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Fri Aug 23, 2013, 08:24 PM

GUARDIAN Editorial: "It Is NOT The Role Of Politicians To Determine The Limits Of Public Discussion"

Surveillance and the state: this way the debate goes on
Thanks to Edward Snowden, the world now has a debate about the dramatic change in the contract between state and citizen


The Guardian, Friday 23 August 2013 18.58 EDT

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Secrecy and openness

Thanks to Mr Snowden they have now got a debate − one that is rippling around the world. President Barack Obama says he welcomes that debate. That much is encouraging, even if it seems unlikely to be true because it is not going to be a comfortable debate for any government − nor for those in intelligence, nor for anyone running a major technology or telecommunications company. The world was simpler when the law could be used to prevent any meaningful and informed discussion of what was involved. The laws crafted before and during the first world war (the Espionage Act in the US, the Official Secrets Act in the UK) saw to that.

Secrecy and openness must collide. Governments and spies will place the greater emphasis on security: that is inevitable. Individuals who treasure free speech, an unfettered press, the capacity for dissent, or an individual's rights to privacy or protection against the state, will have equal, or greater, concerns.


...............

Civil liberties and security

These are words that should be heeded by the British government official who told us that the Guardian had "had our debate" and that there was no "need" to write any more. It is not the role of politicians or civil servants to determine the limits of public discussion. Nor should the debate be circumscribed by attempting to criminalise the act of journalism − without which, in this instance, there could be no debate.

Citizens of free countries are entitled to protect their privacy against the state. The state has a duty to protect free speech as well as security. Fundamental rights, as we say, collide. Journalists have a duty to inform and facilitate a debate and to help test the consent of people about the nature of any trade-offs between civil liberties and security. A democratic government should seek to protect and nourish that debate, not threaten it or stamp it out.


BRAVO!!!!
read the rest:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/23/surveillance-state-debate-goes-on

45 replies, 3535 views

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Reply GUARDIAN Editorial: "It Is NOT The Role Of Politicians To Determine The Limits Of Public Discussion" (Original post)
kpete Aug 2013 OP
mike_c Aug 2013 #1
kpete Aug 2013 #4
99th_Monkey Aug 2013 #2
kpete Aug 2013 #3
kentuck Aug 2013 #5
agent46 Aug 2013 #30
spin Aug 2013 #6
riqster Aug 2013 #36
spin Aug 2013 #38
Hotler Aug 2013 #7
840high Aug 2013 #8
Skip Intro Aug 2013 #9
FarCenter Aug 2013 #10
agent46 Aug 2013 #31
closeupready Aug 2013 #45
longship Aug 2013 #11
Warren DeMontague Aug 2013 #12
sabrina 1 Aug 2013 #13
QuestForSense Aug 2013 #14
MotherPetrie Aug 2013 #15
blackspade Aug 2013 #16
kpete Aug 2013 #19
Solly Mack Aug 2013 #17
Luminous Animal Aug 2013 #18
Ocelot Aug 2013 #20
Luminous Animal Aug 2013 #21
gulliver Aug 2013 #22
LiberalLovinLug Aug 2013 #24
gulliver Aug 2013 #35
LiberalLovinLug Aug 2013 #39
gulliver Aug 2013 #40
LiberalLovinLug Aug 2013 #42
Maedhros Aug 2013 #34
Cerridwen Aug 2013 #43
deurbano Aug 2013 #23
Douglas Carpenter Aug 2013 #25
Uncle Joe Aug 2013 #26
WillyT Aug 2013 #27
felix_numinous Aug 2013 #28
GeoWilliam750 Aug 2013 #29
gopiscrap Aug 2013 #32
agent46 Aug 2013 #33
woo me with science Aug 2013 #37
treestar Aug 2013 #41
closeupready Aug 2013 #44

Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 08:31 PM

1. bravo indeed!

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Response to mike_c (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 08:48 PM

4. and

REASSURING

needed that

peace to you mike_c

kp

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 08:33 PM

2. Bam! There we have it, in one crisp concise headline. Well done Guardian!!

also, congrats on your new deal with the NYTimes.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 08:47 PM

3. FINALLY!!!

FINALLY!!!!

been searching all day for some light

peace, kp

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 08:49 PM

5. "It is not the role of politicians or civil servants to determine the limits of public discussion"

A statement many here would do well to memorize.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 06:18 PM

30. small steps...

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 09:37 PM

6. From what I've seen British newspapers are far superior to ours in every area. ...

Now it seems that they are willing to be watchdogs over government as they should in a democracy.

We could have used a lot more watchdogs in our media during the Bush the Younger years.

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Response to spin (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 07:08 PM

36. Oh, they have some crap rags and channels there too.

But they do have some good ones.

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Response to riqster (Reply #36)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 08:25 PM

38. I often find the Brits tend to use more photos and graphics in their articles. ...

which makes their publications more interesting and entertaining. Often a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. Often when I follow a link to a British newspaper, I spend some time reading the other stories.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 09:52 PM

7. .............


