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David Cameron Wants the Guardian Investigated Over Snowden Files

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,6 days | from the damaging-national-security-for-the-public-good dept.

Privacy 279

dryriver writes "The Guardian reports: 'British Prime Minister David Cameron has encouraged a Commons select committee to investigate whether the Guardian has broken the law or damaged national security by publishing secrets leaked by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. He made his proposal in response to a question from former defense secretary Liam Fox, saying the Guardian had been guilty of double standards for exposing the scandal of phone hacking by newspapers and yet had gone on to publish secrets from the NSA taken by Snowden. Speaking at prime minister's questions on Wednesday, Cameron said: "The plain fact is that what has happened has damaged national security and in many ways the Guardian themselves admitted that when they agreed, when asked politely by my national security adviser and cabinet secretary to destroy the files they had, they went ahead and destroyed those files. So they know that what they're dealing with is dangerous for national security."'" Destroyed their copies of some files, certainly, but it's not like others don't have the files too.

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series of tube? (2)

Luca Meneghini (3159915) | 1 year,6 days | (#45143955)

he must be another one that thinks the internet is a series of tubes and "uses the googles"

Re:series of tube? (2, Funny)

kommakazi (610098) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144373)

My WiFi network is named 'a series of tubes', so I am indeed posting this on the internet through a series of tubes.

Re:series of tube? (2, Funny)

disposable60 (735022) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144835)

My 802.11n WiFi is ASeriesOfTubes, and my 802.11g is AConvoyOfDumpTrucks

Double standards? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45143957)

saying the Guardian had been guilty of double standards for exposing the scandal of phone hacking by newspapers and yet had gone on to publish secrets from the NSA taken by Snowden.

Anybody else who has a problem with understanding just where Cameron is seeing double standards applied?

Re:Double standards? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144009)

Of course there isn't one. It's just newspeak to incite the idiots against the Guardian for daring to defy the surveillance state.

Re:Double standards? (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144385)

Yup. Government breaks the law. Government gets caught. Politician accuses person who denounces their lawbreaking of endangering "national security". Reality is that governments own actions has endangered "national security". Ahh politics. And remember it (Kenya mall attack) has absolutely nothing to do with Islam...

Re:Double standards? (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144643)

"You might be living in a totalitarian regime if..." Truth is considered Treason by heads of State.

Thoughtcrime [wikipedia.org]

Double Standard (5, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144703)

Of course there isn't one.

In the first case the Guardian stood up to its own industry and exposed highly unethical behaviour showing that it met the standard for moral behaviour when dealing with colleagues. In the second case it stood up to its own government and exposed their incompetence and/or complicity in unethical behaviour against their own citizens and friendly nations showing it met the standard for moral behaviour when dealing with those in power.

So yes I would agree that the Guardian has met a "double standard" for moral behaviour. The question is when will he and his government? A good start would be apologizing for invading our privacy and putting their own interests above their public duty not to mention parliamentary expense claims...

Re:Double standards? (4, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144167)

From a concerned American to any of his concerned British cousins: Anybody want to get together and start our own country? With blackjack and hookers?

Re:Double standards? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144413)

Doesn't every country already have blackjack and hookers?

Re:Double standards? (1)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144247)

I keep wondering if that is a typo of some type or I am really not getting something.

Re:Double standards? (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144263)

In absolute terms, there isn't one. The Guardian published information, because that's what journalists do.

From the perspective of a government, though, the situations as complete opposites. In the case of phone hacking, the Guardian supported the security of the public by exposing and denouncing a crime. In the case of the Snowden documents, the Guardian is exposing and denouncing a legal operation protecting the security of the public, and in doing so it's helping criminals evade detection.

To Cameron, it looks like the Guardian is acting inconsistently, publishing whatever it wants not based on ethics, but rather based on the potential for public outrage.

Your perspective and sense of ethics may differ.

Re:Double standards? (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144435)

Also, some people have issues with the supposition that the legal operation actually protects anyone or anything.

Re:Double standards? (2)

alexo (9335) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144733)

Also, some people have issues with the supposition that the legal operation actually protects anyone or anything.

Or whether it is actually legal.

Re:Double standards? (1)

disposable60 (735022) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144851)

Or whether it's actually, you know, LEGAL.

/ I know - UK has no Constitution, as such
// but WE do ... or used to.

Re:Double standards? (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144577)

Doubleplus Ungood.

