La liberté de la presse en jeux

LeMonde. NSA : ce que révèle l’arrestation du compagnon de M. Greenwald

Qui est Glenn Greenwald.?

Guardian. The destructive power of state snooping is on display for all to see. The press must not yield to this intimidation

August 20, 2013  You’ve had your fun: now we want the stuff back. With these words the British government embarked on the most bizarre act of state censorship of the internet age.  In a Guardian basement, officials from GCHQ gazed with satisfaction on a pile of mangled hard drives like so many book burners sent by the Spanish Inquisition. They were unmoved by the fact that copies of the drives were lodged round the globe. They wanted their symbolic auto-da-fe. Had the Guardian refused this ritual they said they would have obtained a search and destroy order from a compliant British court.

Two great forces are now in fierce but unresolved contention. The material revealed by Edward Snowden through the Guardian and the Washington Post is of a wholly different order from  WikiLeaks and other recent whistle-blowing incidents. It indicates not just that the modern state is gathering, storing and processing for its own ends electronic communication from around the world; far more serious, it reveals that this power has so corrupted those wielding it as to put them beyond effective democratic control. It was not the scope of NSA surveillance that led to Snowden’s defection. It was hearing his boss lie to Congress about it for hours on end.

Last week in Washington, Congressional investigators discovered that the America’s  foreign intelligence surveillance court, a body set up specifically to oversee the NSA,  had itself been defied by the agency« thousands of times ». It was victim to « a culture of misinformation » as orders to destroy intercepts, emails and files were simply disregarded; an intelligence community that seems neither intelligent nor a community commanding a global empire that could suborn the world’s largest corporations, draw up targets for drone assassination, blackmail US Muslims into becoming spies and haul passengers off planes.

Yet like all empires, this one has bred its own antibodies. The American (or Anglo-American?) surveillance industry has grown so big by exploiting laws to combat terrorism that it is as impossible to manage internally as it is to control externally. It cannot sustain its own security. Some two million people were reported to have had access to the WikiLeaks material disseminated by Bradley Manning from his Baghdad cell. Snowden himself was a mere employee of a subcontractor to the NSA, yet had full access to its data. The thousands, millions, billions of messages now being devoured daily by US data storage centres may be beyond the dreams of Space Odyssey’s HAL 9000. But even HAL proved vulnerable to human morality. Manning and Snowden cannot have been the only US officials to have pondered blowing a whistle on data abuse. There must be hundreds more waiting in the wings – and always will be.

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