Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘encryption programs

No Place to Hide? When investigative journalists are prosecuted for divulging secret government illegal actions

Machiavelli wrote in The Prince:

The character of the common people is mobile and easy to lead to an opinion. The real problem for the power-to-be is how to maintain this character, how to force the common people to believe when they cease to believe in the opinion of the powerful.

Nietzsche wrote in Beyond Good and Evil:

The key word for those keen minds of conscientious people working on secret projects is: How to Trespass morality.

Roland Barthes wrote:

Fascism is to pressure people to express the opinions of the rulers

From a 1975 statement of Senator Frank Church to the committees of the  intelligence agencies:

“The US government has perfected a tech capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air…

That capability could at any time turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left…

Such is the capability to monitor everything, telephone conversations, telegram…it doesn’t matter.

There would be No Place to Hide”

This monitoring capability has extended to internet, social platforms, mobile phones, public and private video cameras, satellite imaging, instant location capturing features…

The US government strategy, backed by Congressmen, Senators and leading journalists… was to mute Glenn Greenwald bold and direct reporting on the widespread surveillance on everyone (collective data gathering). The strategy was to label Glenn as just another blogger and an activist. Why?

Journalists in the US and in many other States have formal and unwritten legal protection that are unavailable to any one else when they reveal secret intelligence pieces through their job of investigative reporting.

Thus, robbing Glenn from this status of journalist was to expose him to legal criminal harassment.

For example, the misleading claims that he is:

1. A co-conspirator working with sources to obtain document

2. Establishing a covert communication plan to speak without being detected with sources

3. Employing flattery and playing to the sources’ vanity and ego to persuade the source to leak secrets documents

are routine tactics within the job description and methods of investigative journalists, but would not cover bloggers and activists.

Leonard Downie Jr. former executive editor of the Wash. Post, wrote in the name of the Committee to protect Journalists:

“The Obama Administration war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive since the Nixon Adm.  The 30 experienced Wash Journalists at a variety of news organizations interviewed for the report could not remember any precedent (on this scale)”

“The Obama Adm. had crossed a red line that no other administration has crossed before and blown right past” said Jane Mayer in the New republic. It is a huge impediment to reporting and beyond chilling. It’s more like freezing the whole process into a standstill”

Even the NYTimes reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin, who had fought all the way to the US Supreme Court in order to publish the Pentagon Papers, advocated the arrest of Glenn.

No one in the US dared confirm any “informal assurance” that Glenn would not be prosecuted if he lands in the USA.

The US government was ready to concoct a theory that Greenwald’s repeated meetings with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and in Russia and publishing reports on a “freelance basis” with newspapers around the world do fall under the criminal law of “aided and abetted” Snowden in his leaks and helped a “fugitive” flee justice or that the reports constituted some type of espionage.

It is evident that the security state in the USA is more powerful than the highest elected officials and do boast a wide array of influential loyalists.

So what kinds of reforms are necessary to check this wave of collective meta-data collection surveillance on people and institutions?

1. Targeted surveillance backed with substantial evidence of real wrongdoing

2. This “Collect it all” approach and indiscriminate mass surveillance is constitutionally illegal.

3. Using metadata analysis technique has not produced or disclosed a single terrorist plot: This a terrible burden on the budget dedicated to hiring specialized data analysts who have no clue on how to handle their job.

4. The government must provide some evidence of probable cause of wrongdoing before listening to a person conversations. That’s the job of FISA court.

5. FISA court. must be reformed so that it is not used as a rubber stamp. Converting FISA court into a real judicial system would be a positive first step in the reform

6. This trend of co-opting entities by the national security state badly needs an oversight control system to tame its abuses.

7. Building a new Internet infrastructure so that all the communication traffics have no longer to transit through the US network. European tech companies are spewing alternative special platforms to Google and Facebook intended Not to provide data to the NSA

8. More encryption programs and browsing-anonymity tools are being designed for users working in sensitive jobs such as journalists, lawyers, civil rights advocate organizations…

9. Advancing government transparency reforms

Whistle-blowers have learned that speaking the truth does not necessarily destroy their life: The side of supporters has grown immensely and are promoting the human capacity to reason and make decisions outside the boundaries of government status quo.

Note: Glenn Greenwald published 4 books. Among them:

1. With Liberty and Justice for some

2. A Tragic Legacy

3. No place to hide

He published Edward Snowden secret stories in The Guardian before co-founding the investigative publication The Intercept


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2020
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