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And, yes, I DO take it personally: The war on whistleblowers: "We don’t need to ask who you’re talking to. We know."
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Monday, February 13, 2012

The war on whistleblowers: "We don’t need to ask who you’re talking to. We know."

an insightful and chilling reminder of the reality of the national security state that is the u.s. of a...

from yesterday's nyt...

“The government does not pursue every leak,” said Mark Corallo, who served as the Justice Department’s spokesman in Mr. Bush’s administration. “On balance, it is more important that the media have the ability to report. It’s important to our democracy.”

That does not seem to be the view of the Obama administration, which has brought more prosecutions against current or former government officials for providing classified information to the media than every previous administration combined.

“It increases the level of paranoia,” Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said of recent trends. “As security has been ratcheted up, so has the anxiety of many government officials about dealing with the press and the public.”

Mr. Corallo, who served under Mr. Bush’s attorney general John D. Ashcroft, said he was “sort of shocked” by the volume of leak prosecutions under President Obama. “We would have gotten hammered for it,” he said.


[Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press] ... described a conference in June organized by the Aspen Institute that brought together lawyers, journalists and intelligence officials to talk about government secrecy.


“I was told in a rather cocky manner” by a national security representative, Ms. Dalglish recalled, that “the Risen subpoena is one of the last you’ll see.”

She continued, paraphrasing the official: “We don’t need to ask who you’re talking to. We know.

The solution for reporters, Ms. Dalglish said, is to adopt Mr. Woodward’s methods from the 1970s. “For God’s sake, get off of e-mail,” she said. “Get off of your cellphone. Watch your credit cards. Watch your plane tickets. These guys in the N.S.A. know everything”.

Mr. Corallo, the former Justice Department spokesman, provided corresponding advice to government officials. “Don’t be stupid and use e-mail,” he said. “You have to meet a reporter face to face, hand him an envelope and walk away quickly.”

i have said more times than i care to count, if you use ANY form of electronic communication - mobile phone, email, atm, credit cards, wifi, any internet connection, even your supermarket affinity card - you can safely make the assumption that your EVERY transaction is being sniffed at minimum and very likely recorded for possible later retrieval and this holds true across the world... no country is safe...

(thanks to glenn greenwald for the tip...)

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