NSA spying: the effects on those who exposed it

But what about those who have exposed the scope of NSA spying?

• The editor of the Guardian, the British newspaper that in June published the first reports based on the Edward Snowden leaks, appeared before Parliament on Tuesday and described what the newspaper has gone through in the aftermath of the revelations about the British and American governments’ mass surveillance programs — which includes the collection of massive amounts of electronic data and communications.

“They include prior restraint, they include a senior Whitehall official coming to see me to say: ‘There has been enough debate now’. They include asking for the destruction of our disks. They include MPs calling for the police to prosecute the editor. So there are things that are inconceivable in the U.S.,” Alan Rusbridger said, according to the Guardian.

At one point Tuesday, Rusbridger was asked whether he loved his country.

“I’m slightly surprised to be asked the question. But, yes, we are patriots and one of the things we are patriotic about is the nature of democracy, the nature of a free press and the fact that one can in this country discuss and report these things,” the editor said, according to the Guardian.

Newspapers that have published information based on the Snowden leaks are subject to what the New York Times calls a “harsh new reporting environment,” as governments — citing national-security concerns — try to get their hands on the documents from which the next revelation may come.

Precautions the Guardian has taken include refraining from using cell phones and other electronic devices, and in-person meetings, when discussing the Snowden documents, according to the Times.

Rolling Stone has a piece that profiles both Snowden, the former government tech contractor who leaked the NSA documents, and Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who wrote about them, first for the Guardian and for other publications since.

Greenwald comes across as hard-hitting, dogged and just about every other adjective you can think of to describe someone who’s determined. Snowden comes across as someone who had thought through what he was doing — he was disillusioned by what he had discovered, but still idealistic about how his leaking of the information might help bring about change.

The Rolling Stone piece paints a timeline — the before, during and after — of the Snowden leaks. The after, of course is ongoing. Snowden, who’s now wanted by the U.S. government, is living in asylum in Russia. The magazine notes that Snowden’s every move is most likely being monitored.


Photo: Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, arrives at Portcullis House in London on Dec. 3 to appear before lawmakers to defend his newspaper’s publication of intelligence documents leaked by Edward Snowden. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)



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