Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Aug 2013 10:39 UTC
In the News Another checkmark in our road towards a totalitarian society: government intimidating the free press, destroying materials, and threatening to take them to court - to shut down a newspaper. No joke. The British government demanded that The Guardian hand over all materials related to Edward Snowden so that they could be destroyed. If the newspaper did not comply, the British government would go to court to shut down The Guardian.

The mood toughened just over a month ago, when I received a phone call from the centre of government telling me: "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back." There followed further meetings with shadowy Whitehall figures. The demand was the same: hand the Snowden material back or destroy it. I explained that we could not research and report on this subject if we complied with this request. The man from Whitehall looked mystified. "You've had your debate. There's no need to write any more."

During one of these meetings I asked directly whether the government would move to close down the Guardian's reporting through a legal route - by going to court to force the surrender of the material on which we were working. The official confirmed that, in the absence of handover or destruction, this was indeed the government's intention.

The newspaper told the government that even if they did comply, it would be pointless - all the materials related to Snowden had already been spread throughout the world, the actual editing was done in New York, the journalist in question (Greenwald) lived in Brazil - but the British government stood fast.

And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian's long history occurred - with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian's basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents. "We can call off the black helicopters," joked one as we swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro.

Yeah.

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Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 20th Aug 2013 10:44 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

This is real sad. Why smash up a probably fine working MacBook Pro?

But who could have thought not all the Snowden secrets and files were on that MacBook, but also stored in other places? Certainly not the British secret service.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 20th Aug 2013 14:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I'm guessing it was a model with the SSD storage integrated into the motherboard. Not possible to just remove the drive.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Valhalla on Tue 20th Aug 2013 15:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

This is real sad. Why smash up a probably fine working MacBook Pro?

The destruction of a laptop computer is what you react to in this article? Seriously?

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by lucas_maximus on Tue 20th Aug 2013 18:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

One could argue if Apple had made it so the hard-disc could be removed and not soldered onto the motherboard further destruction of the device would not have been necessary.

;-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by Morgan on Tue 20th Aug 2013 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

The destruction of a laptop computer is what you react to in this article?


Well, someone has to.

I think the destruction of the laptop was a show of force more than an ignorant attempt to destroy the data. That makes it a perfect metaphor for the destruction of citizens' rights around the world. Government doesn't like you for any reason? BOOM, they destroy your life to prove a point. Not that it hasn't already been going on forever, but they are being upfront and brazen about it now, as ironic as that seems given the recent whistleblowing.

Reply Score: 4

v Talk about overblown
by Noremacam on Tue 20th Aug 2013 11:11 UTC
RE: Talk about overblown
by nvllsvm on Tue 20th Aug 2013 11:33 UTC in reply to "Talk about overblown"
nvllsvm Member since:
2011-08-03

So it is alright to destroy someone's physical, scare laptop because an intangible, infinitely reproducible document was copied or "stolen"? Better yet, a document funded by the people who own the laptop.

That makes sense.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Talk about overblown
by Kochise on Tue 20th Aug 2013 17:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Talk about overblown"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

"but at the end of the day, it is still stolen" intimacy and privacy of sovereign citizens that has led to this whole affair. But it doesn't move you nonetheless...

Kochise

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Talk about overblown
by TemporalBeing on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 17:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Talk about overblown"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

So it is alright to destroy someone's physical, scare laptop because an intangible, infinitely reproducible document was copied or "stolen"? Better yet, a document funded by the people who own the laptop.


With respect to Classified Materials, if classified material gets on a system that is of a lower classification it is automatically raised to the relevant classification.

Systems can be removed from Low Classification level by simple usage of programs that properly wipe the hard drive - like dban.

The only method to remove systems from higher classification levels is to destroy their memory - hard drive, etc.

So basically they were classifying everything as being part of a high level security classification.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Talk about overblown
by bhtooefr on Tue 20th Aug 2013 11:40 UTC in reply to "Talk about overblown"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Not even the UK government's documents, it was the US government's. So, from The Guardian's perspective, not a government that they're a subject of.

And, not stolen - the US government still has the originals - copied.

Edited 2013-08-20 11:40 UTC

Reply Score: 15

RE[2]: Talk about overblown
by ilovebeer on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 03:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Talk about overblown"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Not even the UK government's documents, it was the US government's. So, from The Guardian's perspective, not a government that they're a subject of.

And, not stolen - the US government still has the originals - copied.

