David Cameron threatens injunction against the Guardian to stop further Snowden leak publications

UK prime minister David Cameron has threatened to get a court order against the Guardian if it continues to publish the Snowden leaks. He accused the Guardian of having a "lah-di-dah, airy-fairy view" about the dangers of leaks, and said the if the paper didn't voluntarily censor itself out of a sense of "social responsibility" he would seek court injunctions against it.

The majority of the Snowden leaks have revealed crimes -- illegal spying, lying to Congress and Parliament, violation of international law. That these crimes were committed with the knowledge and approval of the highest levels of the US and UK government doesn't make them any less criminal. And what wasn't criminal was absolutely depraved in its indifference to the public good: for example, the UK government's Edgehill programme, which, with the US government's Bullrun program, sabotaged the security of software, hardware and cryptographic standards to the tune of USD250M/year.

There is nothing more cowardly and corrupt than a lawbreaking political leader who threatens the free press when they call him to account. I never liked Cameron, but with this, he's taken the Tories beyond their reputation of being "the nasty party" and turned them into full-blown Stalinists.

Cameron told MPs: "We have a free press, it's very important the press feels it is not pre-censored from what it writes and all the rest of it.

"The approach we have taken is to try to talk to the press and explain how damaging some of these things can be and that is why the Guardian did actually destroy some of the information and disks that they have. But they've now gone on and printed further material which is damaging.

"I don't want to have to use injunctions or D notices or the other tougher measures. I think it's much better to appeal to newspapers' sense of social responsibility. But if they don't demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act."

David Cameron makes veiled threat to media over NSA and GCHQ leaks [Nicholas Watt/The Guardian]

Notable Replies

  1. You must admit, threatening to get a court order is a far cry from threatening to have jack-booted thugs smash the printing presses. Not only that, but of course there are thousands of other channels Snowden could use. Such a court order would do nothing to stem the bleeding.

  2. Attacking the source (Snowden) hasn't worked. Ignoring it hasn't worked. Telling everybody to not worry hasn't worked. And now people are really getting angry. Only thing left, I guess, is to shoot the messenger. That always works, doesn't it?

  3. They already tried Jackbooted Thugs. The problem with pixels, hard to stomp out.

  4. "it's very important the press feels it is not pre-censored from what it writes" ... "But if they don't demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act."

    So which does he mean - pre-censored, or not pre-censored? He certainly has a lah-di-dah view of the dangers of censorship.

  5. Rindan says:

    They in fact did literally try jack booted thugs. They had thugs walk into the press office and destroy the information. Thankfully, such thugs failed to understand how easy it is to copy digital information.

    No shit.

    Cameron is a fucking idiot. I think that that man might be more of a fucking idiot than Bush was. He apparently doesn't realize that everything he does is just going to result in free press. The idea that Glenn is going to stop, is so laugh out loud funny, I have no words. Cameron can try and fail to shut down the Guardian and Glenn is just going to go to a nation that doesn't give a shit and keep on shouting. Hell, they can black bag Glenn, and it isn't going to stop as I am sure there is more than one "insurance" file floating around. At least Obama knows enough to keep his mouth shut and take it.

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