Upending the NSA’s illegal data sweep is a major triumph for the press, but claiming credit would mean crediting Edward Snowden

Week of May 24, 2015 The National Security Agency’s bulk capture of the phone records of millions of U.S. citizens was sweeping and invasive. Now we know it was also illegal, since a federal appeals court has said so. Meanwhile the man who exposed the program, the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, is still a […]

Edward Snowden deserves a stronger defense than the media are offering

The news media’s silence while some of their boldest sources are prosecuted or jailed is something I’ve been protesting for some time, so naturally I was pleased when The New York Times, in an eloquent editorial on New Year’s Day, urged the White House to show leniency toward Edward Snowden, the former contract worker for […]

Will the Snowden affair lead to the Internet’s breakup?

President Obama might as well have had on his Nobel laureate coat and tails back in August. That’s when he weighed in on the revelations from fugitive intelligence analyst Edward Snowden that had ignited a worldwide furor over the vast reach of previously undisclosed U.S. electronic snooping. The moment was reminiscent of Obama’s 2009 Nobel […]

U.S. is uniquely harsh in its panic over government secrets

By the standards of other countries, the U.S. approach to official secrecy is ferocious. For leaking hugely newsworthy information to the press, ex-intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who’s beseeching a score of countries for asylum, and Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier being tried by a military court in Maryland, face charges of espionage. They could go […]

Shouldn’t the news media fret over criminalizing the flow of important information?

In recent weeks, the gleaming Digital Age has been flipped over, exposing a dank underbelly of post-9/11 secrecy and surveillance reminiscent of a mid-20th Century police state, and implicating not just government but Silicon Valley too in harvesting and misusing information. I’m curious about where the news media fit into all this. After all, in […]