The Best From Glenn Greenwald’s AMA: The British Gov Lied, The NSA’s Vision, And What’s Coming Next

Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald took to Reddit today to answer questions regarding the NSA, Edward Snowden, and his current work breaking news concerning both.

The open-source interview is worth reading, but you are at work, so allow me to act as your guide. I have rephrased the questions asked for clarity.

Are more groundbreaking leaks coming?

There are definitely huge new stories to come: many more. I’ve said that from the start every time I was asked and I think people see by now that it’s true. In fact, as Janine said the other day, the documents and newsworthy revelations are so massive that no one news organization can possibly process them all.

With such a remote staff, how do you keep your work secret and safe from the very surveillance that you are exposing?

We use highly advanced means of encryption. Remember, the only ones whose op sec has proven horrible and who has lost control of huge numbers of documents is the NSA and GCHQ. We have lost control of nothing. All of the documents we have remain secure.

The British claimed to have cracked the confiscated computer of your partner David Miranda. Is that true?

They outright lied when they said he was carrying a password that allowed access to the documents. Indeed, on the same day they told that lie (to a gullible media that mindlessly repeated it as fact, as usual), the filed a separate affidavit saying it was urgent for them to keep possession of what they took from David because what he was carrying was “heavily encrypted” and they were able to only “reconstruct” 75 documents. Obviously, if he had a password that enabled access to the documents, then they would have been able to access them.

He did not, and thus they could not.

A comment on what mass surveillance means for free society:

A major reason why those in power always try to use surveillance is because surveillance = power. The more you know about someone, the more you can control and manipulate them in all sorts of ways. That is one reason a Surveillance State is so menacing to basic political liberties.

Have the documents proven that the government has broken the law?

I think there already are things clearly showing the government broke the law, including (but not only) the Constitution, but there is much more to come on that score.

2013-10-01_11h28_55Glenn Greenwald speaks with noted activist and polemicist Noam Chomsky and broadcast journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now.

In my view, the two most overlooked stories we’ve published are the one you reference (about the secret presidential directive signed by Obama to prepare for offensive cyber operations: essentially the militarization of the internet) and the document we recently published showing NSA gives unminimized commuincations [sic] of US persons to Israel with very few binding safeguards. [Emphasis original]

What is the goal of the NSA?

I think the public – not just in the US but worldwide – now has a basic idea of the objective of the NSA: to eliminate privacy worldwide, literally, by ensuring that every human electronic communication is subject to being collected, stored, analyzed and monitored by the NSA and its allies (UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia).

On Democrats: 

When I first began writing in 2005, I was focused primarily on the Bush NSA program, and I was able to build a large readership quickly because so many Democrats, progressives, liberal bloggers, etc, were so supportive of the work I was doing. That continued to be true through 2008.

Now, a mere four later, Democrats have become the most vehement defenders of the NSA and the most vicious attackers of my work on the NSA – often, some of the very same people cheering so loudly in 2006 and 2007 are the ones protesting most loudly and viciously now.

Gee, I wonder what changed? In the answer lies all you need to know about the Democratic Party.

That is a taste. If you have time over lunch or a cocktail, I recommend the full suite of Greenwald’s answers. I also recommend checking out the Guardian’s page on its Snowden coverage and following Greenwald, colleague Janine Gibson, and the Guardian on Twitter.

While the mass media and political organs of this country are focused on a government shutdown and a dollar fight, the NSA machinations roll on. Given the extent of current and past NSA revelations, we can only imagine what is coming next. That said, Greenwald has supported his claims about upcoming document releases by releasing documents and breaking ground. I don’t see a reason to doubt that he will continue to publish. I’m not privy in any sense to what Greenwald has coming next, but will continue to cover what he breaks to the best of my ability. More as it comes.

Image Credits: Glenn Greenwald and Eden, Janine and Jim