NSA spying? There’s a news roundup for that.
• U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies targeted whistleblower site WikiLeaks, according to documents provided by former NSA tech contractor Edward Snowden. The Intercept reports that Britain’s GCHQ monitored visitors to the WikiLeaks website, and that the United States urged other nations to prosecute WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange. Assange and WikiLeaks published classified U.S. government and military information.
“The NSA and its U.K. accomplices show no respect for the rule of law, ” Assange told the Intercept. “But there is a cost to conducting illicit actions against a media organization.”
The Intercept also said that the NSA was setting its sights on hacktivist group Anonymous and users of file-sharing site Pirate Bay.
Reaction from the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer: “Publishers who disclose abuses of government power should not be subjected to invasive surveillance for having done so.”
• By the way, a lawyer for Snowden was reportedly detained at London’s Heathrow Airport over the weekend. Jesselyn Radack, who coincidentally was on her way to Ecuador to meet with Assange, was also asked about Snowden by a customs agent. Turns out she’s on an “inhibited persons” list.
“I feel like lawyers and journalists are now beginning to be targeted at the borders of countries in the Western Hemisphere, in so-called democratic countries. It’s a threat to press freedoms when journalists are questioned. And it’s a threat to the integrity of the judicial system when attorney who are working on someone’s case are being harassed or intimidated on the basis of who they represent,” Radack told RT.
• James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, tells the Daily Beast that he thinks some transparency might have gone a long way: “Had we been transparent about this from the outset right after 9/11 — which is the genesis of the 215 program — we wouldn’t have had the problem we had.” The government has invoked Section 215 of the Patriot Act to justify its surveillance tactics, including the mass collection of phone records. (By the way, we’ve written that the author of the Patriot Act has called for the firing of Clapper.)
Photo of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images