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If you think what Snowden did was wrong, read this…

If you think what Edward Snowden did was wrong, read this article by John Lanchester.

18 comments to If you think what Snowden did was wrong, read this…

  • Utterly dreadful, which is why I have a PAYG mobile phone and SIM, bought for cash which gets junked every autumn and replaced with a new phone, SIM and number.

    Its why I pay for everything in cash.

    Its why I’m not on the electoral role and everything is in my brother-in-laws name (as he’s the one I rent the apartment from).

    I deregistered from the doctors in 2009 and have never re-registered (I use a private GP) under the name Smith.

    The only way to avoid abuse by agencies like the NSA, GCHQ and the like is to get yourself out of the databases they are trawling.

    Even if all of this were illegal, they’d still do it by other means.

  • Jim

    We are too far down the wormhole to come back now. Any politico who stood on a ‘close down GCHQ’ ticket would disappear sharpish, not literally in a bullet in the head and shallow grave sort of way, but some sort of concocted charges – child porn probably. Something suitably indelibly character staining. And the masses could go back to worrying about Premier League football, X Factor and buying tat on credit.

    Only one thing will destroy it all now – a full collapse of the State apparatus for whatever reason.

  • Laird

    A good article. Long, but thoughtful. (BTW, I am among those who think that not only did Snowden do nothing wrong, but he is a national hero.)

  • Snowden is certainly a national hero for the US and should be honoured here also.

    A smaller part of this story is playing out in London on, I’m told, the 6th of November. David Miranda (with the help of the Guardian) is challenging the legality of his nine hour detention under terror laws at Heathrow for the crime of working on the NSA story with his journalist partner.

    I’d like to be there, if I can find enough support, and make some noise. If you are up for it, click on my name and use the Contact button in the top right.

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    Remember, Remember, the 6th of November!
    Could be a movie in that…

  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    My favourite quote so far: “To put it crudely, Google doesn’t just know you’re gay before you tell your mum; it knows you’re gay before you do. And now GCHQ does too.”

  • Rob

    Off topic a little, but I find the Guardian’s opposition to a surveillance state a bit odd. Under many circumstances they would favour a very intrusive surveillance state indeed.

    Devices in cars to track how far you travel
    Devices in bins to track what you throw away

    Just two exames I can think of off the top of my head.

    The Guardian isn’t against a surveillance society – they are against one which might be used against people like them.

  • Rob

    plus i don’t need to add their past and present support for Communist regimes, who have been known to favour intrusive surveillance systems, I am told.

  • Rob this is true and there is more than a little inconsistency, hypocrisy and incoherence at work here… nevertheless, the Guardian, inconsistency, hypocrisy and incoherence not withstanding, has done a magnificent job on this issue.

  • How magnificent would the job have been if it was a reporter from another paper that was detained?

  • John W

    Am I to take it that you do not pledge to be of service to Obama?

  • How magnificent would the job have been if it was a reporter from another paper that was detained?

    Why does it matter? Besides, it is not *The Guardian* that did this job, it is *some people* who happened to work there – the fact that the management went along with this is not surprising, seeing as if they didn’t, some other media outlet would. And, it is commendable, no matter the motives.

  • James Waterton

    Some of Assange’s actions have never sat entirely comfortably with me. Snowden, on the other hand, is a hero. I hope – if the good guys win – centuries in the future our humanoid descendants will learn of the great courage and sacrifice of Edward Snowden. One of the genuinely quixotic figures in recent times.

  • Laird

    I agree with you, James; Assange is a strange mix. Still, I’m interested in that new movie about him, “The Fifth Estate”, which is due to come out in a few weeks. Does anyone know any more about it than what is in the trailer?

  • James Waterton

    On the other hand, I suspect there’d be no Snowden without Assange.

  • On January 24, 2013, Julian Assange claimed, during a presentation of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence at Oxford University, that he had read the screenplay of the film, describing it as a[20] “serious propaganda attack on WikiLeaks and the integrity of its staff, as a ‘lie built upon a lie’”, and as “fanning the flames for war on Iran”:[21] the opening scene was inside a putative military complex in Iran and nuclear symbols could be seen.

    Birgitta Jónsdóttir told the WikiLeaks official Twitter account that “the Iran scene has been written out, plus the name has been changed. Come with constructive ideas how to improve it”.[22] Jónsdóttir also tweeted that Assange does not possess the latest version of the script.[23]

    Though Assange said that the film is a “hostile work”, he also claimed that Cumberbatch is “personally supportive” of the organization.[24] It was reported that the two had a form of communication via email during filming.[25] Cumberbatch stated that, “No matter how you cut it, he’s done us a massive service, to wake us up to the zombielike way we absorb our news.”[26][27]

    On September 21, 2013, a script alleged to be the screenplay of The Fifth Estate was released by WikiLeaks, along with comments on “why the film is, from WikiLeaks’ perspective, irresponsible, counterproductive and harmful.”[28]

    The film’s title sequence, which depicts the history of news communication, took over a year to create.[29]

    I’m going to see it.

  • Laird

    Thanks, Alisa.