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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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  • Double standards? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:06PM (#45143957)

    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.

    Anybody else who has a problem with understanding just where Cameron is seeing double standards applied?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Of course there isn't one. It's just newspeak to incite the idiots against the Guardian for daring to defy the surveillance state.

      • by Dunbal (464142) * on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:37PM (#45144385)
        Yup. Government breaks the law. Government gets caught. Politician accuses person who denounces their lawbreaking of endangering "national security". Reality is that governments own actions has endangered "national security". Ahh politics. And remember it (Kenya mall attack) has absolutely nothing to do with Islam...
        • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:55PM (#45144643) Homepage Journal

          "You might be living in a totalitarian regime if..." Truth is considered Treason by heads of State.

          Thoughtcrime [wikipedia.org]

        • Government's are the biggest hypocrites around.
          i.e.
          When a government employee kills 160 people they are given a medal.*
          When someone else does it they are charged for manslaughter.

          * "When someone kills 160 other humans and becomes a National Hero for it, it just proves ...
          Earth: The Insane Asylum of the Universe - nowhere else could things be this messed up."
          -- Hobie1dog

          ** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Kyle [wikipedia.org]

        • 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?

      • Double Standard (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Roger W Moore (538166) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:00PM (#45144703) Journal

        Of course there isn't one.

        In the first case the Guardian stood up to its own industry and exposed highly unethical behaviour showing that it met the standard for moral behaviour when dealing with colleagues. In the second case it stood up to its own government and exposed their incompetence and/or complicity in unethical behaviour against their own citizens and friendly nations showing it met the standard for moral behaviour when dealing with those in power.

        So yes I would agree that the Guardian has met a "double standard" for moral behaviour. The question is when will he and his government? A good start would be apologizing for invading our privacy and putting their own interests above their public duty not to mention parliamentary expense claims...

    • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:23PM (#45144167)
      From a concerned American to any of his concerned British cousins: Anybody want to get together and start our own country? With blackjack and hookers?
      • Doesn't every country already have blackjack and hookers?

        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          Doesn't every country already have blackjack and hookers?

          The glorious Islamic Republic of Iran has no blackjack, hookers, gays, women who disagree with their husbands, or crime.

    • by jythie (914043)
      I keep wondering if that is a typo of some type or I am really not getting something.
    • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:29PM (#45144263) Homepage

      In absolute terms, there isn't one. The Guardian published information, because that's what journalists do.

      From the perspective of a government, though, the situations as complete opposites. In the case of phone hacking, the Guardian supported the security of the public by exposing and denouncing a crime. In the case of the Snowden documents, the Guardian is exposing and denouncing a legal operation protecting the security of the public, and in doing so it's helping criminals evade detection.

      To Cameron, it looks like the Guardian is acting inconsistently, publishing whatever it wants not based on ethics, but rather based on the potential for public outrage.

      Your perspective and sense of ethics may differ.

      • Also, some people have issues with the supposition that the legal operation actually protects anyone or anything.

        • by alexo (9335)

          Also, some people have issues with the supposition that the legal operation actually protects anyone or anything.

          Or whether it is actually legal.

        • Or whether it's actually, you know, LEGAL.

          / I know - UK has no Constitution, as such
          // but WE do ... or used to.

      • by fritsd (924429)

        In the case of phone hacking, the Guardian supported the security of the public by exposing and denouncing a crime.

        Agreed. Let's make a note that "the Guardian" in your first sentence means: the UK newspaper "the Guardian", and "the public" refers to "the UK public".

        In the case of the Snowden documents, the Guardian is exposing and denouncing a legal operation protecting the security of the public, and in doing so it's helping criminals evade detection.

        Well.. it could be true what you say.. but I haven't r

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          I do hope that you didn't use two diferent meanings for "the public" in those two sentences!

          You may have missed this, but since World War II the US and the UK have been pretty good friends. The American efforts to protect the American public from those sneaky terrorists also benefits the UK public by protecting the from the same sneaky terrorists, or so believes the governments. Yes, this implies that the American government is acting as the investigative authority for the UK, which probably is indeed the case, and probably even with the UK's permission.