Emmanuel Snowden and Emmanuel Assange are now unpersons, who's crimethink makes Citizen Cameron duckspeak. This is plusgood blackwhite for Cameron, making endings to the ownlife for Oceania.

Individual VS Collective (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45143963)

The phone hacking by the newspapers targeted specific individuals.

Specific individuals have a right to privacy.

An organisation claiming to act on behalf of a group of individuals should not have privacy from those it claims to represent.

No double standard at all (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45143967)

There's no double standard in exposing phone hacking by newspapers and then exposing phone hacking by the government.

Doulbe Standard (5, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45143983)

How is exposing 2 cases of illegal invasion of privacy a double standard? And if exposing certain actions can damage national security, then those actions probably weren't a good idea to begin with, or at least certainly were not worth the cost.

The plain fact is that what has happened has damaged national security and in many ways the Guardian themselves admitted that when they agreed, when asked politely by my national security adviser and cabinet secretary to destroy the files they had

Were the people politely asking also holding a wrench [xkcd.com] by any chance?

Re:Doulbe Standard (4, Informative)

berashith (222128) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144065)

so i dont think that the true story is being used here in the reasons and the manner that the Guardian destroyed the files. When i see " asked politely" then I know that this is being set up as spin. " we will politely ask you to come with us and politely sit in jail and rot forever, politely, or you can politely give us the stuff", and the response was to not hand over, but to destroy, with full knowledge (on both sides) that there were other copies, and the destruction was only for show.

Mindfucked (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144211)

"Guardian [...] guilty of double standards for exposing the scandal of phone hacking by newspapers and yet had gone on to publish secrets from the NSA"

Oooohh... I get it... because the Guardian is a newspaper !

Re:Doulbe Standard (4, Insightful)

pr0nbot (313417) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144217)

The double standard implied is that the Guardian deemed one way of obtaining data unacceptable (hacking into people's voicemail) but not another (downloading your employer's data onto USB sticks and then giving it away).

I would argue the public interest defence. If someone came to me and said, "on that voicemail is X's confession to the abduction and murder, even though he denies it in public", hacking it could be in the public interest, whereas fishing voicemail for gossip is not.

Similarly if Edward Snowden came to me and said, "on this USB stick is proof of illegal and pervasive surveillance by governments, which I've nicked", I'd at least look at it to establish whether there was a public interest case.

Re:Doulbe Standard (5, Insightful)

FireFury03 (653718) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144513)

The double standard implied is that the Guardian deemed one way of obtaining data unacceptable (hacking into people's voicemail) but not another (downloading your employer's data onto USB sticks and then giving it away).

I would argue the public interest defence. If someone came to me and said, "on that voicemail is X's confession to the abduction and murder, even though he denies it in public", hacking it could be in the public interest, whereas fishing voicemail for gossip is not.

I would say that the news papers cracking IT systems is never in the public interest. If you've got evidence that someone has committed a murder, take it to the polce and they can get a court order to access the voicemail.

*However*, there is a big difference between a whistleblower supplying a paper with information that was acquired illegally (which is what happened with Snowden), and the paper themselves breaking the law to acquire it (which is what happened with the News of the World).

And as you point out, there is a public interest argument - if the government is spying on *me* then that directly affects *me* and *I* have a right to know that and I support the papers telling me what I have a right to know. On the other hand, if $celebrity_a is shagging $celebrity_b then that is of no concern of mine because it doesn't involve me.

Unfortunately, the government seems to think that it is in the public interest to keep this stuff secret.

Re:Doulbe Standard (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144669)

I would say that the news papers cracking IT systems is never in the public interest. If you've got evidence that someone has committed a murder, take it to the polce and they can get a court order to access the voicemail.

But if it's evidence that the police are corrupt and will act harshly to protect that secret, then perhaps you shouldn't bring it to the police, right?

Re:Doulbe Standard (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144573)

The double standard implied is that the Guardian deemed one way of obtaining data unacceptable (hacking into people's voicemail) but not another (downloading your employer's data onto USB sticks and then giving it away).

I would argue the public interest defence. If someone came to me and said, "on that voicemail is X's confession to the abduction and murder, even though he denies it in public", hacking it could be in the public interest, whereas fishing voicemail for gossip is not.

Similarly if Edward Snowden came to me and said, "on this USB stick is proof of illegal and pervasive surveillance by governments, which I've nicked", I'd at least look at it to establish whether there was a public interest case.

