Sunday 17th of October 2021

more brazilians in the firing line...

terrorist

David Miranda detention: a betrayal of trust and principle

 

This subverted the benefit of the doubt that liberal democracies ask for whey they arm themselves against terrorism

editorial, The Guardian

Long before the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald wasdetained at Heathrow airport on Sunday, the law that was used to hold him and remove his possessions had been effectively discredited in its present form. Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is a sweeping power to detain for up to nine hours. It gives border police a power of detention for questioning without specific suspicion or a right to be represented. It is one of the strongest police powers on the statute book – a useful weapon for security services trawling for information but a potential source of injustice waiting to happen. It has provoked some of the strongest community complaints about the way UK terrorism laws operate in practice. Parliament is already scheduled to reform it.

David Miranda's detention should be seen in the context of the implicit acceptance by the Home Office, which is bringing forward the current changes, that parts of the law are too sweeping. But Mr Miranda's detention is extraordinary nevertheless. It raises important new issues that parliament cannot now ignore and will have to debate if its terrorism law reform bill is to be in any way meaningful, just or proportionate.

Part of this is because there is not the slightest suggestion that Mr Miranda is a terrorist. But Mr Miranda does live with and work with Mr Greenwald, who has broken most of the stories about US and UK statesurveillance based on leaks from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. None of that work involves committing, preparing or instigating acts of terrorism, or anything that could reasonably fall within even the most capacious definition of such activities. Yet anyone who imagines that Mr Miranda was detained at random at Heathrow is not living in the real world.

The reality about schedule 7 of the 2000 act is that it is a legal power tailored to the half-world of ports and airports. It gives police powers to do things to people in that half-world that they could not do in the real one. In the real world, legal checks and balances apply – in America, ironically, some of these go under the name of "Miranda rights". In the half-world, people can be held and questioned, searches carried out and property confiscated without particular suspicion or legal safeguards. There were 69,000 such stops last year, only a handful of which led to arrests.

Mr Miranda's detention was part security service fishing trip, part police harassment exercise and part government warning signal to journalists and whistleblowers. It was an attempt to intimidate journalism in one of the zoned-off jurisdictional spaces where such a thing can happen without legal redress. It was done simply because it could be done – and doubtless because the Americans wanted it done – and for no other reasons.

The detention of Mr Miranda subverts the benefit of the doubt that liberal democracies ask for when they arm themselves against terrorism. States pass anti-terror laws that grant exceptional powers on the strict understanding that terror poses exceptional threats and that such powers will be used proportionately. The Miranda detention betrays that understanding, since it does not involve terrorism in any way. Democratic leaders have likewise claimed to recognise the legitimacy of a public debate about the proportionate nature of the state's weaponry against terrorism. This case suggests the state takes us for fools.

Because of schedule 7's troubling history, parliament already has both a chance and a responsibility to prove otherwise. Schedule 7 should be radically tightened, so that exceptional powers are applied only in genuinely exceptional terror-related cases. Detentions should require reasonable suspicion. Confiscated materials should be returned quickly, where no charge is brought or national security involved, as fingerprints and DNA samples now are. Access to a lawyer should be allowed. If parliament rises to the occasion, perhaps some good may have come from what is otherwise a disgraceful episode of state harassment of independent journalism and free citizens.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/19/david-miranda-detention-schedule7-editorial

yet another brick in the wall ....

Rachel Maddow excoriates U.S. and British authorities for harassing journalists like Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, and squandering U.S. credibility on questions of government overreach.

 

Maddow: 'Journalism is not terrorism'

putting big boots on...

 

The (UK) government has embarked on an aggressive offensive to justify the detention of David Miranda by suggesting that the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald possessed "highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism".

Amid calls from across the political spectrum for a fuller explanation of the treatment of Miranda at Heathrow after a detailed statement from the White House, the Home Office made clear that his nine-hour detention was fully justified on the grounds that he was carrying leaked documents.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The government and the police have a duty to protect the public and our national security. If the police believe that an individual is in possession of highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism, then they should act and the law provides them with a framework to do that. Those who oppose this sort of action need to think about what they are condoning. This is an ongoing police inquiry so will not comment on the specifics."

The statement by the Home Office, including a challenge to critics to think about condoning the leaking of sensitive documents, marks a significant change in tone by the government.

