Poitras, Laura and Glenn Greenwald. “NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’.” Video. The Guardian, June 9, 2013.
Expect Edward Snowden’s breach of his NSA nondisclosure agreement to burn its way around the world.
What is freedom if it is not the ownership of one’s communications with assumed privacy?
What is security if it is not the state’s ability to operate “listening posts” to detect malice against those it has been charged to defend?
I have said of the Islamic Small Wars, and as much may be said of all organized crime and political terror, that they are wars for poets and detectives, the former because 1) what takes place in the mind takes place in language, and 2) what takes place in real space involves the most private forms of collusion and operational communication.
The recapitulation of international web traffic that starts at the Internet’s trunk lines, the robotic sifting for strings and patterns or known quantities, one might call them . . . I’m not sure that bothers me so much.
I am more concerned when the FBI ignores or overrides a valid and reliable Russian intelligence tip-off and Boston marathoners and their families and friends lose their lives or legs: what motivated that negligence before the fact?
I’m also annoyed a little bit about the web bots watching my online shopping and pressing me to buy whatever I’ve browsed on every other Facebook or online news page.
In the end, if we don’t like so much electronic snooping, we can, I suppose, resume living locally and hope the bar, the coffee shop, the barber’s chair, and the local park are not infested with bugs that never bite but only listen.
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Tammy Swofford said:
As a journalist I am immensely concerned about issues of source confidentiality. Undoubtedly the mathematical capabilities to define with clarity any given social network will easily identify a source. The sifting mechanism which allows aggregation of information, then puts at risk, any journalism contact, will change the manner in which we conduct journalism. If I write about scenario A, B or C – with information not available to the public – my digital footprint will identify the contact. There will be the normal spikes of communication with people with whom I have daily satellite-driven or fiber optic contact. But the one person who stands out from the crowd, the contact I want to protect, will become identifiable.
The only manner to protect the other is to be assured of privacy of communication. Needless to say, terrorists have long given up on establishing email accounts and leaving messages in a draft folder for others to read. Perhaps that was one of the accessibility issues sought by the security apparatus. But 99.9999 percent of Americans do not present as a risk and deserve the right to privacy. The reckless zealotry chills me to the bone.
Whilst we speak of a breach of a non-disclosure agreement what must be done regarding a breach of Constitutional rights? As for me, I will not endanger a source for the sake of a story.