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The Media Government Privacy

The Register: 4 Ways the Guardian Could Have Protected Snowden 233

Posted by timothy
from the do-can-you-trust-them dept.
Frosty Piss writes with this excerpt from The Register: "The Guardian's editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger fears journalists – and, by extension, everyone – will be reduced to using pen and paper to avoid prying American and British spooks online. And his reporters must fly around the world to hold face-to-face meetings with sources ('Not good for the environment, but increasingly the only way to operate') because they believe all their internet and phone chatter will be eavesdropped on by the NSA and GCHQ. 'It would be highly unadvisable for any journalist to regard any electronic means of communication as safe,' he wrote. El Reg would like to save The Guardian a few bob, and reduce the jet-setting lefty paper's carbon footprint, by suggesting some handy tips – most of them based on the NSA's own guidance."
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The Register: 4 Ways the Guardian Could Have Protected Snowden

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 23, 2013 @06:14PM (#44660575)

    "most of them based on the NSA's own guidance"

    Should you take guidance from people who have been proven to lie?

  • by sjbe (173966) on Friday August 23, 2013 @06:52PM (#44660821)

    Encryption: It's not hard

    Yes it is. It fails the mom test badly. More properly it is key management that is too difficult. The actual key generation can be automated mostly. Distribution and use of keys is inherently difficult with no obviously easy solution.

  • by globaljustin (574257) <justinglobal@gm a i l . com> on Friday August 23, 2013 @08:23PM (#44661335) Homepage Journal

    it was probably intentional not to go out of their way to protect him

    I agree...and I think you are being overly fair to the Guardian and Greenwald. They could have done this completely differently and Snowden would still have his job and hot 'girlfriend'...

    Anonymous source.

    IMHO, Greenwald and the Guardian led Snowden around like a sheep, taking advantage of his internal motivations for releasing the info.

    The truth is, Snowden's info isn't actually revealing of any *new* info, only operational details of already-reported on programs...and seriously it's common knowledge that the Feds could spy on us via the Patriot Act.

    Read it for yourself [usatoday.com], from USA Today in 2006:

    The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

    He broke the law technically, revealing info that was Top Secret, but it's not exactly "news"....unless you muckrake and take advantage of the fact that most journalists never understood what the Patriot Act allows.

    It's all hype...we definitely could have had a "national conversation about privacy and surveillance" without all this flap!

  • Most importantly. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Friday August 23, 2013 @10:41PM (#44661981)

    7. Start doing steps 1-6 NOW. Routinely. Across your entire media organisation. When you don't need it.

    Don't wait until you're doing something you want to hide, then suddenly start using high-end crypto and data obfuscation and special networks to shout "LOOK AT ME, I HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE".

  • by newbie_fantod (514871) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @12:53AM (#44662333)

    It fails the mom test badly.

    Yes, but any moms who are editors of respected international journalistic institutions are probably smart enough to understand and use encryption.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 24, 2013 @09:37AM (#44663663)

    Personally I think El-Reg may be experiencing some professional jealousy.

    There's nothing professional about the way the "journalists" at El-Reg write. It's somewhere between a tabloid and a blog. It's not a newspaper like The Guardian, not even close. I've yet to read an article that wasn't dripping with personal bias and goofy sensationalism.

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