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Great Britain Great at Surveillance and Great at Crushing Journalism

Posted in Courtroom at 8:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CBC journalists in Montreal

Summary: People who commit the act of journalism and inform the public (bringing new information to light) are being hunted down by the British government

IT IS very disappointing to see this new letter [PDF] which suggests that the UK’s war on journalism is getting worse and worse [1, 2]. As a British resident who runs a Web site which challenges surveillance, I can’t say I’m pleased to see this. For a nation that prides itself in the freedom of the press, this is beyond bad; it’s horrible and it resembles what we are accustomed to seeing in nations like China or Russia, and increasingly the United States too.

“They want all the privacy in the world for themselves and none for the rest of us.”There are many important things to be learned from the NSA leaks [1], which reveal criminal activities and even espionage [2]. How can the showing of crime (for scrutiny) itself be a crime? The US should consider disbanding the NSA, DHS, etc. [3] after all those scandals, which so-called ‘democratic’ politicians choose to defend under the false premise of “against terror” [4,5].

New reports help reveal that proprietary software is part of the problem [6] and that Tor, which is Free software, is really loathed by spies. No wonder liberal/freedom-leaning journalism too is despised so much by spies. They want all the privacy in the world for themselves and none for the rest of us. It should be noted that without Tor, these NSA leaks from Edward Snowden probably wouldn’t have happened. The war on privacy, as Richard Stallman stresses, is crushing journalism and defends injustice. For those whose journalistic work is actually about justice and is basically real journalism (not funded by corporations — directly or through the state — to serve an agenda) this is troubling news. Reportrrs in the West, including in the UK, is being given the chilling effect. In fact, there is a parallel strong effort to label anything which is real journalism not journalism and whatever distracts the public from real issues “professional” journalism (meaning that someone pays a salary in return for something).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The top 5 things we’ve learned about the NSA thanks to Edward Snowden

    What we’ve learned:

    American telcos are compelled to routinely hand over metadata to the government
    Digital surveillance programs capture vast amounts of data: PRISM and XKeyscore
    US companies have done little to resist government pressure
    NSA’s sister organization, GCHQ, does what the NSA can’t
    NSA analysts even used capabilities to spy on their exes

  2. Fresh Leak on US Spying: NSA Accessed Mexican President’s Email

    The NSA has been systematically eavesdropping on the Mexican government for years. It hacked into the president’s public email account and gained deep insight into policymaking and the political system. The news is likely to hurt ties between the US and Mexico.

  3. Instead Of Nominating New DHS Boss, Obama Should Look At Disbanding DHS

    As you may have heard, last week President Obama nominated Jeh Johnson, the former General Counsel of the Defense Department, to be the new head of the Department of Homeland Security. While he’s certainly better than some other proposed candidates, he’s not exactly known as a supporter for civil liberties. He’s been a point person defending the use of drone-strikes, even on US citizens. He also has defended the collection of metadata by the NSA. Oh, and in his remarks after President Obama announced the nomination, he talked all about 9/11 and how he’s spent his time since then trying to act in response to that.

  4. Feinstein defends NSA data collection and insists program is ‘not surveillance’
  5. In Wall Street Journal, Senator Dianne Feinstein Insidiously Defends NSA Surveillance
  6. How Apple’s Address Book app could allow the NSA to harvest your contacts

    When syncing your Address Book to Gmail, HTTPS encryption isn’t an option.

  7. ‘Tor Stinks’ presentation – read the full document

    Top-secret presentation says ‘We will never be able to de-anonymize all Tor users all the time’ but ‘with manual analysis we can de-anonymize a very small fraction of Tor users’

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