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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benytocamela
Member since:
2013-05-16

You know you can quote the words the previous poster used directly, right? They are there still for everyone to see by the way. So there is no need for you to reinterpret them by adding your own particular spin. Specially when bringing a point about your perceived lack of accuracy by others, unless you're into the whole irony thing.

BTW You can totally say "fuck off" and "bollocks." I'm an adult.

Reply Parent Score: 1

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

How I interpret them is very relevant to this discussion isn't it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

benytocamela Member since:
2013-05-16

I personally don't understand why is it so hard to address written statements directly and as they are. If you feel the need to re-interpret them, you are at risk of having a point which is based on what you wanted the previous poster to mean, rather than what they actually said.


But that is not the issue, to me at least. I was simply pointing out that if you have to bring out the speck in another country's eye in order to deflect criticism from yours, then your argument could be as suspect as the one to which you were replying.

Reply Parent Score: 2