Glenn Greenwald's keynote at Freedom to Connect 2013

Joly sez, "On March 4-5 2013 the Internet Society's North America Bureau webcast the Freedom to Connect 2013 conference in Washington DC. One keynote speaker was Glenn Greenwald, who has recently come to international attention as the journalist who broke the NSA surveillance story. In his hour long speech, he talks about Aaron Swartz, the imbalance of justice, the growth of the surveillance state, the nature of power in the digital age, and its implications for Internet freedom. There are a couple of small glitches in the recording, for which we apologize."

VIDEO: Glenn Greenwald keynote at Freedom to Connect 2013 #f2c #netfreedom #prism (Thanks, Joly!)


  1. At the same time that certain partisans on the left are suddenly sidling away from Greenwald at Mach 10 now that he’s demonstrated that he’ll criticize Democrats as frankly as he will Republicans, the man is gaining a new level of respect from independents on both sides.

    1. I’ve been following his writing for several years. He has always been intellectually honest and logically consistent. He is not a partisan, although depending on the subject, it is possible to cast him as a partisan. I don’t always agree with his conclusions, but more often than not, I see how he arrives at them and why he supports them. 

      Most importantly, he understands that the job of a journalist is to try to speak truth to power. We could use a few more like him.

    2. The good thing about Greenwald is that he’s more of a liberal than a Democrat.  He’s been criticizing Democrats since they started enabling the Bush administration to do all the damage it did.  And he’s been a harsh critic of Obama since he first flip-flopped on telecom immunity during the ’08 campaign.

    3.  Democrats are on the left? Last I checked, they’re centrists (with Republicans being the right). We have no functional left in the United States.

      1. Hence the independents, such as Greenwald. Official Democratic policy tends slightly left-of-center, while what the party elect actually do tends slightly right-of-center. Partisans are generally more willing to suborn, to party loyalty, their misgivings about that dissonance. There are some people who believe that criticism is a sign of weakness. Glenn Greenwald is, to his credit, evidently not one of them.

        Even that’s a bit of an oversimplification, since the left/right spectrum is somewhat arbitrary.

    4.  He’s been criticizing the Democrats for the last 6 years at least, as long as I’ve been reading him.

  2. A brilliant speech, replete with Greenwald’s trademark controlled fury, as that one disillusioned guy said. He crystallised so much for me, but when he said he wasn’t hopeless the best I could manage was being on the fence there…

    And who was that lawyer Karen ____? I have NFI if she was a raving kook or straight up. Pretty hard to google her without a surname.

    1. Karen Hudes.  

      Spoiler alert: even after Googling, it’s still kind of hard to tell.

      1. Well, perhaps it makes sense to recalibrate one’s bullshit meter, since it’s apparent that the powers that be seem to be hiding in plain sight by exploiting people’s incredulity…

          1. As someone who’s deeply sceptical about the supposed existence of free will, I agree entirely.

            However, IMO this is one demographic that’s quite likely to respond to vicious deterrents.

          2. Aye, but, as with the overuse of antibiotics, they may curb the infection for a time, and time is valuable, but the infection will eventually adapt if you don’t deal with it at a systemic level.

            To even begin to address the existence or nonexistence of free will, it’s first necessary to have more exacting definitions and parameters than the term generally conveys. Most philosophers who talk about free will, even the great luminaries, fail to first establish their boundary conditions. The result is often brilliant insights built upon a shaky foundation, IMO.

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