book, wire service, magazine, news Web site, television, radio or motion picture — for public use. This broad definition covers every form of legitimate journalism.”
Does it really? Everyform?
Because, as I write this, most of the information I’m getting from Egypt is being tweeted and blogged by Egyptians and American expats in Egypt. The media organizations are usually hours behind.
Personally, I think a journalist is someone who’s doing journalism, whether they get paid for it or not.
And Durbin is a constitutional ignoramus if he thinks that when the Framers talked about freedom of the press, they were talking about freedom for the press as an institution.
Journalism is indeed an activity, not a profession, and though we often refer to institutionalized media as “the press,” we should remember that James Madison talked about freedom of the press as “freedom in the use of the press” — that is, the freedom to publish, not simply freedom for media organizations.
In Madison’s day, of course, the distinction wasn’t as significant as it became later, when newspaper publishing became an industrial activity. It was easy to be a pamphleteer in Madison’s time, and there was real influence in being such.
But that changed with the increase in efficiencies of scale that accompanied the industrial revolution, and “the press” in common parlance became not a tool of publication but a shorthand for those organizations large and wealthy enough to possess those tools, much as the motion-picture industry has come to be referred to as “the studios.”
Yet now technology has changed things up again; the tools of Internet publication are available to anyone, however modest his or her means. (There are even homeless bloggers; I’ve met one myself.)
The ability to publish inexpensively, and to reach potentially millions of people in seconds, has made it possible for people who’d never be able to — or even want to — be hired by the institutional press to nonetheless publish and influence the world, much like 18th century pamphleteers.
Over the past few years, a lot of big scoops have come from people other than the institutional press — from James O’Keefe’s exposés of ACORN and voter fraud, to Edward Snowden’s release of NSA secrets via Glenn Greenwald, who talking head David Gregory suggested is not a “real journalist.”
Durbin’s pontifications about who’s entitled to press freedom were uttered in the course of promoting a federal “shield law” that would allow those “real” journalists to conceal their sources. I oppose such laws in general, but to the extent that they exist, they should protect everyone who’s doing journalism, regardless of where their paycheck comes from.
I wouldn’t trust Durbin (or most of his Senate colleagues) to baby-sit my kid. I certainly don’t trust them to decide who counts as a “real” journalist — and, more importantly, who doesn’t.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds is a law professor at the University of Tennessee.
Today on NBC’s Meet the Press, Guardian Columnist Glenn Greenwald defended Edward Snowden’s leaks, saying that he could have released information to adversarial governments or entirely onto the Internet, praising his source’s judiciousness in leaking documents on the NSA’s domestic spying program. Watch below:
Video: U.S. defense contractor Edward Snowden discusses his motivation behind the NSA leak and why he revealed himself as the whistleblower behind the major story. Courtesy of Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald.
By Conor Friedersdorf
Bradley Manning proved that massive amounts of the government’s most secret data was vulnerable to being dumped on the open Internet. A single individual achieved that unprecedented leak. According to the Washington Post, “An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.” And this week, we learned that the FBI, CIA and NSA were unable to protect some of their most closely held secrets from Glenn Greenwald,Richard Engel, Robert Windrem, Barton Gellman, and Laura Poitras. Those journalists, talented as they are, possess somewhat fewer resources than foreign governments! So I naturally started to think about all the data the NSA is storing.
In the wrong hands, it could enable blackmail on a massive scale, widespread manipulation of U.S. politics, industrial espionage against American businesses;,and other mischief I can’t even imagine.
The plan is apparently to store the data indefinitely, just in case the government needs it for future investigations. Don’t worry, national security officials tell us, we won’t ever look at most of it.
Do you trust the government to keep it secure, forever, if others try to look?
If so, why?
Here are 5 terrifying scenarios:
1) China manages to get the NSA data.
2) Russia manages to get the NSA data. (It isn’t like they never succeeded in placing spies in our government before.)
3) Pakistan manages to get the NSA data. (They pulled off stealing the West’s nuclear secrets.)
4) Iran manages to get the NSA data.
5) Saudi Arabia manages to get the NSA data.
Of course, it could be a non-state actor that gets ahold of the data too. Perhaps a successor to Al Qaeda.
What if one of these entities breached the database’s security without our even knowing?
Even assuming the U.S. government never abuses this data — and there is no reason to assume that! — why isn’t the burgeoning trove more dangerous to keep than it is to foreswear? Can anyone persuasively argue that it’s virtually impossible for a foreign power to ever gain access to it? Can anyone persuasively argue that if they did gain access to years of private phone records, email, private files, and other data on millions of Americans, it wouldn’t be hugely damaging?
Think of all the things the ruling class never thought we’d find out about the War on Terrorism that we now know. Why isn’t the creation of this data trove just the latest shortsighted action by national security officials who constantly overestimate how much of what they do can be kept secret? Suggested rule of thumb: Don’t create a dataset of choice that you can’t bear to have breached.
via The Atlantic.
- Officials: NSA mistakenly intercepted emails, phone calls of innocent Americans (openchannel.nbcnews.com)
- Anonymous Just Leaked a Trove of NSA Documents (gizmodo.com)
- Anonymous Goes Tit-for-Tat and Leaks a Trove of NSA Documents (gizmodo.co.uk)
- If the NSA Trusted Edward Snowden With Our Data, Why Should We Trust the NSA? (slate.com)
- Here’s The NSA’s Supposedly Non-Existent Tool To Track Global Metadata (gawker.com)