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Spying fallout: Internet giants launch offensive defense
Dec 10th, 2013 by Warren Swil

Call for curbs on

government snooping

is self-serving

Documents revealed by Edward Snowden threaten the business interest of internet giants calling for reform.

SOME OF THE biggest players on the internet launched a massive public relations campaign Monday calling for new limits on government surveillance.
The appeal comes after months of damaging disclosures based on documents released by Edward Snowden that have shaken faith in online privacy worldwide.
But it must be seen in the context of the commercial damage the revelations have caused. The companies are acting in their own self-interest: they risk losing millions of customers and billions of dollars if they are seen as vulnerable to unauthorized government snooping.
The companies’ appeal for reform is hardly in the public interest. It is a transparent attempt to defend their business models.


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UK government attacks press freedom everywhere

PUBLIC LYNCHING OF GUARDIAN EDITOR AN OMINOUS SIGN
The British government on Tuesday struck a blow against press freedom everywhere with its public inquisition of the editor of The Guardian newspaper.
The reporting by The Guardian, The New York Times and others on the Snowden documents has revealed serious lapses in government oversight, particularly in the U.S.
It is deeply troubling that British politicians would mount such a ferocious attack on press freedom. Journalists everywhere should stand with The Guardian in resisting this blatant intimidation.


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Spying scandal: lies, truth and the need to earn a living

REPORTER GREENWALD MOUNTS PASSIONATE, CONVINCING DEFENSE
A vituperative verbal battle has broken out about the journalist at the center of the reporting on the documents leaked by Edward Snowden: Glenn Greenwald has responded with a passionate, extensive and convincing defense of his methods and actions.
It is an absolutely must-read for anyone who cares about how the most startling and significant revelations about government wrongdoing have been exposed – and, likely, will continue to be so.


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NYT: Sitting on a story that might have changed the world

COURAGEOUS PUBLIC AIRING EXPLAINS MUCH, EXCUSES LITTLE
In a courageous – if overdue – explanation of one of the most enduring mysteries at The New York Times, the public editor on Sunday examined why the paper delayed publishing a vital story that might have influenced the outcome of the 2004 presidential election.
The damage done by this regrettable episode is incalculable.
We and The New York Times can never measure the credibility lost but we can hope it has learned the lesson expressed in the last paragraph: it’s better to err on the side of disclosure.


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SPYING ON EVERYONE: Google, Yahoo data caught in dragnet

NOW IT’S PERSONAL FOR ALMOST EVERY INTERNET USER
In a major development in the government spying scandal, it was revealed Wednesday that not just chancellors and prime ministers are targeted by the NSA.
The Washington Post reported that massive data streams are diverted off-shore from Google and Yahoo into government data warehouses.
As the spying scandal unravels, it comes closer to home for each and every user of the internet, no matter where one is located on the map.
There can be no doubt that online privacy is vanishing, if it has not already disappeared.


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Murdoch scandal puts journalism on trial

TABLOID METHODS BESMIRCH ENTIRE PROFESSION
The worst excesses Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire were in the world spotlight again Monday when two of his most senior former editors in the U.K. went on trial at the Old Bailey.
Murdoch has left a permanent stain on journalism everywhere.
The reading public has every reason to believe his cronies and henchmen at his own companies and some reporters and editors at other mass media outlets share his philosophy and practice of the craft.
It is not true, of course, but the impression is left that it could be.


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Spy scandal spirals into diplomatic crisis

QUESTION OF COVER-UP ARISES IN EUROPEAN MEDIA
As media in the U.S. largely ignored it, the scandal over government spying on allies in Europe spiraled over the weekend in unexpected directions.
The White House was described as “in disarray” in its response to the reports.
The story seems to be taking a familiar route: what did the president know and when did he know it?
We would be wise to take a cue from our democratic friends and allies across the pond and bring pressure to bear on our own representatives to end the spying abroad and at home.


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‘ALONE TOGETHER:’ How the vast interconnected world keeps us apart

MIT PROFESSOR, NOTED AUTHOR EXPLAINS ONLINE ILLUSION
We are all more interconnected than ever, thanks to the world wide web and all the different ways we can connect to it.
But, paradoxically, the more connected we are, the less we are truly connected to each other – the way we always were and the way we were meant to be.
Get up. Go out. Breathe the fresh air.
Look at the person you are with.
Don’t be the one to miss out on life because you are too preoccupied with your online illusions.


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GLENN GREENWALD: A powerful new journalism brand is launched

REPORTER + BILLIONAIRE DEVOTED TO EXPOSING GOVERNMENT SECRETS
With his recent announcement that he was severing ties with The Guardian newspaper in the U.K., the journalist with inarguably the most impact on world affairs this year has struck out to create a brand new enterprise.
Now, with the deep pockets of internet billionaire Pierre Omidyar supporting his work, we can look forward to more high impact disclosures from Glenn Greenwald with anticipation.
It is an emergent brand of journalism that is likely to challenge established norms and improve the quality of public discussion it every level.
It is a most welcome development.


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ESCAPE HATCH: Solution to crises rests with ‘Republican realists’

G.O.P. RADICALS WON’T BUDGE, BUT DEFAULT THREAT MAY MOVE CENTRISTS
With the government shutdown entering its third week and the debt ceiling crisis 48 hours away, time is running out to avert a global calamity.
But, there is a way out. It’s hiding in plain sight. Call it the “escape hatch.”
Do an end run around the speaker of the House of Representatives and the Tea Party. Combine the entire Democratic Party caucus with those Republicans not afraid of the radical right and presto!
Crisis over.
Game called.


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