Appearing by telepresence robot, Edward Snowden speaks at TED2014 about surveillance and Internet freedom. The right to data privacy, he suggests, is not a partisan issue, but requires a fundamental rethink of the role of the internet in our lives — and the laws that protect it. “Your rights matter,” he say, “because you never know when you’re going to need them.” Chris Anderson interviews, with special guest Tim Berners-Lee.
Depending on where you live, free and open access to the information and entertainment found on the Internet might seem like more of a right than a privilege. But for folks who live in some of the world’s more restrictive societies, some or even most of the Internet remains tantalizingly out of reach, blocked by government censors and their firewalls.
On Saturday 20 July 2013, in the basement of the Guardian’s office in Kings Cross, London, watched by two GCHQ technicians, Guardian editors destroyed hard drives and memory cards on which encrypted files leaked by Edward Snowden had been stored. This is the first time footage of the event has been released.
The idiocy of this is astounding and shows just how much authorities have no idea how technology works.
The Prime Minister of a country sends a cabinet secretary to personally intimidate a newspaper editor. The Prime Minister’s Deputy National Security Adviser threatens to shut down the newspaper. Government agents get sent over to supervise the physical destruction of source material.
It’s what you’d expect from some kind of tin-pot dictatorship without any regards for freedom of speech or freedom of the press – but no, this is Great Britain in the 21st century.
There is a delusion among politicians that, by destroying a computer, you destroy the information. They did not think that 1) the information had already been published online and other people made copies or 2) that the newspaper likely had copies and the originals were safe somewhere else and could be copied and published again.