A whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy
Why Silicon Valley’s NSA deal helps them, but not you
Ever since leaked NSA documents first started popping up this summer, the battle against NSA surveillance has proceeded on multiple fronts: legislators pushing for new laws, journalists pushing for new stories, and tech companies fighting to regain users’ trust. Yesterday, one of the major fronts closed down. Since July, tech companies had been putting pressure on the Department of Justice, fighting for the right to say more about their interactions with law enforcement. Yesterday they made peace, reaching a settlement and withdrawing a class action suit that had drawn in some of the most powerful companies in America. On this front at least, reformers have likely gotten all they’re going to get.
There are a lot more stories to come, a lot more documents that will be covered. It’s important that we understand what it is we’re publishing, so what we say about them is accurate.
The big reason this matters is that he transferred a link, something all of us do every single day, and ended up being charged for it.
Jennifer Lynch, staff lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, discusses the charges against Barrett Brown, a journalist who has been in jail for over a year on 12 counts related to identify theft after linking to “files [that] contained revelations about close and perhaps inappropriate ties between government security agencies and private contractors.”
If the revelations about the N.S.A. surveillance were broken by Time, CNN or The New York Times, executives there would already be building new shelves to hold all the Pulitzer Prizes and Peabodies they expected. Same with the 2010 WikiLeaks video of the Apache helicopter attack. Instead, the journalists and organizations who did that work find themselves under attack, not just from a government bent on keeping its secrets, but from friendly fire by fellow journalists. What are we thinking?