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 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Valhalla on Tue 20th Aug 2013 15:23 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 Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by lucas_maximus on Tue 20th Aug 2013 18:14 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by Morgan on Tue 20th Aug 2013 23:07 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 Parent Score: 4