This week we saw how NSA Director General Keith Alexander called on the government to find a way to stop the free press from being . . . well . . . a free press and publish Snowden documents. This follows statements from Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other denouncing both Snowden and the media despite admissions (as a result of those disclosures) that the government has made a variety of violations of U.S. and international laws. Now, even as his country decries the disclosure of over monitoring of foreign leaders and citizens, British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he intends to stop English papers like the Guardian of informing of the public of the content of these Snowden documents.
Cameron announced that “If they (newspapers) don’t demonstrate some social responsibility it will be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act.”
The “social responsibility” referenced by Cameron does not appear to include informing the public of the attack on privacy or even the exercise of the rights of a free press. Indeed, informing the public on the effort to make their lives transparent to the government — even foreign governments — is viewed by Cameron as an abuse. It is a fascinating disconnect. Leaders are scrambling to public condemn U.S. programs and demand answers in the wake of the Snowden disclosures while trying to shutdown further disclosures. However, the problem now is not some whistleblower but the free press that is endangering society by informing it of the truth.