Downing Street and the Home Office had declined to answer questions about the detention of Miranda on the grounds that it was an operational police matter.

But in the face of growing criticism across the political spectrum, the Home Office has decided to go on the offensive and offer wholehearted support for the police with some details of the operation that led to the detention of Miranda.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/20/david-miranda-sensitive-stolen-information

 

An operational police matter?... How come, since the Brits had "informed" the US government of the pending arrest of David Miranda? It was of course a (not-so-) secret service op of which the British government was fully aware of, since they had informed the Yanks, who did not protest at the illegality of the pending arrest. This is why after fudging with bumbling, the British government is now going boots-and-all on the front foot.

Of course these snoops (formerly known as spooks) are now brandishing the anti-terrorism card... But were they aware that the young dippy lady and her two kids on the latter flight from Berlin had the same info stored on CDs with a cover about "Horn Blowing in the Swiss Alps" and "The Sound of Musical Chairs"?... That's the old fashioned way to get info across... two or more couriers, plus a UPS parcel of gifts to your neigbours...

 

enemies of state ....

Long before the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald was detained at Heathrow airport on Sunday, the law that was used to hold him and remove his possessions had been effectively discredited in its present form. Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is a sweeping power to detain for up to nine hours. It gives border police a power of detention for questioning without specific suspicion or a right to be represented. It is one of the strongest police powers on the statute book – a useful weapon for security services trawling for information but a potential source of injustice waiting to happen. It has provoked some of the strongest community complaints about the way UK terrorism laws operate in practice. Parliament is already scheduled to reform it.

David Miranda's detention should be seen in the context of the implicit acceptance by the Home Office, which is bringing forward the current changes. that parts of the law are too sweeping. But Mr Miranda's detention is extraordinary nevertheless. It raises important new issues that parliament cannot now ignore and will have to debate if its terrorism law reform bill is to be in any way meaningful, just or proportionate.

Part of this is because there is not the slightest suggestion that Mr Miranda is a terrorist. But Mr Miranda does live with and work with Mr Greenwald, who has broken most of the stories about US and UK state surveillance based on leaks from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. None of that work involves committing, preparing or instigating acts of terrorism, or anything that could reasonably fall within even the most capacious definition of such activities. Yet anyone who imagines that Mr Miranda was detained at random at Heathrow is not living in the real world.

The reality about schedule 7 of the 2000 act is that it is a legal power tailored to the half-world of ports and airports. It gives police powers to do things to people in that half-world that they could not do in the real one. In the real world, legal checks and balances apply – in America, ironically, some of these go under the name of "Miranda rights". In the half-world, people can be held and questioned, searches carried out and property confiscated without particular suspicion or legal safeguards.

There were 69,000 such stops last year, only a handful of which led to arrests.

Mr Miranda's detention was part security service fishing trip, part police harassment exercise and part government warning signal to journalists and whistleblowers. It was an attempt to intimidate journalism in one of the zoned-off jurisdictional spaces where such a thing can happen without legal redress. It was done simply because it could be done – and doubtless because the Americans wanted it done – and for no other reasons.

The detention of Mr Miranda subverts the benefit of the doubt that liberal democracies ask for when they arm themselves against terrorism. States pass anti-terror laws that grant exceptional powers on the strict understanding that terror poses exceptional threats and that such powers will be used proportionately. The Miranda detention betrays that understanding, since it does not involve terrorism in any way. Democratic leaders have likewise claimed to recognise the legitimacy of a public debate about the proportionate nature of the state's weaponry against terrorism. This case suggests the state takes us for fools.

Because of schedule 7's troubling history, parliament already has both a chance and a responsibility to prove otherwise. Schedule 7 should be radically tightened, so that exceptional powers are applied only in genuinely exceptional terror-related cases. Detentions should require reasonable suspicion. Confiscated materials should be returned quickly, where no charge is brought or national security involved, as fingerprints and DNA samples now are. Access to a lawyer should be allowed. If parliament rises to the occasion, perhaps some good may have come from what is otherwise a disgraceful episode of state harassment of independent journalism and free citizens.

David Miranda Detention: A Betrayal Of Trust & Principle

symbolic destruction of hardware...

 

Guardian editors on Tuesday revealed why and how the newspaper destroyed computer hard drives containing copies of some of the secret files leaked by Edward Snowden.