          In "it's helping criminals evade detection", I completely disagree:

          Of course you do, but that's just, like, you

    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:51PM (#45144577) Homepage Journal

      Doubleplus Ungood.

      Emmanuel Snowden and Emmanuel Assange are now unpersons, who's crimethink makes Citizen Cameron duckspeak. This is plusgood blackwhite for Cameron, making endings to the ownlife for Oceania.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well.

      cameron thinks that single standard would have been if they had exposed snowden as a hacker. or some shit like that, supposedly the standard would then be to only reveal the first degree of hacking and not the hacking uncovered by hacking. see?

      I'm not exactly sure, but didn't guardian also publish what was stolen with the phone hacking..? and really is cameron REALLY suggesting that guardian would just stop publishing news it uncovers or are told to them?

      but then again this is the uk government that is

    • 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.

    • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [hmryobemag]> on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @02:28PM (#45145709) Journal

      I had to read it about 10 times very slowly, but after a couple of minutes I figured out that he's trying to say that both the newspaper's phone hacking and Snowden's leaks were both unauthorized access to information, and that since the Guardian acted against the unauthorized access to information in the case of the phone hacking scandal, they should have acted against the unauthorized access to information in the case of the Snowden leaks by keeping quiet about it.

      I guess that's how people think when they have a religious duty to authority in place of a good system of ethics and morals.

    • by Patch86 (1465427) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @05:05PM (#45147015)

      He is implying that they exposed a newspaper doing illegal hacking on the one hand, and now are a paper benefiting from someone's illegal hacking on the other.

      The far more obvious way to see this is that they exposed a trusted organisation which was spying on people on the one hand, and exposed another trusted organisation that was spying on people on the other. Sounds perfectly consistent to me.

      David Cameron's problem may be that he doesn't really understand what the word "hacking" represents in either of those two situations, or it is possible that his problem is that he's a self serving idiot. Possibly both.

  • Doulbe Standard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:08PM (#45143983)
    How is exposing 2 cases of illegal invasion of privacy a double standard? And if exposing certain actions can damage national security, then those actions probably weren't a good idea to begin with, or at least certainly were not worth the cost.

    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

    Were the people politely asking also holding a wrench [xkcd.com] by any chance?

    • 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.

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        Only Cameron would have the balls to use the word "politely" in reference to a direct threat from the police. It's like Hitler referring to the Poland invasion as a "polite visit with our friends in Poland."

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

      by pr0nbot (313417) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:26PM (#45144217)

      The double standard implied is that the Guardian deemed one way of obtaining data unacceptable (hacking into people's voicemail) but not another (downloading your employer's data onto USB sticks and then giving it away).

      I would argue the public interest defence. If someone came to me and said, "on that voicemail is X's confession to the abduction and murder, even though he denies it in public", hacking it could be in the public interest, whereas fishing voicemail for gossip is not.

      Similarly if Edward Snowden came to me and said, "on this USB stick is proof of illegal and pervasive surveillance by governments, which I've nicked", I'd at least look at it to establish whether there was a public interest case.

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

        by FireFury03 (653718) <{gro.kusuxen} {ta} {todhsals}> on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:46PM (#45144513) Homepage

        The double standard implied is that the Guardian deemed one way of obtaining data unacceptable (hacking into people's voicemail) but not another (downloading your employer's data onto USB sticks and then giving it away).

        I would argue the public interest defence. If someone came to me and said, "on that voicemail is X's confession to the abduction and murder, even though he denies it in public", hacking it could be in the public interest, whereas fishing voicemail for gossip is not.

        I would say that the news papers cracking IT systems is never in the public interest. If you've got evidence that someone has committed a murder, take it to the polce and they can get a court order to access the voicemail.

        *However*, there is a big difference between a whistleblower supplying a paper with information that was acquired illegally (which is what happened with Snowden), and the paper themselves breaking the law to acquire it (which is what happened with the News of the World).