The UK loves to give us reach-arounds. And yes, those documents would be stolen. Whether they're copies or originals it makes absolutely no difference.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Talk about overblown
by kwan_e on Tue 20th Aug 2013 11:41 UTC in reply to "Talk about overblown"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

The government demands their stolen property back


In a democracy, the people are the government. It should not even be talked about in terms of "property".

and suddenly their a totalitarian regime?


The totalitarian aspect is the far-reaching invasion of privacy, you dumbass. They were totalitarian before they tried to get back the documents.

Look I find the snowden documents immensely damning, but at the end of the day, it is still stolen property, and it is still within their rights to demand it back.


The government is not a private enterprise. Information can't be stolen by the people who own it (the public).

We shouldn't allow our biases for snowden to cloud that simple fact.


Your comment contained approximately -1 fact. It was so useless you've actually hastened the heat death of the universe with the energy your brain wasted on its stupidity.

Reply Score: 25

v RE[2]: Talk about overblown
by Noremacam on Tue 20th Aug 2013 11:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Talk about overblown"
RE[3]: Talk about overblown
by kwan_e on Tue 20th Aug 2013 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Talk about overblown"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

If the people expect a certain level of privacy for government affairs, then the argument still stands.


If.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Talk about overblown
by Gone fishing on Tue 20th Aug 2013 14:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Talk about overblown"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

you've actually hastened the heat death of the universe with the energy your brain wasted on its stupidity.


Sometimes in the midst of tragedy a light moment lifts the heart - your comment might have been it. This slow collapse of western civilization, reason and enlightenment into a dull grey, bureaucratic, "reasonable" totalitarianism is so boring and depressing.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Talk about overblown
by BallmerKnowsBest on Tue 20th Aug 2013 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Talk about overblown"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

"The government demands their stolen property back


In a democracy, the people are the government. It should not even be talked about in terms of "property".
"

Not to worry, they can always just claim the material falls under Crown copyright:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_copyright

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Talk about overblown
by ilovebeer on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 03:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Talk about overblown"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

In a democracy, the people are the government. It should not even be talked about in terms of "property".


No, not even close. The people are not the government. The government is a body of elected and appointed persons who are supposed to act in the interest of the states. People elect state officials. The president, for example, is not elected by the people. He/she is elected by electors who are not obligated to vote in agreement with the states majority opinion. The people have very little to do with government and the actual governing of the country.

Also a government absolutely can have property and ownership of things. Being a citizen doesn't entitle you to it directly or indirectly.

Look I find the snowden documents immensely damning, but at the end of the day, it is still stolen property, and it is still within their rights to demand it back.

The government is not a private enterprise. Information can't be stolen by the people who own it (the public).

The public doesn't own those documents any more than they own stealth fighters. The public has no right of ownership what-so-ever to those documents.

We shouldn't allow our biases for snowden to cloud that simple fact.

Your comment contained approximately -1 fact. It was so useless you've actually hastened the heat death of the universe with the energy your brain wasted on its stupidity.

The a pretty bold criticism you have of him considering how confused you are as to what a democratic government is and its relation to the people.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Talk about overblown
by kwan_e on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 02:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Talk about overblown"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

The government has no rights of ownership over my emails and phone calls, yet they keep them.

So it's all right for you if the government steals personal information from its citizens, but not okay for citizens to steal them back.

You are a fucking moron.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Talk about overblown
by ilovebeer on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 05:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Talk about overblown"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

The government has no rights of ownership over my emails and phone calls, yet they keep them.

Yes, they do. You obviously need to learn about the Patriot Act and subsequent/proceeding legislature.

So it's all right for you if the government steals personal information from its citizens, but not okay for citizens to steal them back.

At no point did I say I approve of what the government does and what powers it has given itself. Further, I didn't state my opinion on whether I think Snowdens actions were good or bad.

You are a fucking moron.

On the contrary it's you who doesn't know what a democracy is and how it works. It's you who doesn't understand the peoples role in a democracy. It's you who doesn't know what powers the government has at this point. It's you who is making up nonsense & false claims about opinions I haven't stated. And lastly, after all that, it's you that thinks someone else is the moron. Regardless of how uneducated and ignorant you are, you know deep down inside you got schooled and with every reply you're only embarrassing yourself further.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Talk about overblown
by kwan_e on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 05:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Talk about overblown"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I'm talking about what a democracy SHOULD BE, not what it IS in the US. If we just accepted that the current situation is all it can ever be, then there's no point in criticizing it. The whole point of criticism is that what it is NOW is not what it SHOULD BE. Your inability to distinguish that, and imagining you "schooled" someone, makes you a moron.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Talk about overblown
by ilovebeer on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Talk about overblown"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

I'm talking about what a democracy SHOULD BE, not what it IS in the US.


