NSA Makes Latest 'Enemies of the Internet' List


Enemies of the Internet
Reporters Without Borders

If any publicity is good publicity, the National Security Agency (NSA) is just rolling in it. The latest headline grabber is the high-profile electronic surveillance agency's ranking—along with its British counterpart, Government Commmunications Headquarters (GCHQ)—on a list of "enemies of the Internet" that otherwise features the usual scurvy screw of thumbscrew-friendly authoritarian regimes. The listing comes, of course, courtesy of the NSA's widely publicized (by Edward Snowden) spying on the communications activities of Americans and the world at large.

Published by Reporters Without Borders, Enemies of the Internet 2014 lists the NSA and GCHQ among such notables as Cuba, Iran, Russia, Syria, and a cabal of western firms that sell surveillance technology to the sort of governments that make decent people squeamish. Most of the names on the list are no surprise. Cuba's communist dictatorship "denies most of its population free access to the Internet"? You don't say. Syria's thuggish rulers "monitor the Web and trace activists and dissidents"? Few of us thought otherwise.

But that's exactly what makes the appearance of U.S. and U.K. government agencies so…unpleasant. Those governments are supposed to be better than that, though the realists among us know that government officials tend to aspire downward when it comes to respect for individual liberty. The NSA, the report notes, "has come to symbolize the abuses by the world's intelligence agencies."

But, if the NSA gets slammed both by the specifics of its entry in the report and by the company it keeps, the U.K.'s government is in for even worse treatment.

"The U.S. edition of The Guardian is still able to publish information from Edward Snowden, while the British edition is not," the report asserts. That doesn't seem to be quite true, yet, though the British government is reportedly considering reinstating censorship of such matters after raking the the newspaper over coals over the Snowden revelations.

More bluntly, the report quotes Snowden commenting about the GCHQ, "They are worse than the U.S."

Which might soften some of the sting for Americans. Or just make it worse for Britons.

NEXT: Nick Gillespie on Fox News' Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld Tonite!

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  1. Weird that SugarFree didn’t make the list this year.

  2. Again, thank you Ed Snowden.

  3. What does it say about me that when I saw this headline, my first thought is that the NSA had put together an “enemies of the internet” list?

    1. I thought it was gonna be a selfie.

  4. I thought the same thing Andrew.

  5. Comments on missing place story at Dailymail website:

    If this was an American plane they’d have found it already. All these theories that it’s somewhere…in an age of GPS, they ‘can’t find a plane’ with all it’s high tech equipment, all the mobile phones that passengers would have had. NASA can find a star in another galaxy, light years away and we can’t even find a plane on this planet!!
    no doubt the usa played a part in the planes disappearance, they were trying to get rid of someone on the plane, this isnt somethine unusual for them to do, after all they have no regard for human life! ya Allah ya Latif please bring these people peace soon, it must be absolutely heartbreaking for them!
    is it possible that the plane has simply gone too high and entered space, where the gravity is less and they can’t communicate from? If so I would be worried they are running out of oxygen how long could they survive with the air on the plane?

    These people vote.


    1. No, no, the plane might’ve gone into space if it accidentally used its emergency warp drive.

      1. I’m sure she’s givin’ it all she’s got.

        1. I’m sure they all beamed to the secret Nazi moonbase in complete safety.

        2. Maybe if they just eject the warp core and detonate it…
          … I can’t promise anything, though.

    2. The only response to this is WTF! Its difficult to imagine this level of intellect outside of a daycare center or congressional office.

      #1 no understanding of technology and yes nasa can find planets but it takes years of dedicated research.

      #2 if it was the us we would have just used seals or drones and avoided all this attention.

      #3 don’t worry about it, if the plane did have enough power to make escape velocity their oxygen wouldn’t have been a problem. They would have lost cabin pressurization and heat long before the 30 min of oxygen ran out.

  6. OT


    Sir Lancelot, Knight of the Round Table, promised King Arthur not to return to Camelot until he had overthrown a major injustice.
    Lancelot got on his horse and rode north. Soon he came to a village where a man was weeping and wringing his hands in front of a charred and ruined blacksmith shop.

