Like most people, I’ve long known that factual falsehoods are routinely published in major media outlets. But as I’ve pointed out before, nothing makes you internalize just how often it really happens, how completely their editorial standards so often fail, like being personally involved in a story that receives substantial media coverage. I cannot count how many times I’ve read or heard claims from major media outlets about the Snowden story that I knew, from first-hand knowledge, were a total fabrication.We have a perfect example of how this happens from the New York Times today, in a book review by Nicholas Lemann, the Pulitzer-Moore professor of journalism at Columbia University as well as a long-time staff writer for The New Yorker.
En Perú, un mecanismo de control débil de la vigilancia hizo caer a un primer ministro. En 2015 la revista peruana, Correo Semanal, alegó que la Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional del Perú (DINI) había espiado ilegalmente a periodistas, empresarios, legisladores, políticos y miembros de las fuerzas armadas y sus familias. La DINI accedió supuestamente a información almacenada en el registro nacional de las propiedades del Perú, y almacenó esta información en expediente de cientos de personas.
While most eyes are focused on the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, three major events prove how widespread, and dangerous, mass surveillance has become in the West. Standing alone, each event highlights exactly the severe threats that motivated Edward Snowden to blow his whistle; taken together, they constitute full-scale vindication of everything he’s done.
National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has been working with prominent hardware hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang to solve this problem. The pair are developing a way for potentially imperiled smartphone users to monitor whether their devices are making any potentially compromising radio transmissions. They argue that a smartphone’s user interface can’t be relied on to tell you the truth about that state of its radios. Their initial prototyping work uses an iPhone 6.
Publishing guides that not only confuse users, but are also filled with inaccurate and dangerous advice, is not the answer.
NSA WHISTLEBLOWER Edward Snowden joined MIT professor Noam Chomsky and The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald on Friday for a discussion on privacy rights hosted by the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The panel was moderated by Nuala O’Connor, the president of the Center for Democracy and Technology.
El documental de Laura Poitras cuenta los primeros momentos de la mayor filtración de espionaje de un Gobierno en la historia
La existencia de un segundo filtrador dentro de la NSA y el reencuentro de Snowden con su pareja en Moscú son las dos revelaciones del documental
La fecha de estreno en España está prevista para el 27 de marzo
Marilín Gonzalo – Madrid
La película de Laura Poitras es un documental imprescindible para entender esta nueva etapa de internet. Citizenfour es, primero, un documento histórico que recoge de primerísima mano el encuentro de Edward Snowden con los periodistas que le ayudaron a revelar al mundo el mayor espionaje masivo conocido; y después, una película inquietante, donde es la información y no la música la que nos hace darnos cuenta de que no estamos viendo ciencia ficción.
Como dice Snowden a un absorto Glenn Greenwald tras contarle cómo funciona XKeyscore, un programa de la NSA: “Esto ya está sucediendo”.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance by government agencies has made a big impact on investigative journalists, according to a new study.
The survey of 671 journalists, conducted by the US-based Pew Research Center and Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, found that 64% believe that the US government has probably collected data about their communications.
49% said that they have changed the way they store and share potentially sensitive documents in the last year as a result, while 29% have altered the way they communicate with fellow journalists.
However, only 3% have opted not to pursue a particular story due to concerns about electronic surveillance and hacking, although 13% have not reached out to a particular source for those reasons. Just 2% have considered abandoning investigative journalism.
La documentalista que ayudó a Snowden presenta su documental en Europa, ‘Citizenfour’, donde muestra cómo fue la preparación de la mayor filtración de la historia
“Snowden no está cooperando o trabajando para ninguna otra agencia de inteligencia, eso es simplemente una historia creada por el Gobierno”, asegura la periodista, elegida por el propio extrabajador de la NSA para hacer pública su filtración
“Lo que Glenn y yo publicamos ahora con Snowden cuestiona directamente el liderazgo de Obama”
Silvia Font – Ámsterdam, Países Bajos
A estas alturas de la película, ¿quién no sabe quién es Edward Snowden? Su denuncia sobre los sistemas de espionaje masivo e indiscriminado utilizados por la Agencia de Seguridad Nacional de Estados Unidos (NSA) contra gobiernos, corporaciones y hasta sus propios ciudadanos ha pasado ya a la historia como la mayor filtración de un trabajador de los servicios de inteligencia jamás publicada. Y si a alguien hemos de dar gracias por ello –además de al joven informático– es a Laura Poitras, documentalista estadounidense afincada en Berlín, a quien Citizenfour eligió para hacer pública su historia “sin importar lo que le pasara a él”. Ella, arriesgando también su vida, así lo hizo.
