David Cameron Threatens Newspapers Publishing Snowden Leaks

Credit: The Prime Minister's Office / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-NDCredit: The Prime Minister's Office / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-NDBritish Prime Minister David Cameron has made a scary statement about the publication of Edward Snowden’s revelations.

From Reuters:

Oct 28 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday his government was likely to act to stop newspapers publishing what he called damaging leaks from former U.S. intelligence operative Edward Snowden unless they began to behave more responsibly.

"If they (newspapers) don't demonstrate some social responsibility it will be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act," Cameron told parliament, saying Britain's Guardian newspaper had "gone on" to print damaging material after initially agreeing to destroy other sensitive data.

It is worth remembering that British officials already threatened The Guardian, which has been publishing stories relating to Snowden’s leaked documents, with legal action if servers containing copies of the information Snowden provided were not destroyed. Officials justified the move by claiming that Russia or China could hack into the servers and access the documents. Technicians from the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) oversaw the destruction of the servers last July, despite the fact that Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger had told government officials that copies of the information were stored outside of the U.K.

The news of Cameron’s comments come days after NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander said that “We ought to come up with a way of stopping” reporters from “selling” secrets.

Thankfully, it is unlikely that any government action in the U.K. is going to stop the information leaked by Edward Snowden from being revealed. As Rusbridger told British government officials, copies of the information is stored outside the U.K.

The latest NSA revelations have damaged the Obama administration’s relationship with some Europeans. It has been reported that the NSA monitored tens of millions of Spanish and French phone calls and that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone was targeted.

The reporting since the latest NSA news reveals that the U.S. government doesn't have its story straight when it comes to the NSA’s activities. After last week’s news relating to Merkel’s cell phone being targeted White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied that the Obama administration was targeting Merkel’s phone saying, “The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor.” However, reporting from the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper, based on information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, suggests that Obama did know about surveillance on Merkel’s phone, but that he only found out about the snooping in 2010 after being personally briefed by Gen. Alexander.

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  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    If they (newspapers) don't demonstrate some social responsibility it will be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act

    IOW: If the press doesn't step back into their role as the governments propaganda wing, the government will stop the press.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Thankfully, it is unlikely that any government action in the U.K. is going to stop the information leaked by Edward Snowden from being revealed.

    The fact that they could act to try it as troublesome enough.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Seriously, we might be seeing the end of the noble lie.

    That would be a remarkable development. The noble lie had a long run.

    We shouldn't expect to see governments give something like that up without a fight.

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Nobody here gives a rat's ass about free speech.

    The Brits seem to find it undignified to complain publicly. So whatever restrictions the govt imposes, they roll over and take it.

    Otherwise I like it here.

  • Tonio||

    Uh...what do you mean by "here"? HnR? USA?

  • Rasilio||

    From the use of "here" and "The Brits" I am assuming that he is a non Brit living in England and "here" refers to the UK.

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    American expat in Scotland

  • What Would Lou Reed Say||

    How'r the sheep?

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Absolutely delicious

  • Almanian!||

    If you're near Glasgow, I highly recommend the fried haggis on a stick at "Checks". If they're still around.

    Absolutely delectable.

  • Hyperion||

    Can you guys please take back Piers Morgan? We will throw in one Obama as a bonus gift.

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Careful or we will take all our star American TV actors back. :)

  • ||

    We're keeping Tom Mison, even if we have to put him in Warty's dungeon.

  • some guy||

    Would you still want Tom Mison after he emerged from Warty's dungeon?

  • SugarFree||

    No one emerges from Warty's dungeon.

  • some guy||


    Will she still want Tom Mison after he is explosively ejaculated from Warty's dungeon?

  • ||

    Sure - maybe he will have learned a thing or two about how to treat a lady.

  • Ken Shultz||

    From people in the UK I've known, I can vouch for this.

    They don't think people should be free to say whatever they want. That's why they have rabble movements like the Tea Party in America! Ever notice that in British dystopian fiction, America always seems to have dissolved into civil war? They think it's because of our "freedoms"....

    Seriously, there are reasons why we decided we didn't want to be British anymore. ...and there are plenty of people in the UK who still can't get their heads around that.

    You've never seen such shocked looks on people's faces until after you've said, "Because 'that's the way you do things in the UK' isn't a good enough reason to do...anything."

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    The more I get to know people over here (and this probably goes double for Scots) I see that they can be festily opinionated under the surface. But somehow in the public sphere it would be improper to not roll over and take it every time. I truly believe it is killing them as a nation more than anything else. Government cameras in my back yard? Sure why not? Assign every kid a government monitor to make sure they are being raised okay? Why not? (This just happened up here in Scotland.)

