glenn-greenwald

There’s this new dynamic where journalists now sit on the same venue with one another all day long, which is twitter. They’re constantly monitoring how they’re being judged and assessed by their peers. There’s immediate feedback to whatever they do. So if they publish something that their peers dislike they get attacked and they get denounced and they get condemned– which nobody likes. And if they do something that is popular they get rewarded and praised and retweeted–and their social media following grows. It is, I think, the most powerful tool of generating groupthink that I’ve seen in my life time.  And there’s nothing worse in journalism than groupthink because journalists ought to be the ones pushing back against orthodoxies and conventions.
—  Glenn Greenwald
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… To urge that the CIA–the intelligence community–empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity! That is a prescription for destroying democracy over night in the name of saving it. And yet that’s what so many not just neocons but the neocons allies in the democratic party are cheering and it’s incredibly warped and dangerous…

It is hard to imagine having a government more secretive than the United States. Virtually everything that government does, of any significance, is conducted behind an extreme wall of secrecy. The very few leaks that we’ve had over the last decade are basically the only ways that we’ve had to learn what our government is doing.
—  Glenn Greenwald
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(via Joseph Gordon-Levitt Disappoints Shailene Woodley in ‘Snowden’ Trailer | Variety)

The trailer for the Oliver Stone movie Snowden shows a phone being popped into a microwave oven as a protective measure against eavesdropping, similar to opening sequence in the actual movie when Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) deposits both Laura Poitras’s (Melissa Leo’s) and Glenn Greenwald’s (Zachary Quinto’s) phones into the microwave, notice not into the refrigerator.

This Culture of Resistance correspondent tested microwave oven placement plugged and unplugged similarly to the video in Boing Boing by Mike Colombo covered here. Both tests failed, but unplugged, wrapped in tinfoil aluminum foil did work. See also commercially driven Faraday Cage: EMP protection and avoiding common DIY pitfalls.

When Edward Snowden was ready to leak the classified documents he’d stolen from the National Security Agency, the first journalist he contacted was Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald’s new book, No Place To Hide, tells the story of how he met Snowden, the editorial decisions he’s made and the revelations contained in the documents Snowden leaked.  

One of the revelations was about how the NSA intercepts shipments of computer network devices (like servers and routers), redirects them to a secret location and implants surveillance equipment: 

“This is one of the documents that I found the most remarkable… They literally interdict the package, take it back to the NSA’s location, they then open the package, (and these routers, servers and switches are intended to provide internet service to large groups of people, municipalities, or large corporations or companies or villages) –they physically implant a back door device internally in the product that would be undetectable to the eye. They then close the package, reseal it with the factory seal and then send it on to the unwitting user so that any communications that ever are transported over any of those products are automatically redirected into NSA repositories.

It’s a remarkably invasive program. There’s an entire unit and team in the NSA devoted to doing this on a regular basis… For many years, without evidence, the U.S. government was accusing the Chinese of doing exactly that with Chinese products and warning the world not to buy Chinese products—routers, switches and servers on the claim that that the Chinese government is implanting backdoors into it, and it turns out that it’s exactly what the U.S. government, through the NSA, is actually doing to American products.”

Photo Glenn Greewald. © Ludovic Carème for Télérama

All good journalism entails risk, by definition, because all good journalism makes someone powerful angry. It’s important to be rationally aware of those risks and take reasonable precautions, but not fixate on them or, under any circumstances, allow them to deter you in doing what you thin should be done. Fearlessness can be its own form of power.
—  Glenn Greenwald

“The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what they [the government] do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals.”  
~ Glenn Greenwald ~