Governments – of Britain in this case – are now using anti-terrorism laws against journalists who dare to tell you about what the people who claim to be protecting you against terrorists are doing to violate your privacy and your rights:
On Sunday, British authorities detained for nine hours the domestic partner of Glenn Greenwald, a Guardian writer who met face to face in Hong Kong with Snowden and has written or co-authored many of the newspaper’s stories based on his material.
The Guardian reported, and UK authorities subsequently confirmed, that David Miranda, Greenwald’s Brazilian partner, was detained by British authorities under an anti-terrorism law as he was in transit from Berlin to Brazil and was changing planes at London’s Heathrow Airport.
One U.S. security official told Reuters that one of the main purposes of the British government’s detention and questioning of Miranda was to send a message to recipients of Snowden’s materials, including the Guardian, that the British government was serious about trying to shut down the leaks.
The ‘leaks” aren’t about terrorist activities. They are about government-sanctioned security organizations ignoring the law and taking away your rights. This isn’t about fighting terrorism at all.
And today Groklaw – a site that helped to explain how the law affected technology – decided to shut down because privacy no longer exists:
I hope that makes it clear why I can’t continue. There is now no shield from forced exposure. Nothing in that parenthetical thought list is terrorism-related, but no one can feel protected enough from forced exposure any more to say anything the least bit like that to anyone in an email, particularly from the US out or to the US in, but really anywhere. You don’t expect a stranger to read your private communications to a friend. And once you know they can, what is there to say? Constricted and distracted. That’s it exactly. That’s how I feel.
Terrorists blew up a couple of buildings. Our own governments finished the job.
And the funniest thing is that they don’t see the problem. Or, perhaps for them, it isn’t a problem.