The decision was taken after a threat of legal action by the government that could have stopped reporting on the extent of American and British government surveillance revealed by the documents.

It resulted in one of the stranger episodes in the history of digital-age journalism. On Saturday 20 July, in a deserted basement of the Guardian's King's Cross offices, a senior editor and a Guardian computer expert used angle grinders and other tools to pulverise the hard drives and memory chips on which the encrypted files had been stored.

As they worked they were watched by technicians from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) who took notes and photographs, but who left empty-handed.

The editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, had earlier informed government officials that other copies of the files existed outside the country and that the Guardian was neither the sole recipient nor steward of the files leaked by Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor. But the government insisted that the material be either destroyed or surrendered.

Twelve days after the destruction of the files the Guardian reported on US funding of GCHQ eavesdropping operations and published a portrait of working life in the British agency's huge "doughnut" building in Cheltenham. Guardian US, based and edited in New York, has also continued to report on evidence of NSA co-operation with US telecommunications corporations to maximise the collection of data on internet and phone users around the world.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/20/nsa-snowden-files-drives-destroyed-london

 

from a galaxy far, far away ....

from a galaxy far, far away .....

The NSA whistleblower says: 'I have never spoken with, worked with, or provided any journalistic materials to the Independent'

The Independent this morning published an article - which it repeatedly claims comes from "documents obtained from the NSA by Edward Snowden" - disclosing that "Britain runs a secret internet-monitoring station in the Middle East to intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies." This is the first time the Independent has published any revelations purportedly from the NSA documents, and it's the type of disclosure which journalists working directly with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have thus far avoided.

That leads to the obvious question: who is the source for this disclosure? Snowden this morning said he wants it to be clear that he was not the source for the Independent, stating:

I have never spoken with, worked with, or provided any journalistic materials to the Independent. The journalists I have worked with have, at my request, been judicious and careful in ensuring that the only things disclosed are what the public should know but that does not place any person in danger. People at all levels of society up to and including the President of the United States have recognized the contribution of these careful disclosures to a necessary public debate, and we are proud of this record.

"It appears that the UK government is now seeking to create an appearance that the Guardian and Washington Post's disclosures are harmful, and they are doing so by intentionally leaking harmful information to The Independent and attributing it to others. The UK government should explain the reasoning behind this decision to disclose information that, were it released by a private citizen, they would argue is a criminal act."

In other words: right as there is a major scandal over the UK's abusive and lawless exploitation of its Terrorism Act - with public opinion against the use of the Terrorism law to detain David Miranda - and right as the UK government is trying to tell a court that there are serious dangers to the public safety from these documents, there suddenly appears exactly the type of disclosure the UK government wants but that has never happened before. That is why Snowden is making clear: despite the Independent's attempt to make it appears that it is so, he is not their source for that disclosure. Who, then, is?

The US government itself has constantly used this tactic: aggressively targeting those who disclose embarrassing or incriminating information about the government in the name of protecting the sanctity of classified information, while simultaneously leaking classified information prolifically when doing so advances their political interests.

One other matter about the Independent article: it strongly suggests that there is some agreement in place to restrict the Guardian's ongoing reporting about the NSA documents. Speaking for myself, let me make one thing clear: I'm not aware of, nor subject to, any agreement that imposes any limitations of any kind on the reporting that I am doing on these documents. I would never agree to any such limitations. As I've made repeatedly clear, bullying tactics of the kind we saw this week will not deter my reporting or the reporting of those I'm working with in any way. I'm working hard on numerous new and significant NSA stories and intend to publish them the moment they are ready.

For those in the media and elsewhere arguing that the possession and transport of classified information is a crime: does that mean you believe that not only Daniel Ellsberg committed a felony, but also the New York Times reporters and editors did when they received, possessed, copied, transported and published the thousands of pages of top-secret documents known as the Pentagon Papers?

Do you also believe the Washington Post committed felonies when receiving and then publishing top secret information that the Bush administration was maintaining a network for CIA black sites around the world, or when the New York Times revealed in 2005 the top secret program whereby the NSA had created a warrantlesss eavesdropping program aimed at US citizens?

Or is this some newly created standard of criminality that applies only to our NSA reporting? Do media figures who are advocating that possessing or transmitting classified information is a crime really not comprehend the precedent they are setting for investigative journalism?