Appelbaum, una de las caras visibles del proyecto TOR, reclama que la sociedad sea consciente de que debe protegerse de los abusos del Estado con tecnología y nuevas leyes
“Están intentando asustar a la sociedad y decir a la ciudadanía que el uso de estas herramientas es terrorífico, pero lo que no nos cuentan es cómo ellos utilizan los sistemas de vigilancia para matar gente”
“Con las revelaciones de Snowden simplemente hemos pasado de la teoría a la certeza”
Silvia Font – Copenhague, Dinamarca
Cryptoparties hay muchas. Cientos de ellas se celebran cada hora en cualquier parte del mundo, en un café, en la parte trasera de una tienda o incluso off the radar si se trata de compartir conocimientos con activistas o periodistas que trabajan en condiciones de riesgo. Las hay que ya han pasado a la historia como la organizada en 2011 via Twitter por la activista austaliana Asher Wolf, considerada la chispa de lo que en apenas semanas pasó a convertirse en un movimiento social a escala global, o la promovida por un –entonces aún desconocido— Edward Snowden en un hacklab de Hawái cuando aún trabajaba para la NSA, y apenas un mes antes de contactar con Laura Poitras para revelarle el mayor escándalo de espionaje masivo conocido hasta el momento.
Sin embargo, una cryptoparty que reúna en una misma sala, precisamente, a la confidente de Snowden y directora del documental Citizenfour, Poitras; al activista, experto en seguridad informática y desarrollador de TOR, Jacob Appelbaum; y a William Binney –exoficial de inteligencia de la NSA convertido en whistleblower más de una década antes de que Snowden lo hiciera— solo hay una: la celebrada la semana pasada en el Bremen Theater de Copenhague con motivo del estreno del documental de Poitras en el festival internacional de cine documental CPH: DOX.
“Hace diez años nadie hubiera pensado en organizar un evento para hablar de esto, hubieran pensado que estábamos locos” comenta Jacob Appelbaum, uno de los gurús de la criptografía, miembro del equipo desarrollador de TOR y activista implacable en la lucha contra los sistemas de vigilancia masivos empleados por los gobiernos de distintos países. Eso demuestra que algo ha cambiado. Y lo dice la persona que precisamente inició en esto de la criptografía a la mismísima Poitras, cuyos conocimientos (y trayectoria cinematográfica, que incluía un corto documental sobre William Binney) fueron determinantes cuando Snowden eligió a quién revelaría su preciado secreto, aunque como el propio Citizenfour prefiere plantearlo, ella misma se eligió.
“Había empezado a utilizar criptografía cuando comencé a comunicarme con Jake”, contó Poitras. “Estaba muy interesada en su trabajo entrenando a activistas alrededor del mundo en cómo sortear los sistemas de vigilancia. Así que tuve que cargarme las pilas, me bajé algunas herramientas, en concreto usaba dos: PGP Email y chat OTR”, las mismas herramientas que Snowden enseñó a instalar a Glenn Greenwald para poder comunicarse de forma segura.
“Recuerdo que mandé un email a Jake explicándole quién era y el documental en el que estaba trabajando. Enseguida me contestó y me dijo que teníamos verificar las fingerprints, yo no tenía ni idea de lo que estaba hablando, así que me hice la entendida, le pedí unos minutos para ganar tiempo y me puse a buscar online de qué iba eso de las fingerprints“. “La verdad es que fue muy buen profesor y luego me enseñó muchas más cosas, que luego aparentemente fueron bastante oportunas cuando en enero de 2013 recibí el primer email de un tal Citizenfour pidiéndome mi clave pública”.
The tone of the answering machine message was routine, like a reminder for a dental appointment. But there was also an undercurrent of urgency. “Please call me back,” the voice said. “It’s important.”
What worried me was who was calling: a senior attorney with the Justice Department’s secretive Office of Intelligence Policy and Review. By the time I hung up the payphone at a little coffee shop in Cambridge, Mass., and wandered back to my table, strewn with yellow legal pads and dog-eared documents, I had guessed what he was after: my copy of the Justice Department’s top-secret criminal file on the National Security Agency. Only two copies of the original were ever made. Now I had to find a way to get it out of the country—fast.
It was July 8, 1981, a broiling Wednesday in Harvard Square, and I was in a quiet corner of the Algiers Coffee House on Brattle Street. A cool, souk-like basement room, with the piney aroma of frankincense, it made for a perfect hideout to sort through documents, jot down notes, and pore over stacks of newspapers while sipping bottomless cups of Arabic coffee and espresso the color of dark chocolate.
