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.


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RE[7]: Talk about overblown
by kwan_e on Sat 24th Aug 2013 00:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Talk about overblown"
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"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 Parent Score: 2