The flurry or reporting about Edward Snowden and NSA’s PRISM program and the like is rich with things to talk about. To be certain, there are legal issues about Edward Snowden’s conduct, and there are also profound legal and Constitutional issues about spying on civilians in the conduct of fighting and preventing terrorism and acts of terror.
A story in Forbes this Sunday morning is about The Guardian/Observer news organization and how its under-resourced journalists pulled off a big story in the US with repercussions worldwide. That is good for their business as it is good journalism.
The reason why The Guardian journalists were successful, according to their editor, is that journalists were driven by personal passion for the topic of privacy and free speech as well as having to work with a laser focus on one topic at a time because they are resource-constrained. They could not be complacent or lazy also-rans. They had to break the news from an original investigation.
Now, how The Guardian journalists met Edward Snowden is a real story too. Did Snowden contact them, or did they contact Snowden. In the process, how were the two parties drawn into the conversation that broke the story? Is that a trade secret?
The angle of this article introduces “social media” as another dimension, and there is a spectrum of media in between, including what we do here at Politics usedview.com. Here, the purpose is not to be a “link farm,” a place where hired hacks simply repost other writers’ works. It is to provide a unique interpretation that sometimes leads to breaking new ground on a story.
What Forbes reports this morning is that the impetus for the latest Guardian news comes from a less than credible or respected source, Wayne Madsen. Forbes goes on to discredit Madsen, and explains how one can make a conspiracy theory type story by mixing facts, folklore, and fiction. The Forbes report is a valuable piece of journalism that one can only admire and wish one had written.
So here is some humble pie. Read the Forbes’ story as it is fruity.
“The Absolute Joy Of The Guardian’s Sting Over PRISM And The NSA
It looks like The Guardian/Observer* has managed to get itself mightily stung over a revelation about PRISM and the NSA. Which is all very amusing given the paper’s part in the Glenn Greenwald/Edward Snowden revelations. But what turns it into an absolute joy is that, while the news originally came from someone with, hmm, rather “out there” views, the actual information itself seems to be roughly true. And yet they’ve still taken the piece down.
The story starts here, at a site called The Privacy Surgeon. The site does an interview with an ex-NSA guy called Wayne Madsen. In which he claims that there are various European and other countries that cooperate with the NSA in the collection and then dissemination of information picked up from the monitoring of communications.