        And as you point out, there is a public interest argument - if the government is spying on *me* then that directly affects *me* and *I* have a right to know that and I support the papers telling me what I have a right to know. On the other hand, if $celebrity_a is shagging $celebrity_b then that is of no concern of mine because it doesn't involve me.

        Unfortunately, the government seems to think that it is in the public interest to keep this stuff secret.

        • Unfortunately, the government seems to think that it is in the public interest to keep this stuff secret.

          I don't think they actually give a shit about the public interest. It's just expedient for them to say they do.

      • by Nidi62 (1525137)

        The double standard implied is that the Guardian deemed one way of obtaining data unacceptable (hacking into people's voicemail) but not another (downloading your employer's data onto USB sticks and then giving it away).

        I would argue the public interest defence. If someone came to me and said, "on that voicemail is X's confession to the abduction and murder, even though he denies it in public", hacking it could be in the public interest, whereas fishing voicemail for gossip is not.

        Similarly if Edward Snowden came to me and said, "on this USB stick is proof of illegal and pervasive surveillance by governments, which I've nicked", I'd at least look at it to establish whether there was a public interest case.

        I don't even think the public interest defense is necessary. The phone hacking incident was rightfully a scandal, and if I remember correctly (I could be wrong as I am American and not British) many in the government at least claimed to be outraged. In my point of view, and in the point of view of many others (but sadly not enough it seems) the scandal in the current situation is not Snowden stealing the data, but that the NSA was essentially hacking into everyone's phone. It is the exact same thing the

    • by 0a100b (456593)

      According to Julian Borger, diplomatic editor of The Guardian, they destroyed the hard drives containing the files so they could keep reporting about the case.

      NSA files: why the Guardian in London destroyed hard drives of leaked files [theguardian.com]

  • Here we go... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Whilst growing up as a teen in the '80s, we took the piss out of the Soviet Union and eastern European peoples for the whole "Papers, please..." thing. It looks like the western world is not far off from this.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      Whilst growing up as a teen in the '80s, we took the piss out of the Soviet Union and eastern European peoples for the whole "Papers, please..." thing. It looks like the western world is not far off from this.

      If it ever comes to that, I will get a pocket copy of the Constitution and hand them that whenever asked to display papers. If they press, I will show them my conceal carry permit next. Because if we ever get to that point, then armed rebellion cannot be far behind.

      • If it ever comes to that, I will get a pocket copy of the Constitution and hand them that whenever asked to display papers.

        Ahahahahaaa! You're funny. When a firearms & combat trained policeman with daily experience and backup wants to see your papers, he's going to see your papers. When he has his knee on your neck, or has actually shot you, you'll be less smug about your little pocket constitution. Don't be so naive. You need to fight this actively *now*, so they don't ever believe that it's acceptable.

        • This is important. Its unlikely anyone will hear of your story or your pocket constitution when you die in a hail of gunfire. The news will report that some guy attacked the police over a speeding ticket and was shot. You need to stand up before they take your ability to stand up away.
          • by Nidi62 (1525137)

            This is important. Its unlikely anyone will hear of your story or your pocket constitution when you die in a hail of gunfire. The news will report that some guy attacked the police over a speeding ticket and was shot.

            As I said, I consider "papers please" to have a much different connotation that license and registration, primarily it implies a sense of arbitrariness. If I am speeding, they have a right to pull me over and ask for my identification because I am breaking a law. If I am walking down a sidewalk with my gf and they ask for my ID, I can say the polite version of "fuck off", and they can't do a damn thing because they have no probable cause and I am not required to possess any identification. All I have to

            • by ewieling (90662)

              If I am walking down a sidewalk with my gf and they ask for my ID, I can say the polite version of "fuck off", and they can't do a damn thing because they have no probable cause and I am not required to possess any identification. All I have to do is give them my name.

              I guess you don't live in New York City or maybe you live in NYC and are white and don't have to deal with stop-and-frisk

              http://www.nyclu.org/issues/racial-justice/stop-and-frisk-practices [nyclu.org]

        • by Nidi62 (1525137)

          Ahahahahaaa! You're funny. When a firearms & combat trained policeman with daily experience and backup wants to see your papers, he's going to see your papers.

