Saturday, May 21, 2016

Governments Hating On Press Freedom More, Says Reporters Without Borders // Glenn Greenwald - Access to the Snowden Archive

The press freedom group Reporters Without Borders has issued the 2016 edition of its annual World Press Freedom Index. Let's just say that the news is not good. Dictators, party hacks, caudillos, kings, petty bureaucrats, spy agencies, and even the Obama administration 
just want reporters to shut up. Republican presidential candidate frontrunner Donald Trump wants to "open up our libel laws so when they [reporters] write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money." 

Shades of the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 which, as USHistory.org explains, "prohibited public opposition to the government. Fines and imprisonment could be used against those who 'write, print, utter, or publish . . . any false, scandalous and malicious writing' against the government."

Of course, the kinds of government pressures and harassment faced by journalists in the U.S. and most other industrialized countries is small potatoes when compared to the deadly dangers faced by reporters in China, the Arab World, much of Africa, and in many Latin American countries. Reporters Without Borders notes that its 2016 edition of the World Press Freedom Index ...shows that there has been a deep and disturbing decline in respect for media freedom at both the global and regional levels. Ever since the 2013 index, Reporters Without Borders has been calculating indicators of the overall level of media freedom violations in each of the world’s regions and worldwide. The higher the figure, the worse the situation. The global indicator has gone from 3719 points last year to 3857 points this year, a 3.71% deterioration. The decline since 2013 is 13.6%.  ...
Read more:
http://reason.com/blog/2016/04/21/governments-hating-on-press-freedom-more

Glenn Greenwald - Access to the Snowden Archive
... The first measure involves the publication of large batches of documents. We are, beginning today, publishing in installments the NSA’s internal SIDtoday newsletters, which span more than a decade beginning after 9/11. We are starting with the oldest SIDtoday articles, from 2003, and working our way through the most recent in our archive, from 2012. Our first release contains 166 documents, all from 2003, and we will periodically release batches until we have made public the entire set. The documents are available on a special section of The Intercept. The SIDtoday documents run a wide gamut: from serious, detailed reports on top secret NSA surveillance programs to breezy, trivial meanderings of analysts’ trips and vacations, with much in between. Many are self-serving and boastful, designed to justify budgets or impress supervisors. Others contain obvious errors or mindless parroting of public source material. But some SIDtoday articles have been the basis of significant revelations from the archive. Accompanying the release of these documents are summaries of the content of each, along with a story about NSA’s role in Guantánamo interrogations, a lengthy roundup of other intriguing information gleaned from these files, and a profile of SIDtoday. We encourage other journalists, researchers, and interested parties to comb through these documents