Tag Archives: abuse of power

Our CT Overlords Are Total Dicks

18 Aug

It’s really hard for me to devise any defense, to compensate for this abuse of power.

At 6:30 am this morning my time – 5:30 am on the East Coast of the US – I received a telephone call from someone who identified himself as a “security official at Heathrow airport.” He told me that my partner, David Miranda, had been “detained” at the London airport “under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000.”

David had spent the last week in Berlin, where he stayed with Laura Poitras, the US filmmaker who has worked with me extensively on the NSA stories. A Brazilian citizen, he was returning to our home in Rio de Janeiro this morning on British Airways, flying first to London and then on to Rio. When he arrived in London this morning, he was detained.

At the time the “security official” called me, David had been detained for 3 hours. The security official told me that they had the right to detain him for up to 9 hours in order to question him, at which point they could either arrest and charge him or ask a court to extend the question time. The official – who refused to give his name but would only identify himself by his number: 203654 – said David was not allowed to have a lawyer present, nor would they allow me to talk to him.

Whatever you think of Glenn Greenwald or of the NSA. do we as adults and citizens really want to allow bona fide fishing expeditions, to find terrorists, just for the illusion of liberty we get from the media, a group of employees that doesn’t question authority?

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Today’s Kindle Sample #13

2 Mar

Looking Out For/On YouAs a matter of course, the U.S. government withholds information from the public. It’s been this way way since the beginning, and there’s little likelihood that it will ever change. Accordingly, the public seeks to learn that information both directly (through such mechanisms as the Freedom of Information Act) and indirectly (by purchasing newspapers with sensationalized details). The resulting tension is healthy and is essential to keeping the government honest in its classification authority. For example, in the 1940s, the United States began research into a “silent flashless weapon”. When this research began, someone recognized the danger of it falling into enemy hands, and classifying the material made it a criminal act to reveal any details. Today we know the truth. But if not for the continuing struggle between those who create secrets and those who expose them, we might never have learned about the “silent flashless weapon of World War II – the “bow and arrow”.

Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry by Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady (via Dead Drop)

FISA got you worried?

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