You can tell that that person has not been to an Englewood, Colorado city council meeting.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 09:57 PM

8. Guardian - truth.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 09:57 PM

9. K&R for the subject line alone! n/t

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 10:07 PM

10. The New York Times is their great champion?

Some weeks later the tone of these and other discussions changed. There was, by mid-July, an explicit threat that the government would, after all, seek to stop the Guardian's work and prevent publication of further material by legal means. To have resisted such action would have involved handing over ultimate control of the material to a judge and could have meant that no stories could have been published for many months, if at all. The first amendment of the American constitution guarantees its press protections of which British editors can only dream. For more than 40 years − since the publication of the so-called Pentagon papers in 1971 − it has been accepted that the state will not succeed in trying to obtain prior restraint of the press. So we will in future report this story from New York. We have shared some material with, and will collaborate with, the New York Times.

It is, we believe, inconceivable that the US government would try to obtain, or the US court grant, an injunction against publication by the NYT. The US attorney general has recently given an assurance that he will not prosecute any journalist "for doing his or her job". So the debate about the mass collection of data on populations, the links between the state, the intelligence services and large corporations, and the uses and limits of oversight can continue.


The NY Times is likely to be reasonably responsive to recommendations from the US government and to certain other governments regarding what is inadvisable to publish.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #10)


Response to FarCenter (Reply #10)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 02:52 PM

45. Likely, however, who would be a better collaborative safeguard?

The NY Times seems to be trying to re-establish their journalistic street cred. If they are insincere, it will become obvious. If not, they may be able to help reform the joke known as modern US journalism.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 10:23 PM

11. Woof!! The Guardian lays down the gauntlet!

They will collaborate with the NYTimes on all further revelations of the documents. That way they come under the US First Amendment and the bountiful case law supporting it. (The UK has no equivalent broad stroke freedom.)

This is brilliant and a bit confrontational to the UK government. The Guardian has expressed a desire and the right to -- as Congress Critters are apt to say -- revise and extend their remarks, er... their reportage. And they will funnel the information to the USA if need be, to preserve their inalienable rights, guaranteed only in this country.

What will be interesting is the UK and USA reaction to this.

But I am sure that the Guardian and NYTimes have established secure protocols. It's not that difficult to be private when one is careful. And regardless, AES256 encryption is not breakable by anybody.

Your move, NSA!

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 10:25 PM

12. That sort of talk is dangerous. We need to watch what we say.

Or so I've been told by an endless series of pro-censorship authority gherkins, over the years.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 10:28 PM

13. Excellent. They went too far this time. That's always what Authoritarians do. They get so drunk

on power they can't stop and sooner or later even the most apathetic individuals begin to wake up.

Maybe now the media will begin to stand up, take a lesson in courage from the Whistle Blowers, join forces and go all out to do the opposite of what all the intimidation was intended to do. And they will have massive support from the people if they do that.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 11:09 PM

14. Finally, the light of reason:

focused and succinctly.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 11:13 PM

15. K&R

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 12:11 AM

16. Excellent article.

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Response to blackspade (Reply #16)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 10:34 AM

19. if only...

Journalists have a duty to inform and facilitate a debate and to help test the consent of people about the nature of any trade-offs between civil liberties and security.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 12:15 AM

17. K&R

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 12:32 AM

18. "Why wasn’t I consulted is the fundamental question of the web,”

“It is the rule from which other rules are derived. Humans have a fundamental need to be consulted, engaged, to exercise their knowledge (and thus power), and no other medium that came before has been able to tap into that as effectively.”

This need, Ford went on to explain, was “…the thing people talk about when they talk about nicer-sounding things like ‘the wisdom of crowds’ or ‘cognitive surplus.’”

Ford, in his funny and slightly cynical way, was identifying a quality so profound to the Internet its people usually didn’t even realize it was new. This idea that participation was more important than qualification, that what made your opinion important was that you had an opinion. This was a new thing in the world, with its own magic. The Why-Wasn’t-I-Consulted faction showed up as open source and free software. It was there when bloggers took on the hoary greats of the news business. It powered Wikipedia, which shocked the world by doing better than anything the old world of accredited expertise could do. The un-consulted could not only appear as a creative force; they could appear as critique, suddenly coalescing into an Anonymous DDOS, or a street protest. They began to make their demands known, from Spain to Cairo to New York, talking across borders and ideological divides, creating distributed media, and above all, having opinions on things.

In January of 2011, Tunisians were exercising their need to be consulted with a word: “Dégage!” Meaning, roughly, “Get out!”, directed at Ben Ali from Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts and most importantly, hundreds of thousands of human voices on the street.

If this is democracy, it is a democracy the world has never known. A kind of kudzu of democracy, small, tenacious, and demanding its way into every crack of the edifices of the old world.

