A portion of Edward Snowden’s large pile of NSA documents has been shared by the Guardian with the Times, in hopes of avoiding publication roadblocks put up by British authorities. “We are working in partnership with the NYT and others to continue reporting these stories,” the Guardian said in a statement, despite “a climate of intense pressure from the UK government.” In America, see, we have a little thing called freedom of speech.
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger explained earlier that Britain has sought to quash its Snowden-fueled reporting on the Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, its version of the NSA. “It is intended that the collaboration with the New York Times will allow the Guardian to continue exposing mass surveillance by putting the Snowden documents on GCHQ beyond government reach,” the paper explained. “Snowden is aware of the arrangement.” (The NSA leaker has previously derided the Times, and said he went to the Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald with his leaks instead, because of the paper’s past concessions to the U.S. government.)…
Security expert Bruce Schneier, in the Atlantic, offers his interpretation of “The Real, Terrifying Reason Why British Authorities Detained David Miranda“:
… This leaves one last possible explanation — those in power were angry and impulsively acted on that anger. They’re lashing out: sending a message and demonstrating that they’re not to be messed with — that the normal rules of polite conduct don’t apply to people who screw with them. That’s probably the scariest explanation of all. Both the U.S. and U.K. intelligence apparatuses have enormous money and power, and they have already demonstrated that they are willing to ignore their own laws. Once they start wielding that power unthinkingly, it could get really bad for everyone.
And it’s not going to be good for them, either. They seem to want Snowden so badly that that they’ll burn the world down to get him. But every time they act impulsively aggressive — convincing the governments of Portugal and France to block the plane carrying the Bolivian president because they thought Snowden was on it is another example — they lose a small amount of moral authority around the world, and some ability to act in the same way again. The more pressure Snowden feels, the more likely he is to give up on releasing the documents slowly and responsibly, and publish all of them at once — the same way that WikiLeaks published the U.S. State Department cables.
Just this week, the Wall Street Journal reported on some new NSA secret programs that are spying on Americans. It got the information from “interviews with current and former intelligence and government officials and people from companies that help build or operate the systems, or provide data,” not from Snowden. This is only the beginning. The media will not be intimidated. I will not be intimidated. But it scares me that the NSA is so blind that it doesn’t see it.