No. You're posting false claims & statements, not opinion. Let me remind you of some of what you've said:

"In a democracy, the people are the government."
"The government is not a private enterprise. Information can't be stolen by the people who own it (the public)."
"The government has no rights of ownership over my emails and phone calls, yet they keep them."
"So it's all right for you if the government steals personal information from its citizens, but not okay for citizens to steal them back."

All of that you made as statements, not your own personal opinion of what things should be. And all of that is false.

If we just accepted that the current situation is all it can ever be, then there's no point in criticizing it. The whole point of criticism is that what it is NOW is not what it SHOULD BE. Your inability to distinguish that, and imagining you "schooled" someone, makes you a moron.

Wrong. Criticism always serves a purpose and always has a point. And yes, you did get schooled which is why you're trying to lie your way out of it now. And yes, your reply only made you look more stupid that you already did, just like I said it would. Dismantling your ignorance and lies is easy and it will keep happening as long as you keep replying.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Talk about overblown
by kwan_e on Sat 24th Aug 2013 00:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Talk about overblown"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"I'm talking about what a democracy SHOULD BE, not what it IS in the US.


No. You're posting false claims & statements, not opinion. Let me remind you of some of what you've said:

"In a democracy, the people are the government."
"The government is not a private enterprise. Information can't be stolen by the people who own it (the public)."
"The government has no rights of ownership over my emails and phone calls, yet they keep them."
"So it's all right for you if the government steals personal information from its citizens, but not okay for citizens to steal them back."

All of that you made as statements, not your own personal opinion of what things should be. And all of that is false.
"

I didn't say "personal opinion", I said "SHOULD BE". Learn English, fucking arsehole.

"If we just accepted that the current situation is all it can ever be, then there's no point in criticizing it. The whole point of criticism is that what it is NOW is not what it SHOULD BE. Your inability to distinguish that, and imagining you "schooled" someone, makes you a moron.

Wrong. Criticism always serves a purpose and always has a point.
"

Not if you're going to respond to every criticism with "well that's not what it is now, so you're not allowed to talk about how things should be, or I will call you a liar".

And yes, you did get schooled which is why you're trying to lie your way out of it now. And yes, your reply only made you look more stupid that you already did, just like I said it would.


I like how cunts like you just assume everyone will see things your way.

You got schooled on your ability to comprehend informal written communication and so start accusing people of lying and claim victory to hide the fact you got nothing.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Jbso
by Jbso on Tue 20th Aug 2013 11:17 UTC
Jbso
Member since:
2013-01-05

This is a shame, and I hope something comes to replace it. Groklaw always had perspectives on the cases it covered that were hard to find in more mainstream sites. Like in Apple v Samsung, it was nice to get a sympathetic view of Samsung's view. I do think sometimes she went a little overboard favoring one side (there's been a definite 'everything Samsung does is wonderful; everything Apple does it terrible' vibe), but it's good as a counterpoint to the standard narrative.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Jbso
by benb320 on Tue 20th Aug 2013 13:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by Jbso"
benb320 Member since:
2010-02-23

Wrong thread.

Reply Score: 1

The government is taking care of us
by fretinator on Tue 20th Aug 2013 13:06 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.

Reply Score: 14

shiny Member since:
2005-08-09

Brought to you by MiniTrue

Reply Score: 3

Comment by v_bobok
by v_bobok on Tue 20th Aug 2013 13:47 UTC
v_bobok
Member since:
2008-08-01

- Please, have mercy!
- Not tonight, Bishop, not tonight...

Reply Score: 5

This IS serious.
by reduz on Tue 20th Aug 2013 14:05 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

I live in a modern, western country, member of the G20.

Not very long ago, some terrorists disguised as left wing tried to impose communism and went into civil war with the government, kidnapping politicians, making things explode.

The government couldn't handle the situation via the regular way governments handle this issues under the rule of law. Military took over.