For several years I had been working on my first book, The Puzzle Palace, which provided the first in-depth look at the National Security Agency. The deeper I dug, the more troubled I became. Not only did the classified file from the Justice Department accuse the NSA of systematically breaking the law by eavesdropping on American citizens, it concluded that it was impossible to prosecute those running the agency because of the enormous secrecy that enveloped it. Worse, the file made clear that the NSA itself was effectively beyond the law—allowed to bypass statutes passed by Congress and follow its own super-classified charter, what the agency called a “top-secret birth certificate” drawn up by the White House decades earlier.
Knowing the potential for such an unregulated agency to go rogue, I went on to write two more books about the NSA, Body of Secrets, in 2001, and The Shadow Factory, in 2008. My goal was to draw attention to the dangers the agency posed if it is not closely watched and controlled—dangers that would be laid bare in stark detail by Edward Snowden years later.
Interactive NSA Decoded explained implications of the Edward Snowden leaks on mass surveillance by intelligence agencies
The Guardian US has won an Emmy for its groundbreaking coverage of Edward Snowden’s disclosures about mass surveillance by US intelligence agencies.
The Guardian’s multimedia interactive feature NSA Decoded was announced as the winner in the new approaches: current news category at the news and documentary Emmy awards in New York on Tuesday night.
The comprehensive interactive walks the audience through the facts and implications of the NSA’s mass surveillance program, revealed by the Guardian last year in coverage based on leaks by Snowden.
Human Rights Watch y American Civil Liberties Union critican los programas de la Administración
Los programas de espionaje masivo de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad (NSA, por sus siglas en inglés) y la ofensiva del Gobierno de Barack Obama para evitar cualquier filtración interna están socavando la libertad de prensa y el derecho a la asistencia letrada en Estados Unidos. Esta es la contundente conclusión de un informe, difundido este lunes, por las organizaciones Human Rights Watch y American Civil Liberties Union.
“Las fuentes están menos dispuestas a hablar con la prensa y se está ralentizando la cobertura informativa”, lamentó en el acto de presentación Alex Sinha, el autor del documento, basado en 90 entrevistas a periodistas, abogados y cargos gubernamentales en el último año. “Si EE UU fracasa en abordar estas preocupaciones con rapidez y eficacia, podría causar un serio y duradero daño a la democracia en el país”.
La presión oficial está forzando a periodistas y fuentes a rescatar formas de comunicación del pasado u optar por técnicas similares a las que usan los criminales, como hablar mediante cabinas telefónicas, usar teléfonos móviles desechables o mantener encuentros en persona sin ningún teléfono móvil. Todo ello para evitar que las comunicaciones puedan ser analizadas por la Administración y ante el creciente temor que ese rastro digital pueda ser usado en su contra.
El Gobierno de Obama, deploró Sinha, ha acusado en los tribunales a más fuentes informativas que todos los otros gobiernos estadounidenses juntos. Desde que llegó a la Casa Blanca en 2009, el presidente demócrata ha sido más agresivo que sus predecesores en silenciar filtraciones de asuntos de seguridad: su administración ha llevado a ocho personas a los tribunales, no ha tenido reparos en espiar directamente a periodistas –como hizo en 2012 con reporteros de la agencia Associated Press– y, desde que el exanalista Edward Snowden destapó hace un año la recolección masiva de datos por parte de la NSA, ha redoblado sus esfuerzos en detectar “amenazas internas” de empleados gubernamentales que podrían filtrar información confidencial.
Estados Unidos se presenta como un modelo de libertad y democracia, pero sus programas de espionaje están amenazando los valores que dice representar”
Alex Sinha, autor del informe
“Estados Unidos se presenta como un modelo de libertad y democracia, pero sus programas de espionaje están amenazando los valores que dice representar”, subrayó el investigador. “El Gobierno tiene la obligación de defender la seguridad nacional, pero muchos de sus programas de vigilancia van más allá de lo que podría ser justificado como necesario y proporcionado”.
En el terreno judicial, el informe alerta de que el escrutinio masivo ha puesto en duda la capacidad de los letrados de cumplir con su responsabilidad de garantizar la confidencialidad de la información de sus clientes. “Los abogados tienen mayores dificultades en conseguir que sus clientes confíen en ellos o en resguardar su estrategia legal”, apunta.
iction and films, the nearest most of us knowingly get to the world of espionage, give us a series of reliable stereotypes. British spies are hard-bitten, libidinous he-men. Russian agents are thickset, low-browed and facially scarred. And defectors end up as tragic old soaks in Moscow, scanning old copies of the Times for news of the Test match.
Such a fate was anticipated for Edward Snowden by Michael Hayden, a former NSA and CIA chief, who predicted last September that the former NSA analyst would be stranded in Moscow for the rest of his days – “isolated, bored, lonely, depressed… and alcoholic”.