The Independent's Oliver Wright just tweeted the following:

"For the record: The Independent was not leaked or 'duped' into publishing today's front page story by the Government."

Leaving aside the fact that the Independent article quotes an anonymous "senior Whitehall source", nobody said they were "duped" into publishing anything. The question is: who provided them this document or the information in it? It clearly did not come from Snowden or any of the journalists with whom he has directly worked.

The Independent provided no source information whatsoever for their rather significant disclosure of top secret information. Did they see any such documents, and if so, who, generally, provided it to them? I don't mean, obviously, that they should identify their specific source, but at least some information about their basis for these claims, given how significant they are, would be warranted. One would think that they would not have published something like this without either seeing the documents or getting confirmation from someone who has: the class of people who qualify is very small, and includes, most prominently and obviously, the UK government itself.

Snowden: UK Government Now Leaking Documents About Itself

 

obama's persecution of journalists...

 

By Glenn Greenwald

 

In 2015, I travelled to Sweden for an event with former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein. It was billed as a conversation about modern journalism between the reporter who had broken the biggest story of the prior generation (Watergate) and the one responsible for the biggest story of the current one (NSA/Snowden revelations). 

A couple of years earlier, at the height of the Snowden reporting, Bernstein and I had traded some barbed insults through the media. So before traveling to Sweden, he generously reached out to invite me to dinner in order, essentially, to clear the air so that we could have a civil conversation. The night before the event, we met for dinner at the hotel restaurant. We quickly laughed off the acrimony — it had been a couple of years prior, and both of us have had much worse said about us — and proceeded to have a perfectly enjoyable conversation.

Truth be told, I was excited to meet and talk to Bernstein. Though his Trump-era persona became conventionally fixated on melodramatizing Trump's evils for CNN, at the time Bernstein for me was most associated with the high investigative drama of Watergate. As a kid, it was that journalistic triumph, along with the Pentagon Papers, that captured my obsessive attention and shaped my views of what journalism is: reporters and whistleblowers who risk everything and face various multi-level dangers to confront and expose corruption by the most powerful actors in society. Throughout pre-adolescence, I spent countless hours reading All the President’s Men and repeatedly watching the excellent 1976 film based on it — in which Bernstein was played by Dustin Hoffman and Bob Woodward played by Robert Redford — and that noble and exciting iconography stayed with me and shaped how I view what journalism should be. It still does.

Our two-hour conversation that night covered many topics, but one comment from Bernstein stayed with me. “I know you likely already know this,” he said, “but a story like the NSA reporting you're doing is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make sure to enjoy it while it lasts.” 

But just a few years later in 2019, on Mother's Day in Brazil, a series of events began that proved his prediction quite wrong. In the late morning, I received a call from Manuela D’Avila, a well-known two-term Congresswoman who was the Vice Presidential candidate on the center-left ticket that lost to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil's 2018 presidential election. She told me that, just hours before, her phone had been hacked, and the hacker showed her conversations he had obtained from her phone between her and several of her closest friends and colleagues that she had conducted on the Telegram app. She assumed she was the target of some kind of malicious blackmail scheme.

But the hacker quickly assured her that she was not his target. He had hacked her phone only to demonstrate that he had the capability of invading anyone's Telegram account that he wanted. He told her that he had spent months hacking into the phones of some of Brazil's most powerful officials, and had downloaded enormous amounts of material proving grave corruption on their part. They discussed how this material should be handled, and agreed that they would contact me — given my prior experience in reporting on a similar archive about NSA spying on Americans — to see if I was willing to work with this material. I told Manuela that of course I would be, and within minutes on that Sunday afternoon, I was talking on Telegram to the source.

What he told me was stunning, and it of course viscerally reminded me of the first time I was contacted back in 2012 by Edward Snowden. He said that he had obtained a gigantic digital archive of chats, documents, audios, videos, and photos from the telephones of Brazil's most influential figures. He told me that he had reviewed less than ten percent of these materials, but already found acts of such grave deceit and illegality that he was certain it would shake Brazilian politics at its core. 

