Tough days at the (surveillance) races

From “American Prospect”

  • It’s been a busy week for those on the NSA beat. First, the partner of Glenn Greenwald—the Guardian reporter who’s worked closely with whistleblower Edward Snowden—was detained for nine hours at Heathrow Airport. …
  • … after which The Guardian had to destroy the hard drives that stored the rest of the leaked data, or surrender it to the U.K. government.
  • Then The Wall Street Journal revealed today that the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs—which have names like Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium, and Stormbrew—cover 75 percent of U.S. web traffic. This doesn’t mean analysts are sifting through your embarrassing Google searches, but still, yikes.
  • Meanwhile, the NSA isn’t quite sure how much info Snowden has yet to leak, but they think it’s probably a lot.
  • And we’re not done yet! Bradley Manning, who provided more than 700,000 government files to Wikileaks in 2010, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.
  • So what’s it all mean? Dana Milbank is worried that whistleblowers who try to take a more traditional road to transparency aren’t being appreciated by the Obama administration, which could mean a steady stream of litigious leaker messes is in our future.
  • Joshua Foust wonders what Manning’s sentence means for future whistleblowers. “The big question of whether it will serve as a deterrent to future leakers, however, remains to be seen.”
  • Political fallout from the brouhaha is starting to become clear. Young voters are increasingly miffed at President Obama over what they see as clear breaches of Internet privacy.
  • Anyway. Maybe the best way to solve this is to make PRISM available to everyone! There’s an app for that, right?

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