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A New Kind of Leaker for an Internet Age (NYT)
What does a leaker look like? Sometimes, people who reveal secrets remain in the shadows, and the public is left to guess at their motivations, agendas and states of mind. Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old man behind the recent revelations about the National Security Agency’s pursuit of phone and computer data, upended that history. He is a new kind of leaker of the wired age: an immediately visible one with a voice and the means to go direct with the public. In a era of friction-free Web communication, he disdained the shadows and stepped into view with a lengthy video interview he gave to The Guardian, which broke the story based on information he provided. He stated his motivation plainly, saying, “The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.” HuffPost / The Backstory The Guardian has labeled Snowden a whistleblower after the NSA contractor revealed himself Sunday as the source for several recent surveillance scoops. But some news organizations have been less quick to describe Snowden as a “whistleblower,” opting instead for terms like “source” or “leaker.” The Washington Post / Erik Wemple News organizations’ hesitancy to use “whistleblower” may well derive from the term’s meaning. According to this definition, a whistleblower is an “informant who exposes wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it.” Clearly Snowden was looking to stop something here, but whether it was wrongdoing depends on whether you’re director of national intelligence James Clapper or, say, a civil liberties advocate. The Guardian Snowden is a “hero” who has exposed “one of the most serious events of the decade — the creeping formulation of a mass surveillance state,” Julian Assange said on Monday. The WikiLeaks founder said the question of surveillance abuses by states and tech companies was “something that I and many other journalists and civil libertarians have been campaigning about for a long time. It is very pleasing to see such clear and concrete proof presented to the public.” The New Yorker / Daily Comment He is a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison. The American government, and its democracy, are flawed institutions. But our system offers legal options to disgruntled government employees and contractors. They can take advantage of federal whistleblower laws; they can bring their complaints to Congress; they can try to protest within the institutions where they work. But Snowden did none of this. Instead, in an act that speaks more to his ego than his conscience, he threw the secrets he knew up in the air — and trusted, somehow, that good would come of it. We all now have to hope that he’s right. Read more
Posts Tagged ‘The Times’
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Two weeks ago, Rupert Murdoch‘s The Times and The Sun threatened legal action against U.K. aggregator NewsNow.co.uk for ripping off its content for its scrolling chyrons. Then again, Murdoch is going after everyone these days to take down feeds from his papers (see: Google).
But now The Mirror, a British paper not owned by News International, is following suit and demanding that their content be taken down from the British site, which voluntarily switches on and off from several major newspapers, reprinting their content. Says Mirror digital director Matt Kelly, “We’re not big fans of their business model.”
First pay walls, and now going after aggregators…as much as media critics love to decry Murdoch’s methods, they very often fall into line with them eventually.
Read More: Mirror.co.uk Follows News Int. In Blocking NewsNow –PaidContent
Previously: Murdoch Pulls British Papers From Aggregator
Looks like Rupert Murdoch is not giving up on his 2010 resolution to stop directing traffic towards any of his newspapers’ Web sites.
Murdoch’s News International confirmed yesterday that it is blocking British Web aggregator NewsNow.co.uk from crawling its U.K. newspaper Web sites, including News of The World, The Sun and The Times, essentially eliminating links to those sites’ content on the aggregator’s site. Some noticed on Friday that The Times‘ online content was no longer on NewsNow.
Explained a News International spokesperson in a statement:
“NewsNow has been using Times Online content as part of its paid-for, commercial as well as free services. They have continued to do so despite our direct requests for them to stop. As a result, we have taken the decision to disallow their indexing of our content.”
So we ask FishbowlNY readers: how long until Google gets a similar treatment from Murdoch’s companies, now that they’ve finally got the ball rolling on blocking aggregators? Does it take using News Corp. products as part of paid content to push Murdoch to the edge?
Read More: News International to block NewsNow from all its websites –The Guardian
At first we thought this may have been news about The New York Times and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. planning to build a pay wall for his newspaper’s Web site, but apparently they are catching pay wall fever across the sea, too. The Times, owned by News International, is planning on charging for online access as well, as editor James Harding announced today.