The military handled the issue, but finding and capturing those terrorists proved to be really difficult, some were obviously terrorists, others it was unclear. So they just did guesswork, if you had a book written by Marx at home, kept a gun or a relative of yours was a terrorist, you could most likely be a terrorist too.

So a lot of people was captured and jailed, but there was another problem, in order to sentence them, or even keep them jailed, the government would need to prove legally their relation to terrorism. You know how rule of law is, due process, innocent until proven guilty.

This also proved too difficult, so the solution was to murder everyone captured and make them disappear. Never notifying anyone of this, not even the justice system.

For society, it would be like someone you knew would suddenly not exist anymore, without any trace. Could be your friend, sister, father, etc. Plenty of innocent died.

The dictators involved, who carried out all this, learned of such methods (torture, killing, etc) while assisting the US Army School of the Americas.

This was only 30 years ago, and the world is much more in peace than back then. Yet if something ever happens in the next decades, imagine the same situation with this kind of massive surveillance system..

Reply Score: 12

RE: This IS serious.
by Carewolf on Tue 20th Aug 2013 18:27 UTC in reply to "This IS serious."
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

You are talking about Spain, right? I had no idea your history had been that retcon'ed.

I love the perspective of your story compared to this one, but unfortunately it is not really what happened. I would recommend you reading history books not written by Spanish nationalists.

Edited 2013-08-20 18:27 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: This IS serious.
by Parry Hotter on Tue 20th Aug 2013 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE: This IS serious."
Parry Hotter Member since:
2007-07-20

Spain is not a member of G20. I'm guessing Argentina, which has had its fair share of traitors of humanity, such as Alfredo Astiz.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: This IS serious.
by big_gie on Wed 21st Aug 2013 00:11 UTC in reply to "RE: This IS serious."
big_gie Member since:
2006-01-04

This happened in Quebec, Canada.

The FLQ[1] was placing bombs in mail-boxes and at some point kidnapped Pierre Laporte, minister of Labour[2].

A week later, the War Measures Act was enacted[2]. Mr Laporte was found dead not long after.

It's giving me chills just to think what could have happened if the government had the power it has today. I'm proud of my large linkedin network, I'm sure I can be linked to almost anybody in the city through that network...

Edit: That was more than 40 years ago though. So might not be the same example. Still, it's another example if not.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLQ
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_crisis

Edited 2013-08-21 00:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: This IS serious.
by gagol on Wed 21st Aug 2013 08:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This IS serious."
gagol Member since:
2012-05-16

The RCMP had insiders to stir the pot (suggest acts, find explosives, etc...) and published false manifests in order to steer public opinion away from the separatist movement. Without the help from the Feds, this situation would never have spiralled down like that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: This IS serious.
by reduz on Wed 21st Aug 2013 14:02 UTC in reply to "RE: This IS serious."
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

No, It's not Spain, but as this particular situation seems to mark a pattern, it's really not nice to know that if it ever happens again, a totalitarian government can use this as a potential tool for repression the next time they decided to do a social "clean-up".

You expressed your view against the government to a friend or relative? you might be a terrorist.
You used encrypted e-mail? you might be a terrorist.
A terrorist in your Google contacts? you might be one.
You frequent a bar that terrorists frequent? you might also be one.

Then 5% of the population is gone. Happened so many times in history.

I mean, it doesn't even have to be the American or British government against it's own people, but just aiding some dictatorship (like it did in the past) to get cheaper access to resources that improve American life.

Edited 2013-08-21 14:03 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Misleading and inaccurate title
by BeamishBoy on Tue 20th Aug 2013 14:14 UTC
BeamishBoy
Member since:
2010-10-27

Nowhere in the linked article - precisely nowhere - does it state that there was ever a threat to shut the Guardian newspaper down. It isn't even intimated that this was ever threatened.

What is suggested is that the government threatened to go to court to seek an injunction forcing the Guardian to hand over documents.

In other words, Thom's summary of the article is completely misleading.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Misleading and inaccurate title
by timalot on Tue 20th Aug 2013 14:38 UTC in reply to "Misleading and inaccurate title"
timalot Member since:
2006-07-17

The Guardian reports. The govt wanted to close down reporting. So it's a minor error at best. Not "completely misleading".

Reply Score: 3

BeamishBoy Member since:
2010-10-27

The Guardian reports. The govt wanted to close down reporting. So it's a minor error at best. Not "completely misleading".


Nope. The headline on Thom's article is "British government threatened to shut down the Guardian".