          If I am not driving, I don't have to have my license on me. I cannot produce any papers I don't have on me. I can lie and say I don't have my license on me, and they cannot search me without any probable cause (fortunately I neither live in New York City nor am I black, otherwise they apparently could). They can run my name and they will see it is clean. And like I said, if it ever got to the point where our police were randomly stopping people in the streets and asking for identification on a regular b

          • Re:Here we go... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by jareth-0205 (525594) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:04PM (#45144771) Homepage

            Perhaps my experience of the US isn't particularly extensive, but when I was there you have already gone significantly down this road to all intents and purpose. I couldn't go into a bar or buy a drink without showing ID (I'm clearly in my 30s). I couldn't buy anything on a credit card without showing ID. Since the US is a largely car driving nation, most people there have to carry ID to go about their daily lives. In the UK I genuinely don't carry ID and can live a normal life (you don't have to carry with you when you drive, and no shop or pub will ID me because it's a waste of time), but in the US I had to have my passport constantly with me to do anything.

            • Thats funny! Ha Ha, coming from someone living in a police state. [scriptonitedaily.com]
            • I couldn't buy anything on a credit card without showing ID.

              Seriously??

              I have NEVER been asked for ID when buying something using a credit card, which I do on average once a day for the last 30+ years....

      • by jythie (914043)
        I have known people who carry copies of various laws around and show them to the police when questioned regarding something they know is legal. They usually then get arrested for resisting arrest or such.
      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        Then you will be busted for not showing the concealed carry permit first.
      • by isorox (205688)

        Because if we ever get to that point, then armed rebellion cannot be far behind.

        Ha ha! Yes, sure, just after tonight's all new jersey shore.

        Your government ignores the most essential parts of your constitution -- the biill of rights -- they routinely ignore the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 10th, possibly the 7th and 8th and arguably the 9th, and all you do is whine about it.

        At least they aren't quartering soldiers in your home, although the fawning over people in uniform that goes on in america means you'd probably just open your doors anyway.

        • by Nidi62 (1525137)

          At least they aren't quartering soldiers in your home, although the fawning over people in uniform that goes on in america means you'd probably just open your doors anyway.

          I essentially have, as one of my college roommates was a member of the national guard and had served in Iraq. I have plenty of veteran (and active duty) friends and acquaintances that I would gladly let stay in my house, because they are good people. The whole quartering troops thing was because the people saw the troops as adversaries. Today, it is our government that seems to be our adversary. Our military (the actual guys behind the guns) are the only ones who seem to actually care about the country.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        It's already come to that, and it's been to SCOTUS and upheld. Hiibel vs Nevada [wikipedia.org]

  • by ciderbrew (1860166) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:11PM (#45144019)
    National security and putting people in danger seems like a smoke screen at this point.
  • Double Standard? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:12PM (#45144029)

    FTA: " former defence 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."

    He's claiming they are following a double standard by revealing secret illegal spying on people, and then revealing secret illegal spying on people again.

    Well, I guess it could be considered a double standard if you follow the same standard twice.

  • Free press? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zemran (3101) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:12PM (#45144033) Homepage Journal

    Not if they tell the public what the government are doing... Hacking individuals private communication was wrong when a newspaper did it and it is still wrong when the government does it. It is not the Gruaniad that has double standards, it is Cameroon.

  • by schlachter (862210) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:15PM (#45144073)

    so they are more guilty because they tried to cooperate and destroy files when asked to do so by the gov?
    so next time they will use this lesson to refuse to destroy docs.
    and they will be tried for failing to destroy the docs. there's no winning.

  • by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:16PM (#45144083)

    David Cameron is doing a great job as governor of Airstrip One in bowing to Washington's pressure.

  • 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??

  • National Security? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brxndxn (461473) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:18PM (#45144105)

    At some point, the people in charge need to define the scope of 'National Security.' Right now the scope seems to be defined as 'anything that security officials claim'. Because of this, anything a journalist publishes can be said to violate National Security since National Security covers everything.

