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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 46,323

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ACLU has a handy webpage for “NSA Documents Released to the Public Since June 2013″


President Kennedy warned against secret societies A speech given to the press in 1961

President Kennedy warned against secret societies A speech given to the press in 1961

"The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.


If "W" Painted With Honesty...


Nixon should have detained Woodward and Bernstein

Nixon should have detained Woodward and Bernstein because info regarding his Watergate crimes may have helped the communists.

just saying...
are you listening Mike?
peace, kp

Wednesday's International Herald Tribune - "Newspaper stands up to British pressure"

Nick Sutton @suttonnick

Wednesday's International Herald Tribune - "Newspaper stands up to British pressure" #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers pic.twitter.com/lVNjTSJlYX

Republican Cheaters

DEMOCRACY NOW: "It is NOT us that will decide whether we have something to hide."

UK Media Crackdown: Greenwald’s Partner Detained, Guardian Forced to Destroy Snowden Files


AMY GOODMAN: Jacob Appelbaum, what is at stake here? Can you explain, for people who are confused? I mean, in the United States, overwhelmingly people think that Edward Snowden is a whistleblower, not a traitor. But talk about what is at stake in the United States and around the world right now.

JACOB APPELBAUM: Sure. I think, at its core, what is at stake is the ability for a human being to have dignity and for journalists to have integrity with their sources. And from that, I believe that it threatens the whole concept of a free democracy. This is, I think, in a sense, being shown in the last 48 hours to the extreme. And I don’t mean that as hyperbole. But if everything is under surveillance, how is it that you can have a democracy? How is it that you can organize a political function or have confidentiality with a constituent or with a source, or with a friend or with a lover? That’s fundamentally an erasure of fundamental things that we have had for quite some time.

And planetary surveillance has very serious concerns, not the least of which is economic espionage, and not the least of which, I think, for me, personally, is about journalistic source protection. I mean, how is it that we will be able to protect our sources if there’s no way to securely meet, no way to communicate about having a meeting, no way to actually communicate about basic facts? There’s no such thing as on or off the record, when in fact you don’t control the record. And it’s not merely a matter of whether or not we have something to hide, because it is not us that will decide whether we have something to hide. It is an analyst somewhere. It is a machine learning algorithm somewhere.

And this is the thing that is perhaps the most terrifying: Because people are flagged, then other people are dispatched. Each person plays their role, and more and more a machine plays that role, a machine that does not understand constitutional protections, does not understand the Magna Carta or the Bill of Rights, does not understand humanity. It’s a machine. And the humans, they behave like machines, too, which is a great fear, that humans will start to behave like machines. And so, what is at stake is in fact democracy, where we still have it, and the free press.


I'm going to post this again since it goes to the heart of the motivation of the UK security forces

US Official Admits That UK Detention Of Glenn Greenwald's Partner Was 'To Send A Message'
from the illegal-and-obnoxious dept

Buried in a Reuters report about the UK government's ridiculous decision to force the Guardian to destroy some hard drives with Snowden-related materials, is the fact that the reporter got a US official to admit that the detention of Glenn Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, was all about "sending a message" to anyone who had the Snowden documents:

"One U.S. security official told Reuters that one of the main purposes of the British government's detention and questioning of Miranda was to send a message to recipients of Snowden's materials, including the Guardian, that the British government was serious about trying to shut down the leaks."


The Remains Of A Macbook: pic of one of the stranger episodes in history of digital-age journalism

So, here's a picture from one of the stranger episodes in the history of digital-age journalism - the remains of a Macbook that once contained copies of some of the NSA and GCHQ secret files leaked by Edward Snowden.

The remains of a Macbook that held information leaked by Edward Snowden to the Guardian and was destroyed at the behest of the UK government. Photograph: Roger Tooth


Here's an interesting take on the destruction of that Macbook, from the White House.

Spencer Ackerman, US national security editor at the Guardian, tweets that a spokesman has said that it's hard to imagine such a thing being "appropriate" in the US.

WH spokesman on govt destroying media hard drives in US: "very difficult to imagine a scenario in which that would be appropriate here."

— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) August 20, 2013

Julian Borger, the Guardian's diplomatic editor, has now filed a piece about it (which you can read in full here). http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/20/nsa-snowden-files-drives-destroyed-london

A snippet:

A senior editor and a Guardian computer expert used angle grinders and other household tools to pulverise the hard drives and memory chips on which the encrypted files had been stored.

As they worked, they were watched intently by technicians from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) who took notes and photographs, but who left empty-handed.

The editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, had earlier informed government officials that other copies of the files existed outside the country and that the Guardian was neither the sole recipient nor steward of the files leaked by Snowden, a former NSA contractor. But the government insisted that the material be either destroyed or surrendered.

Twelve days after the destruction of the files, the Guardian reported on US funding of GCHQ eavesdropping operations and published a portrait of working life in the British agency's huge "doughnut" building in Cheltenham


This is police-state stuff. We need to know the American government’s role in these events


The Columbia Journalism Review offers a broader sense of the effect on journalism — behavior performed by far more than just journalists.

In light of Rusbridger’s disclosures, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/19/david-miranda-schedule7-danger-reporters it’s even clearer that the detention of Miranda is part of an attack on American journalists authorized at the highest levels of the British government, and it’s an attack that is at the very least implicitly backed by the Obama administration. …

This is police-state stuff. We need to know the American government’s role in these events—and its stance on them—sooner rather than later.



Would NOT Could

The British Home Office released a statement about the Miranda incident. It reads, in part:

If the police believe that an individual is in possession of highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism, then they should act and the law provides them with a framework to do that. Those who oppose this sort of action need to think about what they are condoning.

The most important word in that statement is "would." Not "could" help terrorism — a standard so loose that it might apply to millions of pieces of information and real-world objects. But "would." The British appear to be echoing the NSA's line that detailing how the government does its work is itself an aid to terrorists. (A claim perhaps undermined by the recent embassy closures.) It also appears to echo the argument made by the government in the Bradley Manning case: publishing information is aiding the enemy.


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