But the Edward Snowden who materialises in our hotel room shortly after noon on the appointed day seems none of those things. A year into his exile in Moscow, he feels less, not more, isolated. If he is depressed, he doesn’t show it. And, at the end of seven hours of conversation, he refuses a beer. “I actually don’t drink.” He smiles when repeating Hayden’s jibe. “I was like, wow, their intelligence is worse than I thought.”
Oliver Stone, who is working on a film about the man now standing in room 615 of the Golden Apple hotel on Moscow’s Malaya Dmitrovka, might struggle to make his subject live up to the canon of great movie spies. The American director has visited Snowden in Moscow, and wants to portray him as an out-and-out hero, but he is an unconventional one: quiet, disciplined, unshowy, almost academic in his speech. If Snowden has vices – and God knows they must have been looking for them – none has emerged in the 13 months since he slipped away from his life as a contracted NSA analyst in Hawaii, intent on sharing the biggest cache of top-secret material the world has ever seen.
Since arriving in Moscow, Snowden has been keeping late and solitary hours – effectively living on US time, tapping away on one of his three computers (three to be safe; he uses encrypted chat, too). If anything, he appears more connected and outgoing than he could be in his former life as an agent. Of his life now, he says, “There’s actually not that much difference. You know, I think there are guys who are just hoping to see me sad. And they’re going to continue to be disappointed.”
When the Guardian first spoke to Snowden a year ago in Hong Kong, he had been dishevelled, his hair uncombed, wearing jeans and a T-shirt. The 31-year-old who materialised last week was smartly, if anonymously, dressed in black trousers and grey jacket, his hair tidily cut. He is jockey-light – even skinnier than a year ago. And he looks pale: “Probably three steps from death,” he jokes. “I mean, I don’t eat a whole lot. I keep a weird schedule. I used to be very active, but just in the recent period I’ve had too much work to focus on.”
There was no advance warning of where we would meet: his only US television interview, with NBC’s Brian Williams in May, was conducted in an anonymous hotel room of Snowden’s choosing. This time, he prefers to come to us. On his arrival, there is a warm handshake for Guardian reporter Ewen MacAskill, whom he last saw in Hong Kong – a Sunday night after a week of intense work in a frowsty hotel room, a few hours before the video revealing his identity to the world went public. Neither man knew if they would ever meet again.
Snowden orders chicken curry from room service and, as he forks it down, is immediately into the finer points of the story that yanked him from a life of undercover anonymity to global fame. The Snowden-as-alcoholic jibe is not the only moment when he reflects wryly on his former colleagues’ patchy ability to get on top of events over the past year. There was, for instance, the incident last July when a plane carrying President Evo Morales back to Bolivia from Moscow was forced down in Vienna and searched for a stowaway Snowden. “I was like, first off, wow, their intelligence sucks, from listening to everything. But, two, are they really going to the point of just completely humiliating the president of a Latin American nation, the representative of so many people? It was just shockingly poorly thought out, and yet they did it anyway, and they keep at these sort of mistakes.” It was as if they were trying not to find him. “I almost felt like I had some sort of friend in government.”
The NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has urged lawyers, journalists, doctors, accountants, priests and others with a duty to protect confidentiality to upgrade security in the wake of the spy surveillance revelations.
Snowden said professionals were failing in their obligations to their clients, sources, patients and parishioners in what he described as a new and challenging world.
“What last year’s revelations showed us was irrefutable evidence that unencrypted communications on the internet are no longer safe. Any communications should be encrypted by default,” he said.
The response of professional bodies has so far been patchy.
A minister at the Home Office in London, James Brokenshire, said during a Commons debate about a new surveillance bill on Tuesday that a code of practice to protect legal professional privilege and others requiring professional secrecy was under review.
Snowden’s plea for the professions to tighten security came during an extensive and revealing interview with the Guardian in Moscow.
The former National Security Agency and CIA computer specialist, wanted by the US under the Espionage Act after leaking tens of thousands of top secret documents, has given only a handful of interviews since seeking temporary asylum in Russia a year ago.
During the seven hours of interview, Snowden:
• Said if he ended up in US detention in Guantánamo Bay he could live with it.
• Offered rare glimpses into his daily life in Russia, insisting that, contrary to reports that he is depressed, he is not sad and does not have any regrets. He rejected various conspiracy theories surrounding him, describing as “bullshit” suggestions he is a Russian spy.
• Said that, contrary to a claim he works for a Russian organisation, he was independently secure, living on savings, and money from awards and speeches he has delivered online round the world.
