Hamilton Nolan ridicules the halfwitted psychoanalysis and smearing aimed by sneering pundits at Edward Snowden
, the NSA whistleblower who revealed the agency's expansive surveillance of everyday Americans.
We are often accused of being cynics. But even we can see quite plainly that the Prism story is huge, important, and newsworthy, and that the person who made the story happen deserves credit for helping it come out. Oddly enough, the cynics on this story reside in the ultra-establishment. They are the journalists and pundits who feel compelled to demonstrate their own sophistication by dismissing these revelations as old hat (though documented proof of these programs has never been seen before). They are those who have grown so inured to the gross overreach of government power that they can no longer conceive of it as scandalous.
David Brooks' piece is particularly grotesque, and not simply because going to it means having to look at one of his weird Zoolanderesque mugshots. Check out this paragraph:
He betrayed the privacy of us all. If federal security agencies can’t do vast data sweeps, they will inevitably revert to the older, more intrusive eavesdropping methods.
Don't make me beat you, honey.
The new data-sharing rules enacted by the Obama administration will allow the NSA to lawfully share the unredacted, full take of its surveillance databases with sixteen other US government agencies — meaning that, for example, Trump’s door-to-door deportation squads could use that data to figure out who’s doors to break down, and his Muslim surveillance […]
The United States intelligence community has promised lawmakers it will provide as soon as January 2017 a public estimate of the number of Americans whose digital communications were subject to surveillance under the pretense of capturing foreign espionage, according to a bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers’ letter that Reuters saw and reports here.
The Intercept continues its work analyzing SID Today, the NSA’s internal employee newsletter, with a fresh release of 262 articles — these are in addition to the 166 articles published last spring.
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