I don't even think the public interest defense is necessary. The phone hacking incident was rightfully a scandal, and if I remember correctly (I could be wrong as I am American and not British) many in the government at least claimed to be outraged. In my point of view, and in the point of view of many others (but sadly not enough it seems) the scandal in the current situation is not Snowden stealing the data, but that the NSA was essentially hacking into everyone's phone. It is the exact same thing the government was up in arms about, but on a much larger scale. However, as you say, they are implying that the Guardian has a double standard because there is a very concerted effort by the governments of the US and GB to shift the scandal from the spying to Snowden's theft of the spying data, which it seems so far they have been succeeding (with the help of the whole government shutdown fiasco-if I was a tinfoil hat person, I would almost think the whole shutdown thing was intended to help push the NSA thing under the rug)

Re:Doulbe Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144695)

The double standard implied is that the Guardian deemed one way of obtaining data unacceptable (hacking into people's voicemail) but not another (downloading your employer's data onto USB sticks and then giving it away).

It's a false analogy, you are correct. We know the government has done goofed and it's ethical to breach it's privacy to expose it. It's unethical to breach the privacy of innocents in the hopes of collecting incriminating material.

The analogy would be correct if The Guardian would bribe a CIA employee to copy all files it can find on CIA's internal network, then sift through the data in the hopes of finding incriminating shit. (Well, in the specific case of CIA we could defend even that practice by saying that finding incriminating shit in their files is almost certain)

Re:Doulbe Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144253)

They were holding a wrench. In this case, the wrench was the people the government were sending over to take the computers that held the data, and probably take a lot of other computers not involved just in case, copies of everyone's drives, and anything else that was a danger to "national security".

Re:Doulbe Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144387)

I love XKCD, but we all know that wrench would be closer to $500

Re:Doulbe Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144471)

The alt text makes note of that:

"Actual actual reality: nobody cares about his secrets. (Also, I would be hard-pressed to find that wrench for $5.)"

Here we go... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45143987)

Whilst growing up as a teen in the '80s, we took the piss out of the Soviet Union and eastern European peoples for the whole "Papers, please..." thing. It looks like the western world is not far off from this.

Re:Here we go... (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144023)

Whilst growing up as a teen in the '80s, we took the piss out of the Soviet Union and eastern European peoples for the whole "Papers, please..." thing. It looks like the western world is not far off from this.

If it ever comes to that, I will get a pocket copy of the Constitution and hand them that whenever asked to display papers. If they press, I will show them my conceal carry permit next. Because if we ever get to that point, then armed rebellion cannot be far behind.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144123)

Try that the next time a cop pulls you over and asks for license and registration and let us know how it goes.

I'm guessing the result will remind me of the beginning of the original "Red Dawn" where they guy has a bumper sticker that says "You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead fingers" and then the communist paratrooper does.

Re:Here we go... (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144467)

Try that the next time a cop pulls you over and asks for license and registration and let us know how it goes.

That is a completely different connotation from "papers, please", and you are willingly and mistakenly conflating the two. The phrase "papers, please" implies a situation similar to that of Nazi Germany and to a lesser extent the USSR, where movement of the population was strictly controlled for political purposes. License and registration is simply to show that you are licensed to drive the car, have no outstanding warrants, and that the car is registered and has not been reported stolen. Papers are also generally required to be in a person's possession at all times, while you are not required to carry around your drivers license and generally car registration is kept in the car.

Re:Here we go... (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144139)

If it ever comes to that, I will get a pocket copy of the Constitution and hand them that whenever asked to display papers.

Ahahahahaaa! You're funny. When a firearms & combat trained policeman with daily experience and backup wants to see your papers, he's going to see your papers. When he has his knee on your neck, or has actually shot you, you'll be less smug about your little pocket constitution. Don't be so naive. You need to fight this actively *now*, so they don't ever believe that it's acceptable.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144205)

In my anarchist part of town, that won't pass. And maybe that part of town is up for an expansion into the middle-class areas.

Re:Here we go... (1)

stewsters (1406737) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144209)

This is important. Its unlikely anyone will hear of your story or your pocket constitution when you die in a hail of gunfire. The news will report that some guy attacked the police over a speeding ticket and was shot. You need to stand up before they take your ability to stand up away.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144355)

And dont forget that with the NSA's spying they'll probably find that one day 3 months ago the guy who cuts your hair bought coffee from a guy who downloaded child porn or terrorist literature.. now shooting you is in the interests of national security or public safety.

Re:Here we go... (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144625)

This is important. Its unlikely anyone will hear of your story or your pocket constitution when you die in a hail of gunfire. The news will report that some guy attacked the police over a speeding ticket and was shot.