  • ||

    Didn't they ban glass pints there, too? Did that ever go through?

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Oh, I remember that now! What a great example of exactly what I'm talking about. I've only ever been poured a pint in a glass one though, up to and including last Friday.

  • Free Society||

    link to these child monitors plz?

  • Medical Physics Guy||

  • Free Society||

    The SNP administration’s Children and Young People Bill proposes that a named person, who could be a teacher, would be responsible for safeguarding a child’s welfare and liaising with their family.

    It's Melissa Harris-Perry's wet dream.

  • Tonio||

    Fuck off, Cameron. It will come out. Even if you intimidate the limey press into suppressing this someone, somewhere will publish.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm surprised Obama hasn't done this already. I guess Obama's been distracted by Benghazigate, having his plans to bomb Syria rejected by the American people, and distracted by Exchangegate--to spend much time threatening the press...

    And, then again, Cameron doesn't enjoy a Vulcan mind-meld relationship with the British press like Obama has with the American mainstream media--so I guess Obama has a lot less to worry about from them.

    Besides, what threats Cameron is making to the press, Obama already made to Snowden directly (and, by extension, to the American people). And which is worse, really: threatening a paper for printing the truth or threatening an American citizen for exposing the truth?

  • CE||

    You know who else cracked down on newspapers critical of his leadership?

  • What Would Lou Reed Say||

    Mister Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life"?

  • Ted S.||

    I think it was a different James Stewart movie you have in mind: in Mr. Smiht Goes to Washington, Jefferson Smith's political opponents back home go after the "boy scouts'" newspaper and even injure some of the kids to keep the news from becoming public.

  • Tonio||

    Pierre Trudeau?

  • Ken Shultz||

  • CE||

    I was thinking of Abraham Lincoln and John Adams, but good answers.

  • What Would Lou Reed Say||

    Speaking of news hot off the press:

    I'M DEAD!

    Film and 700 Reason staffer resports to follow!

  • Tonio||

    My, someone is butt-hurt. Just scroll down, bro.

  • What Would Lou Reed Say||

    You know who else was butt hurt...

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Here is the news from around here. I literally cannot understand this story and I have tried through several days of articles. The workers are ecstatic that the union backed down? Then who the hell does the union represent?


    And the owner guarantees 25 years of employment? What does owner even mean in this context?

  • tarran||

    HEre's what's happening as best I can tell:

    1) The labor unions in England are slavishly devoted to the Labor party, which is religiously committed to a superstitious policy of promoting energy poverty in the UK.

    2) Labor (the party) opposes fracking, so the unions were trying to prevent the conversion of the plant. Labor is hoping that the loss of natural gas supplies will force a greater dependence on unreliable power sources (the so called renewables).

    I hate the UK with a passion. They make good TV, but little else.

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Thanks, I didn't even get half of that.

    Up here Labour is actually to the right, of the SNP. Nearly everyone believes Scotland had it good until meanie Thatcher pulled the plug on all the subsidized industry...sad.

    At least the cops are unarmed...

  • RannedPall||

    As Mr. Homer J. Simpson would say: "Does anybody care what these Limeys* think?" Or something.

  • Almanian!||

    I guess 250+ years on, the Brits continue to demonstrate why getting those first couple amendments tacked on to the old Constitution was such a big deal.

    Jesus. Fuck you, David Cameron. Actually, fuck England in general.

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Pretty much everything bad here in Scotland can be easily traced to the English. Not that it absolves the Scots of their personal responsibility, it's just clear they contracted bad English habits like a disease.

  • Rasilio||

    "Not that it absolves the Scots of their personal responsibility,"

    You mean like not being able to stop fighting each other long enough to keep from being taken over by England (several times)?

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Sadly, they were finally taken over by England after going completely broke on a scam involving Panama. They couldn't even go out Braveheart style.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The last time their royal family took over England and they got absorbed.

  • BakedPenguin||


  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Classic stuff. How far he fell in taking those Star Wars prequels.

    This is the latest in good Scottish film, if you don't mind a naive cheesy musical : http://youtu.be/74WEwUnmH-Y

  • RannedPall||

    +1 Patriot Rebels

  • Sam Grove||


    not copies...is

  • Sevo||

    Ya know, we ought to revolt and kick the Brits out of here.

  • CE||

    Maybe let them have Canada.

  • Raston Bot||

    Now that Greenwald's leaving The Guardian, I see nothing to keep them from rolling over.



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