The moments when you are first contacted by a source like this are delicate but critical. It is a difficult dance with conflicting goals. We spent roughly an hour talking as I tried to create a climate of trust, determine the authenticity of his claims, ensure that he was not an agent of entrapment, interrogate him without making it seem as if I were investigating or doubting him, and develop an understanding of what he did and why. Once satisfied that he was likely a genuine source, I told him he could start uploading the documents to my Telegram account.

For the next twelve hours, one document after the next materialized on my phone, a new one appearing every two or three seconds. I went to bed that night, woke up the next morning, and saw that the documents were still coming fast and furious. The same thing happened the next day, and then the day after, and then the day after that. It continued for a full week with no end in sight, at which point I realized that this archive would be larger than even the Snowden archive, which, in terms of sheer size, had been the largest leak in the history of modern journalism. This archive was larger, and so we had to work with technologists we trusted to build a dropbox that would provide a secure way for all the documents to be uploaded at once.

It took roughly three weeks to secure all the documents. I was particularly eager to ensure they were secured outside of Brazil, out of the reach of Brazilian courts and other state authorities. As they were uploading to my phone that first day, I worked with my Brazilian journalism colleague Victor Pougy to try to review as many of the documents as we could. Even using the crude method of randomly selecting documents to read, it became very evident that this archive was not only genuine but explosive — and aimed directly at the most powerful and popular political officials in the country.

 

The first conversation I had after speaking with the source was with my husband, David Miranda. He had played a central role in the Snowden reporting, having been notoriously detained by British authorities in 2013 at Heathrow Airport under a terrorism law while transporting a portion of the NSA archive we received from Snowden that had been corrupted. David's detention occurred just weeks after British agents physically invaded the London newsroom of The Guardian and forced editors, under threat of an injunction, to physically destroy the computers on which their copies of the Snowden archive was maintained (that full copies of the archive were secure in other places, including with me in Brazil, did not deter their thuggish but futile actions). 

David had traveled to Berlin because my brilliant colleague Laura Poitras — who directed the Oscar-winning film about our work with Snowden, CitizenFour — had managed to repair that part of the corrupted archive. David traveled to Germany to pick it up and bring it back to Rio for me to work on. His detention in London and the threats of prosecution he endured — approved of in advance by the Obama administration — not only caused a major rift in diplomatic relations between Brazil and the UK, but also became the subject of a successful lawsuit David brought against the British government, resulting in an enduring judicial ruling that the use of this terrorism law against journalists violated core press freedoms.

At the time the Brazil source had contacted me, David was an elected member of the Brazilian Congress. Just as we did when I first received the NSA archive from Snowden, we discussed the likely risks and dangers of doing this reporting. I told him that our experience in having navigated all the various threats from the Snowden reporting would render us well-prepared to deal with the fallout from the reporting on this new archive. He quickly disputed that view, insisting that it was naive and that it ignored the long-standing, as well as the new, realities of Brazil. He pointed out that unlike in the Snowden reporting — where the governments we were angering were thousands of miles away — this time we would be doing reporting on the people governing the country in which we lived. That, along with the fact that the newly elected Bolsonaro was at the peak of his power, having just been elected in a sweeping victory months before, would make this journalism far riskier and more intense.

But David's primary argument was based in the particular dangers posed by the person most incriminated by this archive. That was Sergio Moro, who had become the singular most popular figure in Brazil when, as a low-level judge in the mid-sized city of Curitiba, he presided over a sweeping anti-corruption probe that sent to prison some of Brazil's most powerful politicians and business people. The judicial probe that Moro led starting in 2014 — dubbed “Operation Car Wash” (lava jato in Portuguese) — became the most powerful force in Brazil. He and the team of young prosecutors he led imposed lengthy prison sentences on a wide range of powerful figures seemingly without blinking. 

Venerated by Brazil's all-powerful, oligarchical Globo-led media, Moro and the Car Wash prosecutors became religious-type icons in Brazil. Murals of Moro appeared on the sides of buildings in numerous cities. Moro was frequently depicted as Superman at political protests; he was the only Brazilian named in 2016 to the TIME 100 list of the world's most influential people; and polls showed he was by far the most popular figure in the country. The army of popular support behind him rendered all institutions afraid of him, including the superior courts responsible for overturning his rulings that clearly violated defendants’ rights. Nobody was willing to risk the wrath of the public by positioning themselves against SuperMoro.

 

Read the rest:

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/my-new-book-on-journalism-exposing

 

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Free Julian Assange now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!