Britain Seeks to Prevent The Publishing of Snowden's Leaks

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The NSA whistleblower and former agent of CIA & NSA, Edward Snowden. (Laura Poitras/Praxis Films/Shutterstock)

The saga of former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden continues. Over the last few days, Snowden's leaks have appeared in newspapers across Europe, revealing the NSA's vast spying campaigns from Spain to Germany.

British Prime Minister David Cameron appears ready to crack down on The Guardian, the news organization at the center of the leaks.

"What Snowden is doing and to an extent what the newspapers are doing in helping him doing what he's doing is frankly signaling to people who mean to do us harm how to evade and avoid intelligence,"  Prime Minister Cameron told the British press on Friday.

Louise Mensch is a former conservative member of Parliament. She's called for the government to crack down on The Guardian from the beginning. She explains her stance against The Guardian, and how she hopes the Snowden saga will finally end. 

Guests:

Louise Mensch

Produced by:

Mythili Rao and Jillian Weinberger

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

Comments [5]

Tzctthet from London

I am glad that somebody else has already pointed to the unsupported assertions made by Ms Mensch.

She continues to assert that Snowden has given information to Russia and China with no supporting evidence except her often erratic gut feeling, and now she adds an unnamed "bunch of bloggers" and Wikileaks without a shred of evidence.

I want to point out to something else: she mentions that data collected by security agencies is only "metadata", when all this affair has shown more worrying developments.

It is a matter of public record that intelligence agencies are requesting SSL keys (please check the Lavabit case) which makes pretty much any encrypted web communication authenticated by US based SSL CAs broken.

Yes, I mean Google, Twitter, Facebook. And for US people pretty much everything (banking for example).

Ms Mensch consistently avoids this, either because she doesn't understand what one is talking about, or if she does, because that would put an end to her contrived allegation that only metadata is collected.

Also some of the Snowden leaks point to undermining standards bodies in order to gain access to back doors in different encryption tools. Only somebody misinformed or malicious could class those and other activities as collecting metadata.

Something more concerning is that she says you can't have a warrant for every action you take against somebody. How you let that go unchallenged is a puzzle.

Finally during her tirade, she calls the Guardian journalist at the center of the revelations a "so called journalist" and this has to be contextualized: it is a matter of public record in Twitter and other media that she is asking for The Guardian, its editor, and all parties involved in publishing the leaks, to be prosecuted under the always helpful excuse of "national security" (and has called them names which I won't repeat because it is all libel territory), her name calling should be seen under that light.

One should point out that she is now a columnist for the Sunday Sun, one of Rupert Murdoch newspapers in the UK, which is the polar opposite of the Guardian in both ideological terms and journalistic methods (The Guardian uses sources, they don't create the news by using intrusive methods that are now under strict scrutiny. It is curious to notice that Ms Mensch employer, the Sunday Sun, is a de facto replacement for the defunct News of the World, which was closed after The Guardian revelations about phone hacking made it a toxic brand too damaged to keep as a going concern).

I am not suggesting that Ms Mensch bile against the Guardian is driven by Mr Murdoch's agenda, or that such agenda would even exist, but I fail to see how a Sun journalist could possibly be balanced when talking about The Guardian: the very same newspaper that exposed Mr Murdoch's newspaper shenanigans.

Oct. 31 2013 08:48 AM
fred

Scott,

If the first words out of your mouth is that mensch is a fascist, well good job on discrediting yourself. Your devotion to a "strong leader" type in snowden rather than accepting the workings of a democratic system reek far more of "facism" than mensch's valid criticisms of snowden which are that one man decided for an entire country what he thought was right and what was not, and decided to spill the secrets with no regard for the democratic system. He overruled everyone in the most reckless and irresponsible way, and then ran from the consequences. Theres nothing to respect about it regardless of whether or not it matches your political leanings or not the way he did it was entirely wrong. And the false naivety we are seeing from people who are surprised that spies are spying is just a bit tough to watch.

Oct. 29 2013 04:53 PM
MIchigander from Metro Detroit

In her interview, Ms. Mensch claimed that Edward Snowden gave documents "to Wikileaks and a bunch of bloggers." A few sentences later, she claimed that Snowden "passed state secrets to ... Russia." Mr. Hockenberry did not challenge either claim. Yet Snowden's material has appeared first in mainstream newspapers and magazines. There is no evidence he has given anything to Wikileaks. Snowden has explicitly denied bringing any NSA documents into Russia. There have been no indications from the U.S. government that he has given any documents to Russia, only vague suspicions - and much confusion - about where NSA documents have wound up.

Doesn't The Takeaway have some basic journalistic duty to report accurate information?

Oct. 29 2013 04:28 PM
Charles

Scott in Seattle from Seattle raises an intersting point -- just what the heck were The Takeaway's producers thinking, to give airtime to someone like Ms. Mensche? After all, her main point seemed to be the simple and sensible point that Snowden/Assange/Manning et al specialize in tweaking Western democracies and corporations with their leaks to left-leaning papers like The Guardian and the New York Times. That point is not of assistance, in public radio's mission to demonize Republicans, conservatives and Western economies. What was The Takeaway thinking, giving airtime to such a voice?

Maybe the thinking is that we already know what despicable people run the oppressive regimes in Russia, China, Cuba, Iraq, North Korea, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Syria. And are therefore beyond any more moralizing outrage.

Oct. 29 2013 02:09 PM
Scott in Seattle from Seattle

I think it's safe to say that Louise Mensch is a sanctimonious right-wing fascist. I appreciate your show, John, but you can't let these 1% people steamroll! Seriously, thought, I do appreciate the questions you tried to ask. She wallows in privileged tone and inaccurate generalities. But I think she's used to doing and getting whatever she wants. She's a Tory, after all. Why she was a guest is the biggest question.

Oct. 29 2013 01:16 PM

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