As I said, I consider "papers please" to have a much different connotation that license and registration, primarily it implies a sense of arbitrariness. If I am speeding, they have a right to pull me over and ask for my identification because I am breaking a law. If I am walking down a sidewalk with my gf and they ask for my ID, I can say the polite version of "fuck off", and they can't do a damn thing because they have no probable cause and I am not required to possess any identification. All I have to do is give them my name.

Re:Here we go... (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144421)

Ahahahahaaa! You're funny. When a firearms & combat trained policeman with daily experience and backup wants to see your papers, he's going to see your papers.

If I am not driving, I don't have to have my license on me. I cannot produce any papers I don't have on me. I can lie and say I don't have my license on me, and they cannot search me without any probable cause (fortunately I neither live in New York City nor am I black, otherwise they apparently could). They can run my name and they will see it is clean. And like I said, if it ever got to the point where our police were randomly stopping people in the streets and asking for identification on a regular basis, well, I know quite a few people that would take offense to that, and they have a lot more training and experience in that kind of thing, more so than most police do. I even know several police officers that would be opposed to that as well. If we get to that point, then there is no going back. But, in any case, I really don't see things going that far. Our politicians want power, and power is useless without a population to control, or a seat to control them from.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144651)

Ahahahahaaa! You're funny. When a firearms & combat trained policeman with daily experience and backup wants to see your papers, he's going to see your papers.

If I am not driving, I don't have to have my license on me. I cannot produce any papers I don't have on me. I can lie and say I don't have my license on me, and they cannot search me without any probable cause (fortunately I neither live in New York City nor am I black, otherwise they apparently could). They can run my name and they will see it is clean. And like I said, if it ever got to the point where our police were randomly stopping people in the streets and asking for identification on a regular basis, well, I know quite a few people that would take offense to that, and they have a lot more training and experience in that kind of thing, more so than most police do. I even know several police officers that would be opposed to that as well. If we get to that point, then there is no going back. But, in any case, I really don't see things going that far. Our politicians want power, and power is useless without a population to control, or a seat to control them from.

Apparently you're not familiar with how some localities determine probable cause to charge you with vagrancy if you think you can walk around without ID and not think twice about it.

Re:Here we go... (4, Interesting)

jareth-0205 (525594) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144771)

Perhaps my experience of the US isn't particularly extensive, but when I was there you have already gone significantly down this road to all intents and purpose. I couldn't go into a bar or buy a drink without showing ID (I'm clearly in my 30s). I couldn't buy anything on a credit card without showing ID. Since the US is a largely car driving nation, most people there have to carry ID to go about their daily lives. In the UK I genuinely don't carry ID and can live a normal life (you don't have to carry with you when you drive, and no shop or pub will ID me because it's a waste of time), but in the US I had to have my passport constantly with me to do anything.

Re:Here we go... (1)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144295)

I have known people who carry copies of various laws around and show them to the police when questioned regarding something they know is legal. They usually then get arrested for resisting arrest or such.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144331)

How's that going to help? The cops kill people for bad reasons and most get away with it.

If enough of you vote for some non D/R party there's more likely to be change. Voting for lesser evil all the time still gets you evil in the long run.

Re:Here we go... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144437)

Then you will be busted for not showing the concealed carry permit first.

Re:Here we go... (1)

isorox (205688) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144583)

Because if we ever get to that point, then armed rebellion cannot be far behind.

Ha ha! Yes, sure, just after tonight's all new jersey shore.

Your government ignores the most essential parts of your constitution -- the biill of rights -- they routinely ignore the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 10th, possibly the 7th and 8th and arguably the 9th, and all you do is whine about it.

At least they aren't quartering soldiers in your home, although the fawning over people in uniform that goes on in america means you'd probably just open your doors anyway.

Re:Here we go... (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144723)

At least they aren't quartering soldiers in your home, although the fawning over people in uniform that goes on in america means you'd probably just open your doors anyway.

I essentially have, as one of my college roommates was a member of the national guard and had served in Iraq. I have plenty of veteran (and active duty) friends and acquaintances that I would gladly let stay in my house, because they are good people. The whole quartering troops thing was because the people saw the troops as adversaries. Today, it is our government that seems to be our adversary. Our military (the actual guys behind the guns) are the only ones who seem to actually care about the country.

Re:Here we go... (1)

Hatta (162192) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144753)

It's already come to that, and it's been to SCOTUS and upheld. Hiibel vs Nevada [wikipedia.org]

Re:Here we go... (1)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144039)

Fascism was born in Western Europe. It's simply become fashionable again amongst the politicos.

