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Beyond Intimidation of Journalists

Richard Stallman

August 2013

Glenn Greenwald wrote that the UK's attacks against David Miranda and the Guardian are meant to send a message of intimidation. I wish I could believe that, but I fear it is much worse.

The state bullies who interrogated Miranda surely knew that Greenwald would not be intimidated. The thugs that made the Guardian destroy its disks had already been informed that the Guardian would not be intimidated. Why strike a crude blow that will provoke condemnation and can't achieve its object? Perhaps because the true object is something else.

I fear that the object is not to intimidate investigative journalism, but to declare it criminal.

The UK state seeks to establish the principle that any leaked information about its pervasive surveillance is "stolen material" that "might be of use to terrorists", so that its possession is forbidden. If it defeats the opposition to this principle, that would make effective national security journalism a crime, so that the state could repress it with no holds barred.

Everyone in the UK that loves liberty must fight now to defeat this attempt.

Copyright 2013 Richard Stallman Released under Creative Commons Attribution Noderivatives