Opinion: NSA's surveillance programs are the "most serious attacks on free speech we’ve ever seen."

The NSA's state surveillance programs are anti-democratic and unconstitutional. They could be the most serious attacks on free speech we’ve ever seen.

On Sunday, U.K. intelligence officers held Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda for nine hours at Heathrow Airport, confiscating his laptop, phone and documents and even forcing him to reveal his passwords to online accounts.

And on Monday, we learned that the British intelligence unit GCHQ demanded that the Guardian return all of the data related to Edward Snowden’s leaks. The agents stormed the Guardian’s London headquarters--even though the NSA reporting is flowing from the paper's New York office--and oversaw the destruction of journalists’ computers and hard drives.

These were not just overly aggressive police actions. They were political moves designed to intimidate journalists and silence dissent. Read the rest