Thom goes on to say "If the newspaper did not comply [ with the government's demand that they return or destroy material in the newspaper's possession ], the British government would go to court to shut down The Guardian."

That's as clear and unambiguous a claim as you can get: Thom doesn't suggest that they were going to be prevented from working on a particular story but claims the government threatened to shut down the paper. This is utterly false and completely contradicted by the linked article in the Guardian.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Misleading and inaccurate title
by Morgan on Tue 20th Aug 2013 23:23 UTC in reply to "Misleading and inaccurate title"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

From the article:

The man from Whitehall looked mystified. "You've had your debate. There's no need to write any more."

During one of these meetings I asked directly whether the government would move to close down the Guardian's reporting through a legal route – by going to court to force the surrender of the material on which we were working. The official confirmed that, in the absence of handover or destruction, this was indeed the government's intention.


I can see where it can be inferred. The first bold statement indicates that the government feels The Guardian should stop reporting on this story. The second and third expand on this and show the lengths the government will go towards silencing the press and hiding illegal activities from the public.

Reply Score: 4

BeamishBoy Member since:
2010-10-27

I can see where it can be inferred. The first bold statement indicates that the government feels The Guardian should stop reporting on this story.


Which is entirely different from shutting down a newspaper. Shutting down a newspaper is what Rupert Murdoch did with the News of the World. This is something called prior restraint, a different matter altogether.

The second and third expand on this and show the lengths the government will go towards silencing the press and hiding illegal activities from the public.


Fair enough, but the suggestion that the government in this country would go so far as to actually close a newspaper is preposterous.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Which is entirely different from shutting down a newspaper. Shutting down a newspaper is what Rupert Murdoch did with the News of the World. This is something called prior restraint, a different matter altogether.


Telling a newspaper representative that the newspaper is not allowed to report on a story because it exposes illegal government activity is effectively shutting it down. Tell a stockbroker he can't buy and sell stocks and he's no longer a stockbroker. Telling a newspaper "you can't print this and we'll get a court order to make you stop" is the same thing.

Fair enough, but the suggestion that the government in this country would go so far as to actually close a newspaper is preposterous.


Given what they've already done? You're not seeing the pattern here. They detained a reporter's spouse without bringing charges and denied him counsel and interpreters, with the intent to intimidate and harass them. They are destroying newspaper property as a scare tactic to force them to stop reporting on government corruption. The next step is just what the agent said: Getting a court order to silence the newspaper's staff. With reporters under a gag order, they can't report the news. This effectively shutters the paper and silences the free press.

Reply Score: 3

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

He's right, Thom made a mistake. I guess he mistook " close down the Guardian's reporting" (of that particular story) for "close down the Guardian".

I'm not defending the UK govt, just accurate reporting.

Reply Score: 3

BeamishBoy Member since:
2010-10-27

Telling a newspaper representative that the newspaper is not allowed to report on a story because it exposes illegal government activity is effectively shutting it down.


No, it's not the same thing at all. Newspapers here in the UK are prevented from reporting on stories all the time by means of DA notices and injunctions; to suggest that this means that the newspapers have been shut down is preposterous.

Reply Score: 3

Re:
by kurkosdr on Tue 20th Aug 2013 14:18 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

So much unpatriotism in the comments above. The Guardian had it coming by attempting to portray the NSA's noble efforts at twarting terrorism as "surveilance", so shutting them down would have been the patriotic thing to do anyway. (don't make me take out the Leonard sarcasm tag pic)

PS: Talk about lost opportunity. The Guardian folks should have said no to the government. If the government shut down such a newspaper, it would serve as a big wake up call to everyone in the UK and the US.

Reply Score: 3

Two possible reasons for this
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 20th Aug 2013 14:48 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

1) The intelligence agencies know that more damaging information was taken by snowden that hasn't been released, and snowden himself might not be aware he took it. Innocuous files disguised as something else ( stenogrophy), parts of it hidden in a comment section, or the implications of the document aren't obvious yet but might be with additional leaks from other sources.

2) Done just to make a point. They don't want them to report on things they don't want them to report on.

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Also everyone seems to be forgetting that the USA and the UK have been pretty close allies for a while, and the UK Government doesn't want to ruin that relationship, and our Government must be seen to be doing something even if it the results is ineffective.

Edited 2013-08-20 15:28 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Hay, what's this in my pocket?
by beowuff on Tue 20th Aug 2013 15:55 UTC
beowuff
Member since:
2006-07-26

Oh! A small USB drive with a back up of the files... Time to upload them to the net, just in case!