    For example, Martin Luther King's speeches criticized the status quo. Since the status quo is now matter of National Security, Martin Luther King's speeches were a threat to National Security, by today's standards.

    So the real argument is what exactly is National Security? Is the status quo more important than civil liberty? Further, why are we not investigating whether or not secret laws used to justify anything violate the law?

    • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:33PM (#45144323) Homepage

      For example, Martin Luther King's speeches criticized the status quo. Since the status quo is now matter of National Security, Martin Luther King's speeches were a threat to National Security, by today's standards.

      Nothing like the union movement or the black rights movement or the gay rights movement could happen today. It would be crushed. Back in the 1960s, there wasn't so much jail capacity, and cops were not well organized. So mass civil disobedience was possible. Now, if 10,000 people have to be sent to jail, no problem. Look what happened to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    • 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 jythie (914043)
      Oh, it goes well beyond just the status quo. Things that help a select few are often considered 'National Security' too. Quite a few times things like opening new markets (or suppliers) to well connected companies has counted as 'National Security' since it pushes American Culture into a region and Helps the Economy. And of course anything that helps the (right) economy is important to national security....
    • I think that is how they want it. The government love to define "damaging nation security" as doing anything the government does not like.

    • by Arker (91948)

      National Security is the number one cause of National Insecurity. *

      (Robert Anton Wilson gets credit for that, not I.)

  • by RoTNCoRE (744518) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:19PM (#45144115) Homepage

    "The truth becomes treason in an empire of lies."

  • Blimey (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:21PM (#45144147)

    So:

    Cameron's hired goons spend their time harassing the Guardian and its little journalist chums into returning or destroying the data on the pretext that "You've had your debate. There's no need to write any more."
    The Guardian eventually goes "oh, whatever; if this pointless activity will make you any happier, okay", and permitted GCHQ security experts to trash the hardware containing the data. As one of said GCHQ types put it, now that the files have been destroyed "We can call off the black helicopters."
    Aaaand... Cameron then claims that the Guardian's compliance with this pointless demand is proof that the Guardian has published stuff that is dangerous for national security. Which only goes to show that the Guardian should have told Whitehall to sit on it and swivel.

    Conclusion: Cameron is a loathsome lump of Eton excreta. He and his equally repellent deputy Clegg have also recently claimed that publication of the NSA material is 'not in the public interest' because it is too complicated for most people to understand, therefore most of the public would not be interested. It's good to know that Government have a strong understanding of key concepts such as 'public interest'.

    • No, in fairness to Clegg, he has stated he wants to update oversight of the intelligence agencies [theguardian.com]:

      British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg is to start conversations in government about how to update the legal oversight of the UK's security services in the light of disclosures by the Guardian that powerful new technologies appear to have outstripped the current system of legislative and political oversight.

      • by idontgno (624372)

        Sure, we'll give him good credit for wanting to tamp down the uproar.

        After all, Cameron's "Bad Cop" needs some kind of "Good Cop" to smooth down the unfocused anxiety of the herd.

  • Learn the lesson (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:24PM (#45144185)
    So, Guardian, the next time the government "politely" asks you to do something, you politely tell the cunts to bugger off and die from an acute lack of tea *. Because evidently they try to use you complying with their requests to be admitting you're wrong. Should have probably known that before.

    (* Is that how you would say it? I'm not a British newspaper, so I'm not exactly sure.)
    • by pjt33 (739471)

      No, the phrase is "I refer you to the reply given in Arkell vs Pressdram".

    • by MrNemesis (587188)

      I believe the proper conduct in British journalism is to refer the aggressor to Arkell v. Pressdram [wikipedia.org];

      "We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell. We note that Mr Arkell's attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off"

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:25PM (#45144199)

    If Cameron really cared, he'd stop publishing government job ads in the Guardian, since that seems to be one of its largest sources of income.

    Besides which, terrists already know the government is spying on them, so this is hardly news to them. It's the rest of us who used to think that the tin-foil hat wearers claiming the government was siphoning up everything were actually paranoid.

  • Daddy got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, therefore the kids who saw him are guilty.
    Because the cookies may have been used to pay off terrorists or something...