Just like democracy was. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144227)

Oh, forgot about that, did we?

Re:Just like democracy was. (1)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144281)

You might want to check your map again. Greece is in Eastern Europe.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144823)

Yes, but we were mocking them for inferior technology. The western world instead says "Paper shredders, please..." which is way superior.

Downloading is Stealing! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144015)

Really though? If the data NSA has been stealing (piracy is theft!) reaches the fucking local police in your area who may not be so bright (say the dude didn't like gays, and you happen to be one) and STILL get to make life changing decisions on a strange who is you. Something is majorly fucked up with everyone. System is perfect until it comes after you.

If you've nothing to hide you've nothing to worry (5, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144019)

National security and putting people in danger seems like a smoke screen at this point.

NSA Wiretapping. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144025)

Back in the Cold War you could have summed it up from a tech point of view as a contest over whether your phones would be tapped or not. No anti-commie in the West would ever admit to themselves that our side would tap the phones. Turns out now with history playing out, it was really a contest over who would tap the phones, not whether they'd be tapped or not. Now the UK government is going after the press in a very Soviet way. Get ready folks, this is going to be a rough ride. No society goes this far into civil liberties violations it's never fun for schmucks like me. Just wait 'till these 'tools' start getting used for politics. As it seems they already are.

Double Standard? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144029)

FTA: " former defence secretary Liam Fox, saying the Guardian had been guilty of double standards for exposing the scandal of phone hacking by newspapers and yet had gone on to publish secrets from the NSA taken by Snowden."

He's claiming they are following a double standard by revealing secret illegal spying on people, and then revealing secret illegal spying on people again.

Well, I guess it could be considered a double standard if you follow the same standard twice.

Re:Double Standard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144691)

Ah yes. The old press "double standard" of revealing secrets because it is in the public interest. I can see why a politician would be confused and angered by this principle, especially when they are often the target of the public attention for their secret activities. Wouldn't it be so much better, and in the interest of "national security", if the press couldn't do any of that?

Idiot. What do you think? That saying "national security" is an instant "avoid public accountability" card? Yes, there are legitimate concerns where secrecy is important. But people needed to know there was wholesale scouring of domestic communications with blanket, indefinite "warrants" as weak and questionable legal justification. That's something new that was not technically or legally possible before. People have a right to know.

There's nothing inconsistent with revealing what other papers were (secretly and illegally) doing, or what the government is (secretly and questionably legally) doing. The government sure as heck wasn't asking the public whether their activities were acceptable or not before implementing it. If the press was doing its job, there was an obligation to inform the public about what was being done. You might be able to quibble over the way it was done, but it was the right thing to do. The press is supposed to step in when the politicians fail to consult the public about something so important. Don't blame the press for trying to clean up the mess when politicians fail to do their job of communicating decisions to the public.

Free press? (5, Insightful)

Zemran (3101) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144033)

Not if they tell the public what the government are doing... Hacking individuals private communication was wrong when a newspaper did it and it is still wrong when the government does it. It is not the Gruaniad that has double standards, it is Cameroon.

Crypto really irritates politicians, doesn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144057)

I don't think I could write a better advertisement for cryptographic software myself. Thanks, David!

damned if u do damned if u don't (5, Interesting)

schlachter (862210) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144073)

so they are more guilty because they tried to cooperate and destroy files when asked to do so by the gov?
so next time they will use this lesson to refuse to destroy docs.
and they will be tried for failing to destroy the docs. there's no winning.

Airstrip One (2)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144083)

David Cameron is doing a great job as governor of Airstrip One in bowing to Washington's pressure.

Re:Airstrip One (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144113)

The UK has been a good little lapdog these last few decades. Obummer has made your politicians even more his bitch than Retard W. Bush did with Tony.

Circular reasoning (4, Informative)

Atmchicago (555403) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144089)

"when asked politely by my national security adviser and cabinet secretary to destroy the files they had, they went ahead and destroyed those files. So they know that what they're dealing with is dangerous for national security"

They had no choice - if they didn't destroy the hard drives, then the govt. goons sent to their office would have. What kind of reasoning is this??

Re:Circular reasoning (2)

jools33 (252092) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144693)

The kind that appeals to readers of The Daily Mail.

National Security? (5, Insightful)

brxndxn (461473) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144105)

At some point, the people in charge need to define the scope of 'National Security.' Right now the scope seems to be defined as 'anything that security officials claim'. Because of this, anything a journalist publishes can be said to violate National Security since National Security covers everything.

