March 05, 2014

Glenn Greenwald on the abuse of state power through terror laws

Glenn Greenwald said here of the lessons learnt from the Church Committee:
"The lesson of the Church Committee from the 1970s is that when you allow people in government to spy on Americans in the dark with no accountability and without warrant, they abuse that power and that’s what’s happened; it’s rampant abuse and it needs sunlight."
Glenn Greenwald has previously also cited Cicero who said: "Laws are silent in times of war." Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) said of Glenn Greenwald and the abuse of terrror laws:

"In this respect, I can say this to David Cameron. Thank you for clearing the air on these matters of surveillance. You have now demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that these anti-terror provisions are capable of rank abuse. Unless some other facts emerge, there is really no difference in kind between you and Vladimir Putin. You have used police powers granted for anti-terrorism and deployed them to target and intimidate journalists deemed enemies of the state. 
You have proven that these laws can be hideously abused. Which means they must be repealed. You have broken the trust that enables any such legislation to survive in a democracy. By so doing, you have attacked British democracy itself. What on earth do you have to say for yourself? And were you, in any way, encouraged by the US administration to do such a thing?"
On the detention of David Miranda, Andrew Sullivan said:
"Although David [Miranda] was released, his entire digital library was confiscated – including his laptop and phone. So any journalist passing through London’s Heathrow has now been warned: do not take any documents with you. Britain is now a police state when it comes to journalists, just like Russia is."
Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of the Paris-based The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), said after a mission to the UK

"A press freedom mission to the United Kingdom is unprecedented and we cannot underestimate our concern for what is happening. 

It is rather difficult for the United Kingdom to lecture Sri Lanka and others about their press freedom record, when its own actions result in such widespread international condemnation. 
We are concerned that these actions not only seriously damage the United Kingdom’s historic international reputation as a staunch defender of press freedom, but provides encouragement to non-democratic regimes to justify their own repressive actions.”
The Guardian's head legal counsel Gill Phillips (@ladywell23) said, on the fall of the US and UK as the bastions and exemplars of free speech to the delegates at the Hong Kong 'Media Law and Policy in the Internet Age' Conference:
"There was a media law conference in London in September 2013 and one of our South American colleagues stood up at that conference and said how worried he was about what was happening both in the US and in the UK. That once upon a time the US and the UK were the bastions and exemplars of the protection of free speech, and as far as he could see, rather than South America and other jurisdictions progressing, what was happening was we were regressing an actually he could see not that much difference between our jurisdictions and some of those jurisdictions. And that’s a very worrying thing to hear."
Video here. I've looked at Gill Philips previously on Media Law Northern Ireland here.

Glenn Greenwald said on Salon in an article, 'Extremism Normalised':
"There is zero question that this drone surveillance is coming to American soil. It already has spawned a vast industry that is quickly securing formal approval for the proliferation of these surveillance weapons. There’s some growing though still marginal opposition among both the independent left and the more libertarian-leaning precincts on the right, but at the moment, that trans-ideological coalition is easily outgunned by the combination of drone industry lobbyists and Surveillance State fanatics. The idea of flying robots hovering over American soil monitoring what citizens do en masse is yet another one of those ideas that, in the very recent past, seemed too radical and dystopian to entertain, yet is on the road to being quickly mainstreamed. When that happens, it is no longer deemed radical to advocate such things; radicalism is evinced by opposition to them."
He also said:

"The ultimate goal of the NSA, along with its most loyal, one might say subservient junior partner the British agency GCHQ - when it comes to the reason why the system of suspicion of surveillance is being built and the objective of this system - is nothing less than the elimination of individual privacy worldwide." 

Benjamin Franklin famously said:
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
In the August 2003 issue of Reason, Christopher Hitchens said:
"The trade-off between freedom and security, so often proposed so seductively, very often leads to the loss of both."
In the face of this Glenn Greenwald has said "I think civil liberties extremist is probably the greatest compliment I can be paid."

I have written an article here where I looked at the famous quote from Martin Firrell who said, "Security is no replacement for liberty." I looked at Glenn Greenwald and other new age journalists here. I looked at Glenn Greenwald's journey from civil liberties litigator to partisan blogger here. His move into the world of blogging and using blogger software here

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