UK - "Curses! Foiled again!"

Reply Score: 4

Needs a reaction from the EU
by anda_skoa on Tue 20th Aug 2013 16:29 UTC
anda_skoa
Member since:
2005-07-07

I think it is time the EU asks the UK to leave the Union.

They have only been a half-hearted member anyway, lots of their people opposing being part of a strengthend Europe, blocking important improvements for European citizens and so on.

These recent incidents would make it next to impossible for any country applying for membership to get accepted, so in consequence it should not be tolerated by any already approved members.

While kicking them out would be a stronger signal to the rest of the EU population it would also unnecessarily boost the UKs already rampaging nationalism.

But they should definitely be offered the choice to either revert to a civilized political system or leave.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Needs a reaction from the EU
by lucas_maximus on Tue 20th Aug 2013 17:36 UTC in reply to "Needs a reaction from the EU"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

We have a pretty civilised political system.

What typically happens in Spain (I live in Spain and work in Gibraltar) is far worse IMHO.

Recently the Prime Minister of Spain has been caught taking bribes, in the UK he would have be ousted straight away. In Spain it like kinda accepted, for a number of reasons that are partly cultural and some because as my Spanish friend said "we have only had democracy for 30 years).

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/15/us-spain-corruption-idUSB...

Not too long ago a news anchor in Spain was sacked because she asked a politician some serious questions.

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com.es/2012/08/news-anchors-...

As for Nationalism, only the true thickos hate other nationalities. Most normal people are quite friendly and well adjusted.

It is akin to thinking that most American's are right wing fundamentalist christians because of rantings of some of the news networks over there. It simply isn't the case of the majority of people.

Nowhere is perfect.

Edited 2013-08-20 17:43 UTC

Reply Score: 3

benytocamela Member since:
2013-05-16

Yes. Spain's political climate is, and has always been, shitty. Which should be no surprise given how its elites have always been notoriously incompetent and corrupt. Specially in the South where you live.

But as usual it's a matter of perspective; some Spaniards could as well make the case that the corruption in the UK is worse. Those scandals you mentioned are peccadilloes compared to the magnitude and scope of the LIBOR scandal, the BP disaster, or the outright lies co-signed by the British government with regards to Iraq that led to thousands upon thousands of innocent victims, for example.

Which is why I am of the opinion governments, any government, should be 100% transparent. Specially among the EU states, which are far from being the panacea many of their citizens assume them to be.

Reply Score: 6

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The point was that the OP was painting Britain to be some dystopian society full of thugs. Which just isn't the case.

Reply Score: 3

benytocamela Member since:
2013-05-16

And my point was that the UK's shit smells just as bad as everybody else's.

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I wasn't saying you were wrong. I was just saying that painting our country as a load of skinhead tossers probably wasn't that accurate.

Normal OSNEWS bollox as per usual.

Reply Score: 2

benytocamela Member since:
2013-05-16

And now, using hyperbole to complain about inaccuracy. Fascinating.

Reply Score: 1

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The OP said that most British people believe in Nationalism which simply isn't true, however we do like our quaint measurements and our currency that has the Queen's head on it.

I simply disputed the fact that most were Nationalists, because living 29 years in the UK (before I became an Expat) I saw very little evidence of it (however in the previous generation to mine, it was somewhat ... but still not massively).

So f--k off why don't you with claiming hyperbole bollox, because I wasn't making any exaggerated claims.

Edited 2013-08-21 20:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

SlackerD Member since:
2012-01-16

And now, using hyperbole to complain about inaccuracy. Fascinating.


This isn't Star Trek, and you aren't Science officer Spock.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The point was that the OP was painting Britain to be some dystopian society full of thugs.


I think that might be debatable, at least if you remove the word "dystopian" ;)
We've all seen englishmen on holiday...

Edited 2013-08-21 19:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

What are they waiting for?
by Lurking_Grue on Tue 20th Aug 2013 17:30 UTC
Lurking_Grue
Member since:
2013-03-15

They should have them the documents so they can destroy them.

They could upload them all to the governments ftp site and they can go about deleting them.

I suppose they could mail them a usb drive that can be securely shredded.