For example, Martin Luther King's speeches criticized the status quo. Since the status quo is now matter of National Security, Martin Luther King's speeches were a threat to National Security, by today's standards.

So the real argument is what exactly is National Security? Is the status quo more important than civil liberty? Further, why are we not investigating whether or not secret laws used to justify anything violate the law?

Re:National Security? (1)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144143)

Further, why are we not investigating whether or not secret laws used to justify anything violate the law?

Because that would be helping the terrorists!! Why do you want to help the terrorists?

Are you a terrorist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144203)

You speak of terrorism, comrade. I'm reporting you to the Party.

Re:National Security? (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144323)

For example, Martin Luther King's speeches criticized the status quo. Since the status quo is now matter of National Security, Martin Luther King's speeches were a threat to National Security, by today's standards.

Nothing like the union movement or the black rights movement or the gay rights movement could happen today. It would be crushed. Back in the 1960s, there wasn't so much jail capacity, and cops were not well organized. So mass civil disobedience was possible. Now, if 10,000 people have to be sent to jail, no problem. Look what happened to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Re:National Security? (3, Informative)

stewsters (1406737) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144325)

They included Martin Luther King's speeches back then as well. It was just called COINTELPRO [wikipedia.org] and run by the FBI.

Re:National Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144359)

Yep. Listen to Martin Luther King's last speech.
"All we say to America is: Be true to what you said on paper...."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oehry1JC9Rk

Re:National Security? (1)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144375)

Oh, it goes well beyond just the status quo. Things that help a select few are often considered 'National Security' too. Quite a few times things like opening new markets (or suppliers) to well connected companies has counted as 'National Security' since it pushes American Culture into a region and Helps the Economy. And of course anything that helps the (right) economy is important to national security....

Re:National Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144411)

Martin Luther King's speeches were a threat to National Security, by today's standards.

Martin Luther King's speeches were considered a threat to National Security by the standards of the 1960's as well.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/08/j-edgar-hoover-war-martin-luther-king

Re:National Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144539)

Which is why no one should give any credence to what the politicos and their shill mouthpieces spew. Unfortunately "teh terrists!!" still works in making the general public piss itself into compliancy.

Re:National Security? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144763)

I think that is how they want it. The government love to define "damaging nation security" as doing anything the government does not like.

Great quote from Ron Paul sums this up: (5, Interesting)

RoTNCoRE (744518) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144115)

"The truth becomes treason in an empire of lies."

Re:Great quote from Ron Paul sums this up: (2)

RoTNCoRE (744518) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144345)

Sorry, a slight wording mistake: "Truth is treason in the empire of lies." from the preface of "Revolution: A Manifesto".

Blimey (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144147)

So:

Cameron's hired goons spend their time harassing the Guardian and its little journalist chums into returning or destroying the data on the pretext that "You've had your debate. There's no need to write any more."
The Guardian eventually goes "oh, whatever; if this pointless activity will make you any happier, okay", and permitted GCHQ security experts to trash the hardware containing the data. As one of said GCHQ types put it, now that the files have been destroyed "We can call off the black helicopters."
Aaaand... Cameron then claims that the Guardian's compliance with this pointless demand is proof that the Guardian has published stuff that is dangerous for national security. Which only goes to show that the Guardian should have told Whitehall to sit on it and swivel.

Conclusion: Cameron is a loathsome lump of Eton excreta. He and his equally repellent deputy Clegg have also recently claimed that publication of the NSA material is 'not in the public interest' because it is too complicated for most people to understand, therefore most of the public would not be interested. It's good to know that Government have a strong understanding of key concepts such as 'public interest'.

Not worth bothering with (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144183)

Nothing to see/worry about. It is just the Tory party wanting to shutdown a loony left-wing paper that spouts tons of inaccurate and biased stories on a regular basis. Just revenge for News of the World.

Learn the lesson (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144185)

So, Guardian, the next time the government "politely" asks you to do something, you politely tell the cunts to bugger off and die from an acute lack of tea *. Because evidently they try to use you complying with their requests to be admitting you're wrong. Should have probably known that before.

(* Is that how you would say it? I'm not a British newspaper, so I'm not exactly sure.)

Re:Learn the lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144701)

So, Guardian, the next time the government "politely" asks you to do something, you politely tell the cunts to bugger off and die from an acute lack of tea *.
(* Is that how you would say it? I'm not a British newspaper, so I'm not exactly sure.)