    Bad analogy? Sorry, I only learnt logic from our democratic overlords.

  • by retech (1228598) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:27PM (#45144237)
    He really needs to just focus on making a bad sequel to Avatar and shut the hell up.
  • Illegal in Sweden (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Henriok (6762) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:28PM (#45144243)
    In Sweden there's sections in the laws about freedom of speech that makes investigation of the sources of journalists illegal, even if the source might have committed a crime. The police or other law enforcer can't ask a journalist about their sources. That'd be illegal. A journalist doesn't have to keep silent though, so he might tell anyway but the police can't even ask for it. That's what's in the law. But there's probably secret provisions around it if it's a matter of national security, or just using some other agent to do so.
    • This is exactly what we need, both in the US and the UK. The NSA and GCHQ are skirting laws by getting each other to do their dirty work. It's disgusting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:29PM (#45144275)

    ""The plain fact is that what has happened has damaged national security "

    Lets be clear, the CIA trained Mujahadeen fighters to fight the Russians. It created a database "Al Qaeda", literally translates as "database" in Arabic. The database of those fighters, included one Bin Laden. Who is "Al Qaeda" and who wasn't "Al Qaeda" was defined by the CIA's database originally.

    That group turned on the US, after the Russians had been driven out of Afganistan. So I trust the US government about as much as any person can trust THE PEOPLE WHO TRAINED THE TERRORISTS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Which is not at all. They make an endless series of terrible choices that result in lots of deaths.

    Next up, GCHQ stands accused of breaking UK law, lying to the Cabinet and lying to Parliament. The "National" for the UK, means "Britain", not America. Snoopers Charter is not law, GCHQ did not get the laws they wanted and they are outside the law.That's why they kept it secret from most of the government they are supposed to represent, yet NSA and US was told.

    Guardian are not just leaking secrets, they revealing high-treason. The most serious example we've ever seen in British history. Not just a spy here or there leaking stuff to foreign powers, but a whole agency systematically spying on Brits and hiding the evidence from Parliament and Cabinet.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

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

  • by tolkienfan (892463) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:49PM (#45144559) Journal
    Destroying files what required to do so under threat of violence is now an admission of guilt?? Cameron, you are a prick. This is the government making an example of a newspaper to scare other newspapers into line. I've recently subscribed to The Guardian (again - I used to subscribe many years ago when I lived over there). I recommend it.. we can demonstrate the public will with our money.
  • by kaizendojo (956951) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @12:53PM (#45144621)
    HIS name is in those files as well. Should be interesting to see what dirt is dug up about MI5 and GCHQ. The GCHQ is collecting and storing "vast quantities of global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls" and sharing them with the NSA. NSA analysts reportedly "share direct access to the system." (http://www.policymic.com/articles/50333/gchq-the-british-are-spying-on-us-more-than-the-nsa-is)
  • Then they should have a national discussion of what the laws should be as opposed to what they are now.

  • by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr@@@ticam...utexas...edu> on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:06PM (#45144813) Homepage

    Had the Guardian not complied, I suppose David Cameron's response would have been "I thought they were guilty, but when they refused to voluntarily cooperate with my national security adviser and cabinet secretary, I started to reconsider."

    No? But if not, then he is just trying to rationalize some "damned if you do, damned if you don't" nonsense.

  • 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.
  • by kawabago (551139) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:26PM (#45145033)
    We already have secret courts with secret laws that no one is allowed to talk about. How long will it be before people start to disappear and it's illegal to ask what happened? Sounds like China!
  • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:50PM (#45145293) Homepage Journal

    Out of all the politicians around the world, I've not heard of one making any apologies for the surveillance or the abuse of law and process. Instead, they're all focused on the "leak" and what could have been done about it to prevent it. They're focused on charging the people involved to hopefully stop others from leaking in the future, when they should be red-faced with shame and embarassment over getting caught.

  • It's personal security that is important...

  • Fair is fair.

    We know David Cameron lied to the House of Commons.

    That is a crime.

    Jail is the only solution.

Please go away.

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