You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more.

The words of a Whitehall official (UK) to  of the Guardian.

I’m attending FourthCon this weekend, another in a continuing set of protests by the group RestoreTheFourth that is concerned with privacy rights, particularly in light of the NSA leaks.

The wonderful trailer for this event is below:

Why is RestoreTheFourth still protesting? They had their fun on July 4th but now it’s time to move on to the next thing in the news cycle.

This seems to be our prevailing attitude whenever something significant happens in the news. Are you still talking about the George Zimmerman verdict? How about Sandy Hook? We all acknowledge that these events bring up important issues worthy of public debate, but only for a week or two.

That’s one of the things that’s been notable about how the Guardian has been doing its reporting (and other papers like the Washington Post). New details of the NSA leak trickle out every week, including this one from the Washington Post about a recent NSA audit that found thousands of privacy violations. This kind of reporting, rather than a huge knowledge dump all at once, is an effort to keep the issue in the public consciousness, an effort that faces some long odds.

Alan Rusbridger reported yesterday on The Guardian about the detain of Glenn Greenwald’s (author of a lot of the initial Snowden coverage) partner and on the destruction of hard drives at the Guardian by British officials. Given the nature of our technological society, destroying a few hard drives has little impact on the actual reporting of a story, but it sends a powerful message.

Someone wants this reporting to stop.

You’ve had your fun. Now let’s move on.

We’re not about to.

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3 Comments

Filed under Trube On Tech

3 responses to “You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more.

  1. *applause* Ben, this is perfect. The US and UK governments are waiting for us to just get tired and give up. They’re going to have a long wait.

    The way UK officials harassed Greenwald’s partner is unreal. How can they possibly justify behavior like that?

    • It is unreal, and the wife asked what I think is a really good question, and one I don’t quite have the answer to: Why is the UK doing this at all? This is a US intelligence story relating to foreign nationals. If anything, the people of Britain should want to know more about it, as it is their e-mails that are being scanned and recorded, at least if they have contact with others in the US, or are in the US at the time. What’s the UK’s interest in shutting this reporting down? If Mr. Rimmer is watching from his perch in the UK, I’m wondering if he might like to chime in…

  2. Pingback: Fourth Con Travel Log (Day 1 – Friday) | [BTW] : Ben Trube, Writer

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