It's almost, but not quite, entirely unlike how you would say it.

This is silly (2)

0123456 (636235) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144199)

If Cameron really cared, he'd stop publishing government job ads in the Guardian, since that seems to be one of its largest sources of income.

Besides which, terrists already know the government is spying on them, so this is hardly news to them. It's the rest of us who used to think that the tin-foil hat wearers claiming the government was siphoning up everything were actually paranoid.

Does he have kids? (2)

bob_super (3391281) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144223)

Daddy got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, therefore the kids who saw him are guilty.
Because the cookies may have been used to pay off terrorists or something...

Bad analogy? Sorry, I only learnt logic from our democratic overlords.

Stick to the script. (5, Funny)

retech (1228598) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144237)

He really needs to just focus on making a bad sequel to Avatar and shut the hell up.

Illegal in Sweden (4, Interesting)

Henriok (6762) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144243)

In Sweden there's sections in the laws about freedom of speech that makes investigation of the sources of journalists illegal, even if the source might have committed a crime. The police or other law enforcer can't ask a journalist about their sources. That'd be illegal. A journalist doesn't have to keep silent though, so he might tell anyway but the police can't even ask for it. That's what's in the law. But there's probably secret provisions around it if it's a matter of national security, or just using some other agent to do so.

Re:Illegal in Sweden (1)

tolkienfan (892463) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144601)

This is exactly what we need, both in the US and the UK. The NSA and GCHQ are skirting laws by getting each other to do their dirty work. It's disgusting.

Re:Illegal in Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144811)

I hear it's a lot easier just to fabricate a rape charge. Maybe if the journalist doesn't sit down to pee.

Illegal Surveillance (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144275)

""The plain fact is that what has happened has damaged national security "

Lets be clear, the CIA trained Mujahadeen fighters to fight the Russians. It created a database "Al Qaeda", literally translates as "database" in Arabic. The database of those fighters, included one Bin Laden. Who is "Al Qaeda" and who wasn't "Al Qaeda" was defined by the CIA's database originally.

That group turned on the US, after the Russians had been driven out of Afganistan. So I trust the US government about as much as any person can trust THE PEOPLE WHO TRAINED THE TERRORISTS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Which is not at all. They make an endless series of terrible choices that result in lots of deaths.

Next up, GCHQ stands accused of breaking UK law, lying to the Cabinet and lying to Parliament. The "National" for the UK, means "Britain", not America. Snoopers Charter is not law, GCHQ did not get the laws they wanted and they are outside the law.That's why they kept it secret from most of the government they are supposed to represent, yet NSA and US was told.

Guardian are not just leaking secrets, they revealing high-treason. The most serious example we've ever seen in British history. Not just a spy here or there leaking stuff to foreign powers, but a whole agency systematically spying on Brits and hiding the evidence from Parliament and Cabinet.

Re:Illegal Surveillance (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144453)

It created a database "Al Qaeda", literally translates as "database" in Arabic.

No, it translates as "base". Database would be "qaedat bayanat".

Base = database = db (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144687)

Yes A/C it got abbreviated. Good misdirection:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda

Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook wrote that the word al-Qaeda should be translated as "the database", and originally referred to the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen militants who were recruited and trained with CIA help to defeat the Russians

Re:Illegal Surveillance (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144537)

Guardian are not just leaking secrets, they revealing high-treason.

Quite correct. And if the monarch actually had any balls she would order the government dissolved (using her army to back it up) and a new one, lacking any "career politicians" formed. Because believe it or not the Queen still has that power. No monarch has used it for 400 years, but it's there nonetheless. Royal consent is required, and usually implied. However it's required not because the monarch is "forced" to say yes, it's because the monarch chooses to say yes. But a government acting against its people must be stopped one way or another. This is perhaps the way with the least bloodshed.

Re:Illegal Surveillance (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144833)

Interesting, that qaeda=database thing.

I thought Al Qaeda meant 'the base', no 'data' involved (Robin Cook having publicised the 'database' thing). So I looked it up [snopes.com] . Turns out it means base, foundation, fundament etc. And is related to a verb qaad, to sit.

So there are accounts from different people about what they think this word is used to mean, with some saying that it describes a terrorist base (in the sense of seat of activity, place of training), others saying it describes a database (of participants, members). Then there are still others pointing out that it can have meant both of these at various times and contexts. But personally I prefer the definition provided by those that point out that al qa'ada is what is colloquially known as a pisspot [heise.de] .