“Why wasn’t I consulted?” is the fundamental question of post-network democracy, and the fundamental question of the Internet, to which the state mechanisms have so far replied: “Who the hell do you think you are?”


https://medium.com/medium-long/b695860cb6d6

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 11:06 AM

20. K&R

 

It's almost like the Guardian is the only major newspaper left with any journalistic credibility.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 11:54 AM

21. Kick

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 12:07 PM

22. Snowden/Greenwald weakened their own argument badly.

You have to have the audience's best interests clearly in mind, not your own. If you go in with an opportunistic attitude, behave like an asshole, and show yourself to be a coward, people won't believe you. So even if Snowden/Greenwald had a compelling argument (and they don't) the only thing they can do is weaken it (and they have).

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Response to gulliver (Reply #22)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 02:17 PM

24. Never understood

those of you that imbue Snowden, (others also include Manning) with being celebrity hounds first and foremost. "Opportunistic". And that they are cowards and assholes. Really? And the same vitriol is reserved for those that actually expose and/or write about their revelations like Greenwald and Assange.

One or more may be assholes from time to time as we all can be. But I do not understand what that has to do with how important those revelations may be or not be. Or that their assholishness somehow weakens their "argument".

Even more puzzling is the charge of being opportunistic! Like what was presented to them, documents that proved much corruption and even criminal activity withing their own government, and the "opportunity" to expose them is looked on as a lottery win....that if YOU only had the chance you'd be really really tempted to do the same, because of all the lucrative rewards. Rewards like either running for the rest of your life, the loss of your career and family...or even being locked up for 35 years....Hey, where do I sign up!

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Reply #24)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 07:07 PM

35. Do I really need to explain it to you?

Do you really not understand? Are you really puzzled?

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Response to gulliver (Reply #35)

Sun Aug 25, 2013, 01:44 PM

39. yes

And please expand further than:

a. He broke the law! (unless you as a stone caster have never sinned)

b. He's an asshole (even though you've never met him)

c. He just wanted to be a famous celebrity (the kind that is on the lam or in prison his whole life)

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Reply #39)

Sun Aug 25, 2013, 01:57 PM

40. Wow. You claim you are actually, truly puzzled...

...and don't understand. If that's actually true can you at least think about it and show some good faith. It's Sunday, and this is far from rocket science. If you really, really don't get it, I'll explain it, but it will be later.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #40)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 02:04 PM

42. Why not actually answer to some of my points

Instead of walking around in your self-made haze pretending to be astounded that I don't get "it". What is "it"?

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Response to gulliver (Reply #22)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 07:01 PM

34. The more you people try and demonize Snowden and Greenwald,

the more you put yourselves on the losing side of history.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #22)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 02:40 PM

43. The NSA/security appartus argument.

Was that a "strong" or a "weak" argument? Do you think the spokespersons had their audience's best interests clearly in mind, or their own?

Do you hold a similar standard for those who would protect the status quo as the one you hold for those who challenge the status quo? Or do you accept the status quo as de facto correct and objective while any challenge or critique of same is de facto incorrect and biased?

Or perhaps you have something more nuanced?



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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 12:15 PM

23. Excellent editorial.

<<...But the nature of spying has changed: this much we have learned from Mr Snowden. What was once highly targeted has now become virtually universal. The evident ambition is to put entire populations under some form of surveillance. The faceless intelligence masters may say they are still searching for needles, but first they want the entire haystack. And thus countless millions of entirely innocent (in every sense) citizens are potentially being monitored. Their phone calls, web searches, texts and emails are routinely intercepted, collected, stored and subjected to analysis.

Did the governments involved ever stop to think about the notion of consent? Did any engineer, spy chief, minister, congressman or president ever wonder whether such a dramatic change in the contract between state and citizen required some form of debate?
...


Citizens of free countries are entitled to protect their privacy against the state. The state has a duty to protect free speech as well as security. Fundamental rights, as we say, collide. Journalists have a duty to inform and facilitate a debate and to help test the consent of people about the nature of any trade-offs between civil liberties and security. A democratic government should seek to protect and nourish that debate, not threaten it or stamp it out.>>

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 03:04 PM

25. kn r

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 03:18 PM

26. I second your BRAVO!!!



Thanks for the thread, kpete.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 04:29 PM

27. HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!!


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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 05:00 PM

28. K&R

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 06:02 PM

29. I wish we could get the Guardian in the US

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 06:39 PM

32. Yeah and it's not the role of

corporate owned business to decide it either!!!

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 06:39 PM

33. Epic

The New York Times -previously a neocon lapdog.

After more than twenty years of seeing the writing on the wall every miserable step of the way - I really didn't see this coming.

I have to look back now and guess none of what we've been watching unfold in the last several months is happening in isolation. Whatever we learn through media reports like this is assuredly only the tip of an iceberg.

None of us is privy to the private conversations and alliances struck by people in and outside the corporate government machine waking up to the fact they have enabled a catastrophe by their official policies and neglect.

Is journalism returning? Is it reasonable to speculate now that an international resistance movement of some kind may be under way?

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 08:10 PM

37. K&R

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2013, 01:57 PM

41. Where was it ever said that it was?

Snowden leaked classified information. That is a different question.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 02:42 PM

44. The Guardian - serious journalism, as opposed to bimbo-fed infotainment stateside.

K&R

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