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Glenn Greenwald on Why You Should Care About Privacy, Even If You Think You Have Nothing to Hide: VIDEO

Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke the NSA Edward Snowden story last year, explains in a new TED talk video why we should all be concerned about privacy - even if you're "not doing anything you need to hide." 

"A society in which people can be monitored at all times is a society that breeds conformity and obedience and submission, which is why every tyrant - the most overt to the most subtle - craves that system. Conversely even more importantly, it is a realm of privacy, the ability to go somewhere where we can think and reason and interact and speak without the judgemental eyes of others being cast upon us in which creativity and exploration and dissent exclusively reside. And that is why when we allow a society to exist in which we are subject to constant monitoring, we allow the essence of human freedom to be severely crippled."

Watch the talk, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Glenn Greenwald Calls Hillary Clinton 'Corrupted', Says She's 'Like A Neocon'

Glenn Greenwald, the openly gay American journalist who has doggedly reported on the National Security Agency’s continued illegal surveillance of American and international citizens, recently slammed presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during interviews for his upcoming book, calling her “banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion… a f--king hawk and like a neocon.”

GlennDuring his interview with GQ, Greenwald said:

“Hillary is banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion. I mean, she’s been around forever, the Clinton circle. She’s a f--king hawk and like a neocon, practically. She’s surrounded by all these sleazy money types who are just corrupting everything everywhere. But she’s going to be the first female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted as racist. It’s going to be this completely symbolic messaging that’s going to overshadow the fact that she’ll do nothing but continue everything in pursuit of her own power. They’ll probably have a gay person after Hillary who’s just going to do the same thing.

I hope this happens so badly, because I think it’ll be so instructive in that regard. It’ll prove the point. Americans love to mock the idea of monarchy, and yet we have our own de facto monarchy. I think what these leaks did is, they demonstrated that there really is this government that just is the kind of permanent government that doesn’t get affected by election choices and that isn’t in any way accountable to any sort of democratic transparency and just creates its own world off on its own.”

His upcoming book is called No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.


Glenn Greenwald Enters Country for First Time Since NSA Leaks

Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras entered the United States for the first time since reporting on NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, according to a tweet from AP reporter Ted Shaffrey. Accompanying Greenwald was his partner David Miranda.

GreenwaldGreenwald and Poitras are in the country to attend Friday’s Polk Awards ceremony in New York City according to the HuffPost:

The two journalists are sharing the prestigious journalism award with The Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill and with Barton Gellman, who has led The Washington Post’s reporting on the NSA documents. Greenwald and Poitras interviewed Snowden last June in Hong Kong as he first revealed himself.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Greenwald said he’s motivated to return because “certain factions in the U.S. government have deliberately intensified the threatening climate for journalists.”

“It’s just the principle that I shouldn’t allow those tactics to stop me from returning to my own country,” Greenwald said.

Greenwald suggested government officials and members of Congress have used the language of criminalization as a tactic to chill investigative journalism.

Greenwald told the HuffPost his legal counsel has not been informed "whether or not he could face any potential charges, or if he's been named in any grand jury investigation tied to the NSA disclosures."


SXSW 2014: What Info Can (And Should) the Government Protect and Collect? - No Easy Answers

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Sxsw_2014_bugSXSW - Austin's annual tech, film, and music festival - is currently underway and has brought in thousands of film buffs, tech geeks, actors, and musicians from across the globe to meet, mingle, and enjoy the coolest city in Texas. And with the Interactive portion of the festival drawing to a close, what better time to look back on the things we've learned at SXSW 2014 so far.

What Info Can (And Should) the Government Protect & Collect? - No Easy Answers

Issues surrounding citizens' right to privacy and right to access information have been front and center for much of the week here in Austin, with a host of big names offering their thoughts and opinions on the matter.

GoogleGoogle chairman Eric Schmidt and Director of Google Ideas Jared Cohen kicked off SXSW with a discussion that ranged from robotics to privacy to the role of whistleblowers in the digital age. Both also shared their concerns over government overreach and the “balkanization of the internet” by countries around the globe.

In 2012, for example, Iran became the first country to push for a “national internet,” which would allow the country’s government to wall off a part of cyberspace, control it, and potentially even rewrite history. “Imagine if the Arab world decides to delete all references to Israel,” Schmidt hypothesized.

Interestingly, many of the panelists who spoke on issues related to privacy and security in the digital age were unable to be at SXSW in person due to their complicated relationships with the U.S. government.

IMG_1475-1In a video conversation through Skype, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange blasted the NSA as a “rogue agency” and urged citizens to stand up and speak out about their right to privacy. Gay journalist Glenn Greenwald and whistleblower Edward Snowden also appeared via video, with Snowden accusing the NSA and U.S. government of “setting fire to the future of the internet” and telling attendees that they were the “firefighters” against mass surveillance and data collection.

"In an NSA building somewhere probably in Maryland there is a record of everyone who has ever called an abortion clinic, everyone who has called an Alcoholics Anonymous hotline, anyone who has ever called a gay bookstore," Snowden said. "And they tell us don’t worry we aren’t looking at it or we aren’t looking at it in that way...that is none of the government's business."