Reply Score: 1

Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Straight off I should say I have read the Guardian every day for four decades, I fully support the right of newspapers to expose official malpractice and think is a scandal that under the guise of protecting against terrorism journalists and those close to them are harassed because of the exposure of embarrassing new stories. I should also point out that my daughter is a journalist at the Guardian.

Having said all that I think it is a baseless exaggeration to claim that the British government threatened to, or even could, shut down a newspaper. What was threatened was to shut down this particular story, presumably through some sort of court injunction. Whether the application for such a story specific injunction would have succeeded is not certain although such injunctions are granted way too frequently in the UK usually under the guise of protecting celebrity privacy or to prevent publication of what is deemed to be potentially libellous materials.

I think that we must remain focussed on the very important real issue which is that legislation giving unusually draconian powers to the security forces to detain people at airports, which it was argued were required to prevent imminent possible terrorist attacks, were actually used against someone who clearly has no connection to terrorism and which no member of the security forces or the UK government has ever suggested has any connection to terrorist activity.

I understand the need to give legally defined powers to the security forces to act decisively when it is suspected an imminent threat is looming but once in place the actual use of such powers must be monitored very closely in order to prevent the sort casual extension of those powers into non-terrost areas of activity. I am hoping this issue will continue to generate pressure for some sort of inquiry into who authorised the detention of the journalist's partner using such powers as it was clearly an abuse of the system.

BTW doesn't the image of the the two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian's basement just about sum up how out of touch and ludicrous some parts of the security system are in the face of modern communication technology. I suspect they knew it was futile and pointless but like all good career bureaucrats needed to be able to show that something, no matter how laughable, was being done.

PS Originally posted this comment in Groklaw article comments by mistake - just ignore

Reply Score: 3

HM The Queen
by jweinraub on Tue 20th Aug 2013 19:27 UTC
jweinraub
Member since:
2009-06-22

Since I believe HM Queen Elizabeth II still has the powers to dissolve parliament, if this sort of stuff gets out of hand, I really hope she decides to exercise her right to do so before things really become 1984...

Reply Score: 2

Echelon
by MOS6510 on Wed 21st Aug 2013 06:38 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

I'm a bit surprised nobody has mentioned "Echelon" yet, the alleged spy system of years before.

It didn't seem most people really believed it existed, but it probably did and it's also probably an earlier phase of PRISM's evolution. And if that is so the NSA (and others) have been tapping us for much longer.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Echelon
by gagol on Wed 21st Aug 2013 08:29 UTC in reply to "Echelon"
gagol Member since:
2012-05-16

Echelon is SO last century spy tech. We have much more advanced intelligence interception systems now.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Echelon
by kryogenix on Wed 21st Aug 2013 19:28 UTC in reply to "Echelon"
kryogenix Member since:
2008-01-06

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CALEA

Expanded to include broadband surveillance in 2004. Telco and data comm equipment MUST include undetectable easy surveillance capabilities by law now.

They've just taken it all to the next level grabbing SSL keys from Verisign, etc.

And they are abusing the hell out of it.

Reply Score: 2

Goose - Gander
by Vinegar Joe on Wed 21st Aug 2013 20:33 UTC
Vinegar Joe
Member since:
2006-08-16

"Everything that is now being done to the Guardian has already been done to the tabloid press, a hundred times over, and often at the behest of the Guardian." - Brendan O’Neill

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/david_miranda/13938#.U...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Goose - Gander
by flypig on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 10:18 UTC in reply to "Goose - Gander"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

That made a fascinating read, and the article certainly makes a good point. However, it leaves the issue of "public interest" right to the very end, and then brushes over it without the analysis it deserves.

Journalists are bound by the law just like everyone else. Hacking people's phones and bribing the Police is illegal, and the journalists were doing it.

As far as I'm aware, there are no criminal charges levied against Guardian journalists. It looks pretty clear that Edward Snowden broke the law (whether you agree with what he did or not). But Edward Snowden is not the Guardian.

Finally, as far as I'm aware there *is* a 'public interest' defence for journalists in the UK, and I'm sure that any journalist accused of phone hacking will have tried to use it. The ultimate arbiter of this is presumably a court jury. The nature of 'public interest' may be hard to define, but that doesn't mean that it can be ignored. Journalists shouldn't be entitled to break the law indiscriminately, nor should governments be able to quash journalism that's in the public interest (e.g. that suggests the government has been lying and acting illegally).

In short, I don't think the two situations are as synonymous as the article you linked to implies, but it's definitely worth being very careful about it.

Reply Score: 3