• Made a startling claim that a culture exists within the NSA in which, during surveillance, nude photographs picked up of people in “sexually compromising” situations are routinely passed around.
• Spoke at length about his future, which seems destined to be spent in Russia for the foreseeable future after expressing disappointment over the failure of western European governments to offer him a home.
• Said he was holding out for a jury trial in the US rather a judge-only one, hopeful that it would be hard to find 12 jurors who would convict him if he was charged with an offence to which there was a public interest defence. Negotiations with the US government on a return to his country appear to be stalled.
Before Glenn Greenwald appeared on Newsnight last October to argue the case for the Snowden revelations on a link from Brazil, the presenter that evening, Kirsty Wark, popped into the green room to have a word with the other guests on the show, one of whom was Pauline Neville-Jones, formerly chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee. The interview, she apparently told them, would show that Greenwald was just “a campaigner and an activist”, a phrase she later used disparagingly on air.
And so the BBC went after the man, not the story. However, on this occasion, the man held his own rather well, roasting Wark and Neville-Jones with remorseless trial lawyer logic, making them look ill-prepared and silly in the process. At the time, I remember thinking that Edward Snowden had chosen exactly the right person for the job of chief advocate – a smart, unyielding, fundamentalist liberal outsider.
Some of these characteristics made me wonder if his account of the Snowden affair would be one long harangue, but No Place to Hide is clearly written and compelling. Though I have been writing about the war on liberty for nearly a decade, I found that reacquainting myself with the details of surveillance and intrusion by America’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ was simply shocking. As the stories rolled out last year, there was almost too much to absorb – from Prism, the program used by the NSA to access, among others, Google, Microsoft and Apple servers, to the UK’s Tempora, which taps fibre optic cables and draws up web and telephone traffic; from the secret collaboration of the web and phone giants to the subversion of internet encryption and spying on ordinary people’s political activities, their medical history, their friends and intimate relations and all their activities online. I published a dystopian novel in 2009 that featured a similarly intrusive program, which I named DEEPTRUTH, and let me tell you, I didn’t predict half of it.
The dogs can smell Glenn Greenwald long before they see him. As we drive up the hill to his house, a cacophony of barking greets us. The chorus is so overwhelming it makes me think of the National Security Agency (NSA) chiefs who Greenwald has tormented over the past year.”They don’t bite,” Greenwald says as we are engulfed by the pack of strays that he and his partner, David Miranda, have rescued. After a beat, he adds: “… as long as you don’t show any fear.” I’m not certain he’s joking, which is awkward, given that there are 12 of them, ranging from an 80lb Burmese mountain dog to a rat-sized miniature pinscher.
The image of Greenwald and his dogs has been beamed around the world by news organisations since his first NSA revelations were published by the Guardian last year. A writer with a devoted following even before the revelations, he now enjoys more widespread exposure, particularly in the US where his brand of aggressive campaigning journalism has attracted both paeans and condemnation.
But the sight of him surrounded by the animals still comes as a shock. It underlines how dramatically the internet has revolutionised journalism and the nature of the newsroom.
Think of that legendary 1973 photograph of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein at the height of Watergate. They are sitting at manual typewriters under neon lights in the Washington Post newsroom. The photo speaks to the power of institutions – that of their newspaper just as much as the White House they were investigating.
Now think of where I’m standing in Glenn Greenwald’s retreat, shrouded in jackfruit, banana and lemon trees, where monkeys call in daily and only yesterday a lethal spider the size of a fist was discovered in the bathroom. This is the newsroom of 2014, almost 5,000 miles from Washington DC, the jungle office of the journalist that the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden handpicked to be his conduit to the outside world.
As the anniversary approaches of Greenwald’s first Guardian scoop on 5 June 2013, revealing that the NSA was collecting the telephone records of millions of Americans, his life appears to have calmed a bit. He’s taking the time to get his fitness back after a stressful period, doing yoga by a stream in the garden and eating calorie-controlled ready meals in an attempt to shed the 12lbs he put on.
Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger and Guardian US editor Janine Gibson answer questions about the NSA revelations at 10amET/3pmBST
Revelations from documents Edward Snowden shared with the Guardian have fuelled debate about government surveillance activities in both the UK and US. Since June, hundreds of stories have been published by a team of reporters around the globe.
In order to address reader comments and questions about how the Guardian has reported these stories, Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger and Guardian US editor Janine Gibson will be answering reader questions within this live blog Monday 26 August from 10amET/3pmBST.
You can submit your questions ahead of time in the comments under this post or by using the hashtag #mynsaquestion on Twitter. Clarity is our main criteria in selecting quality questions with the time allotted.