CloudOther panelists pushed back a bit against the enthusiastic embrace of Assange, Snowden and unfettered access to government information. BBC’s Sharon Weinberger asked audiences to imagine a hypothetical 1940s where both the internet and Edward Snowden were present. How would we feel if he had leaked classified government blueprints for nuclear warheads? Would we support open access to information if it enabled our wartime enemies to potentially build a weapon of mass destruction?

Google’s Schmidt also found the internet’s ability to allow leakers to release extremely large quantities of documents troubling:

“I don’t think we want random people leaking large amounts of random data,” Schmidt said. “People can be hurt. There’s no way to tell if there’s something in a leak of a million documents that it could get someone killed.”

For now, it seems the debate about who exactly gets to decide what “appropriate use” of government power is and what types of information should be public will continue into the foreseable future.  

[Google photo via PC Pro]


Glenn Greenwald Rips Columnist Ruth Marcus Over Stance on Edward Snowden: VIDEO

Snowdendebate

Columnist Gleen Greenwald, who broke the NSA Edward Snowden story, blasted Ruth Marcus and "everything horrible about DC media" in a debate on Jake Tapper's The Lead about Edward Snowden and whistleblowers, calling her a "loyalist" of the Obama administration.

Mediaite reports:

“People in Washington who are well-connected to the government, like she is, do not believe that the law applies to them,” Greenwald insisted. He later added that the Obama administration has been more aggressive with whistleblowers than previous administrations.

“I think there has been an excessive use of the whistleblower – an excess use of power against whistleblowers,” Marcus agreed. She noted sarcastically that, because she sees the world in “grey terms,” this makes her a “complete tool of the establishment.”

However, Marcus added that she has tried to take into account many of Snowden’s leaks which have been a public service, but she asserted that many of his leaks do harm national security interests. She further asserted that Snowden’s attitude is “insufferable” and “reprehensible.”

“You do not need to be collecting, Jake, billions of calls and emails – billions every day – as the NSA does,” Greenwald asserted.

Marcus closed by correcting Greenwald for “conflating” all of Snowden’s disclosures with the efficacy of the NSA’s domestic information gathering programs.

Watch the fiery debate, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Glenn Greenwald's Partner David Miranda Opens Up About His Detention, and the Couple's Life in Brazil

Miranda

Buzzfeed profiles Glenn Greenwald's partner David Miranda, who was detained in August at Heathrow airport while transporting documents related to the NSA revelations published by Greenwald in the Guardian earlier this year.

Miranda offers a revealing account of his detention:

A rotating tag team of seven agents asked Miranda questions ranging from his personal life with Greenwald to his family background to his own politics. Miranda’s request for a translator was brushed aside, and all nine hours were spent being interrogated in English.

“First they tried to pit me against Glenn,” Miranda recalls. The agents asked Miranda whom he went to the nightclubs with in Berlin. “Boyfriends,” Miranda replied, meaning male friends. Did Glenn know about these boyfriends? “No.” How would Glenn feel if he knew Miranda was out with the other men? “Fine.” They asked if Miranda had been in contact with Edward Snowden. “No.” Were his family members political? “No.” They asked about Miranda’s political views. Did he support the street protests in Brazil? “Yes.” Did he participate in the protests? “No.”

“They offered me water, but they didn’t pour it front of me,” Miranda says with a note of pride. “So I said no. I didn’t trust them for a second, I never had a drink of water while I was there, and I never got up to go the bathroom.”
Back in Brazil, Greenwald was asleep at home. “I get a phone call at 6:30 in the morning, which you know is bad news,” Greenwald says. A man who gave no name identified himself as a “security official at Heathrow Airport” and said Miranda was in detention under the Terrorism Act. He told Greenwald that Miranda had been held at that point for three hours and that they could hold him up to nine hours, at which point they could arrest him, release him, or ask a judge for additional time to interrogate.

His life with Greenwald:

If you ask Miranda about the dynamics between him and Greenwald (and the 10 stray dogs the couple have adopted), Miranda describes himself as the alpha. “I’m the pack leader,” Miranda tells me, grinning. “A son of Apollo.” Miranda tends to dominate through his moods; he’s quick to show his disdain, annoyance, or disappointment. “I’m a very emotional person,” Miranda says, putting both tan hands to his Armani-clad chest. “Like, you will always know how I’m feeling and when I’m feeling it.” Greenwald, a former champion high school debater, city council candidate, and courtroom litigator, tries to counter Miranda’s occasional brooding or temper with point-by-point arguments to the contrary.

“We yell when we fight,” Miranda admits, “but we never break up. There’s something in the universe that says we have to be together. I never met anyone like Glenn — he’s my husband and I don’t know where either of us would be without each other.”

And his determination to support Greenwald in his ongoing journalistic endeavors:

“Ultimately, as harrowing and unjust as it was, the U.K. actually did us a favor,” Greenwald says as we head toward the car. “They revealed how abusive the U.S. and U.K. can be with power, which is a major point of the reporting I’m doing; they humanized the story, and they gave a platform for my charming and admirable husband to speak out.”


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