Interesting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144287)

Because I want David Cameron investigated over Snowden files.

madman (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144335)

David Cameron is very similar to Benjamin Netanyahu. They are Crazy "Ashkenazi" madman!

Who knew terrorists read UK newspapers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144443)

Freedom of press aside, I find it unlikely that anything they didn't already actually know was disclosed in any depth sufficient to avoid or circumvent it.

Admission of guilt?? (2)

tolkienfan (892463) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144559)

Destroying files what required to do so under threat of violence is now an admission of guilt?? Cameron, you are a prick. This is the government making an example of a newspaper to scare other newspapers into line. I've recently subscribed to The Guardian (again - I used to subscribe many years ago when I lived over there). I recommend it.. we can demonstrate the public will with our money.

The real reason Cameron cares at all.... (2)

kaizendojo (956951) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144621)

HIS name is in those files as well. Should be interesting to see what dirt is dug up about MI5 and GCHQ. The GCHQ is collecting and storing "vast quantities of global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls" and sharing them with the NSA. NSA analysts reportedly "share direct access to the system." (http://www.policymic.com/articles/50333/gchq-the-british-are-spying-on-us-more-than-the-nsa-is)

WoW... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144737)

They've damaged business (cloud), trust in gov't. -> http://thestateweekly.com/nsa-director-alexander-admits-he-lied-about-phone-surveillance-stopping-54-terror-plots/ [thestateweekly.com] and https://threatpost.com/dni-clapper-says-statement-to-congress-about-nsa-data-collection-was-erroneous/ [threatpost.com] and expect us to believe anything they say (especially in transparently obvious retaliation like this)? Please - give us a break: We're NOT the stupid sheep you *think* we all are, "fearless leaders" (political sociopathic lying scum that you are) - you undereducated dolts blew it ON ALL LEVELS NOTED HERE, mostly specifically on a piss poor job economically as well since you're nothing but paid off kickback taking puppets of corporations, catering to the rich and shitting on everyone else, but yourselves. Funniest part's seeing your own systems of surveillance being levelled against you since no one can tell us that isn't why you designed it (or was the IRS scandal targetting current regimes' opponents some fiction? No, it was not). Gov't spending at its finest: Nearly NO good "roi" stopping any 'terrorist' attacks (you're the fucking terror more than anyone) as lied about above, but plenty of opportunity for blackmailing opponents into submission and 10 million dollars a day wars WE taxpayers pay for (except for your corporate lobbyist masters who EVADE TAXES via offshore games they wrote the bills for laws for which you as good puppets, pass, if not using 'secret courts' to do it). All so you war profiteers gain from it while the non-wealthy die fighting them for you and you offshore their jobs at the same time. Bullshit "2 party systems" that are on the same corporate lobbyist payrolls designed to keep us divided and fighting one another ideologically too. We see thru you. All of you "leaders" have lost your fucking minds thinking you can INSULT OUR INTELLIGENCE this way. Soon enough you'll lose your gravy train jobs for your piss poor performance (circus sideshow b.s. is more like it). Were I or anyone else to do such a "fine job" (not) as you idiots? We'd be fired, without your lifetime pensions you get after your term too (which should be denied for doing a shit job). Don't worry. You'll all be gone, soon enough, before you can ruin even more and all the main stream mass media manipulation and spin you're doing can't stop that, and you know it. You failed. Miserably. On all fronts. Go on: Go cry to your corporate criminal mastermind masters, shoo. You're history (infamous history) that keeps good people at one another's throats for the bullshit you spew. What a transparent pack of assholes we have for "leaders". No wonder shits falling apart worldwide - you're all too stupid and short-sighted selfish pigs! You've done us all a favor though: We're aware of YOU and your kinds' transparent sociopathic machinations from today foward - especially this weak attack on those that exposed you.

they should investigate this (1)

sribe (304414) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144769)

Then they should have a national discussion of what the laws should be as opposed to what they are now.

So cooperation is now incriminating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45144787)

Cameron citing their cooperation in destroying the files under threat as evidence against them is utterly disgusting.

If A is evidence, then ~A is contrary evidence (3, Interesting)

roystgnr (4015) | 1 year,6 days | (#45144813)

Had the Guardian not complied, I suppose David Cameron's response would have been "I thought they were guilty, but when they refused to voluntarily cooperate with my national security adviser and cabinet secretary, I started to reconsider."

No? But if not, then he is just trying to rationalize some "damned if you do, damned if you don't" nonsense.

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