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David Cameron Wants the Guardian Investigated Over Snowden Files 279

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the damaging-national-security-for-the-public-good dept.
dryriver writes "The Guardian reports: 'British Prime Minister David Cameron has encouraged a Commons select committee to investigate whether the Guardian has broken the law or damaged national security by publishing secrets leaked by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. He made his proposal in response to a question from former defense secretary Liam Fox, saying the Guardian had been guilty of double standards for exposing the scandal of phone hacking by newspapers and yet had gone on to publish secrets from the NSA taken by Snowden. Speaking at prime minister's questions on Wednesday, Cameron said: "The plain fact is that what has happened has damaged national security and in many ways the Guardian themselves admitted that when they agreed, when asked politely by my national security adviser and cabinet secretary to destroy the files they had, they went ahead and destroyed those files. So they know that what they're dealing with is dangerous for national security."'" Destroyed their copies of some files, certainly, but it's not like others don't have the files too.
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David Cameron Wants the Guardian Investigated Over Snowden Files

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  • Re:Doulbe Standard (Score:5, Informative)

    by berashith (222128) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:14PM (#45144065)

    so i dont think that the true story is being used here in the reasons and the manner that the Guardian destroyed the files. When i see " asked politely" then I know that this is being set up as spin. " we will politely ask you to come with us and politely sit in jail and rot forever, politely, or you can politely give us the stuff", and the response was to not hand over, but to destroy, with full knowledge (on both sides) that there were other copies, and the destruction was only for show.

  • Circular reasoning (Score:5, Informative)

    by Atmchicago (555403) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:16PM (#45144089) Homepage

    "when asked politely by my national security adviser and cabinet secretary to destroy the files they had, they went ahead and destroyed those files. So they know that what they're dealing with is dangerous for national security"

    They had no choice - if they didn't destroy the hard drives, then the govt. goons sent to their office would have. What kind of reasoning is this??

  • by stewsters (1406737) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:33PM (#45144325)
    They included Martin Luther King's speeches back then as well. It was just called COINTELPRO [wikipedia.org] and run by the FBI.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:42PM (#45144453)

    It created a database "Al Qaeda", literally translates as "database" in Arabic.

    No, it translates as "base". Database would be "qaedat bayanat".

  • by alexo (9335) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:11PM (#45144875) Journal

    Yes A/C it got abbreviated. Good misdirection:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda

    Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook wrote that the word al-Qaeda should be translated as "the database", and originally referred to the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen militants who were recruited and trained with CIA help to defeat the Russians

    Robin Cook knowsthe origin of the name better than Osama Bin Laden?

    Bin Laden explained the origin of the term in a videotaped interview with Al Jazeera journalist Tayseer Alouni in October 2001: [wikipedia.org]
    "The name 'al-Qaeda' was established a long time ago by mere chance. The late Abu Ebeida El-Banashiri established the training camps for our mujahedeen against Russia's terrorism. We used to call the training camp al-Qaeda. The name stayed."

    (Note: in many Semitic languages the words "camp" and "base" are interchangeable).

  • National security? (Score:4, Informative)

    by biodata (1981610) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:13PM (#45144897)
    National security was damaged by sharing national secrets with a foreign power who shared them with a private company who shared them with a private citizen. The fact that a national newspaper then reports what the private citizen had access to is only appropriate.
  • Re:Double standards? (Score:4, Informative)

    by TWiTfan (2887093) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:36PM (#45145135)

    Clearly, he's pointing out that The Guardian is hypocritical for criticizing newspapers for hacking of people's phones, and not criticizing Edward Snowden for hacking information about the government hacking of people's phones.

    Just don't try to follow that logic too deep and the headache will go away.

  • Re:Double standards? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Blue Stone (582566) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @03:18PM (#45146165) Homepage Journal

    The Guardian has a great companion article [theguardian.com] detailing several ways the government has used the term "threat to national security" to cover up nothing more than embarrassing facts about the way it conducts itself.

    One example:

    National security was said to be under threat in 1972, journalists were bugged and blackmailed by police, and threatened with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act, when the director of public prosecutions ordered Scotland Yard to identify the source of a leaked document.

    The reason? The document, from the Ministry of Transport, disclosed that ministers were quietly considering the closure of 4,600 miles of railway lines - almost half the nation's network. And if the culprit would leak that secret, the ministry and the DPP reasoned, what else would he or she expose?

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