    “Good day, good smith,” said Sir Lancelot. “What grief troubles you?”

    “Alack, Sir Knight,” said the blacksmith, “I was not always as you see me now. Verily, my smithy was once renowned near and far as the best place to get horseshoes, swords and armor at a reasonable price. And my inn afforded shelter and good food and ale for weary travelers. But the Duke of Mouch learned of my good fortune and demanded that I pay him taxes to the value of half my wealth. He also accused him of violating the royal ale monopoly. So he sent his soldiers, who arrived before Matins and stave in my door, killing my dog and destroying my shop.”

    1. “Zwounds, thy tale causes my blood to rise,” said Sir Lancelot. “You must have justice from this Duke of Mouch. Go now to the King’s Justices and accuse the Duke of robbery and arson.”

      “How may a man of low estate, such as I, get justice from a Duke?” the blacksmith asked.

      “I will be your champion,” said Lancelot. “Let him defend himself in trial by combat.”

      On the tournament grounds at the Duke of Mouch’s castle, a large assemblage was gathered to watch the trial by combat between Sir Lancelot and the Duke. The Chief Justice read the blacksmith’s accusation, and Lancelot stepped forward as the blacksmith’s champion.

      “Will you try the issue in single combat with yon knight, O your Dukeness?” asked the Chief Justice.

      “I will appoint mine own champion to do battle on my behalf,” said the smirking Duke. “Behold Stu, the Three-Headed Dragon!”

      1. The sun’s light was obscured as the fearsome Stu flow toward the tournament ground, landing in the arena with such force that the stands wobbled and the mead spilled out of the cups of the spectators.

        “Yield now, Prance-a-Lot,” mocked the Duke, “and I will allow you to live.”
        “Verily,” said Sir Lancelot, “thou mayst bite me, villain!”

        Stu reared his three heads.

        “A dukedom is merely another name for the things we all do together,” said the first head, and belched flame in Lancelot’s direction.

        “You anti-tax zealots want children to starve,” said the second head, and fired a stream of sulphur toward the brave knight.

        “I bet you don’t like roads, either,” said the third head, spitting out a snarl of red tape.

        1. Sir Lancelot took out an icepack to cool down the first head’s flames. “A duke may only take from the people what the public interest requires, any more than that is mere theft,” Lancelot said as he sliced off the first head with a sweep of his sword.

          Lancelot put on a gas mask to avoid breathing the sulphur. “It is you who hurt the children by robbing, imprisoning and killing their parents,” he said, and poked the second head with his lance. The lance went through the eye and ? with remarkable accuracy ? found and destroyed the brain, killing the second head.

          “And as for you,” said Sir Lancelot to the third head, “the minimal public services the people pay for with their taxes do not justify exorbitant taxes and regulations.” And the bold knight seized the red tape and choked the third head with it.

          1. “I yield me,” whined the Duke, “only spare my life.”

            “Give the blacksmith your silver and gold plate to compensate him for his losses,” said Sir Lancelot, “and go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem to expiate your many offenses.”

            With the gold and silver plate, the blacksmith moved to another village and became a goldsmith. But first he fixed Sir Lancelot’s armor and shod his horse with new horseshoes. Then he made Sir Lancelot a monkey of brass, which Sir Lancelot drank to the very dregs and proclaimed that it wash the besht refreshment he had ever [hic] had.

            And may all tax-and-spend villains be served as Lancelot served the Duke, Amen.

            1. That may be the best short story not about rape I’ve ever seen posted in the comments section of a blog.

              1. Uh, I’m a little new here. I enjoyed the story, as well, but I was not aware that there have been multiple rape short stories in the past. Is this a competition?

                1. I’ll drop the snark and be direct, for once: one of the regular posters here has an ongoing series of short stories about the…uh…colorful time-traveling sexual escapades of a sasquatch-esque character loosely based on another HnR regular.

                  Basically, when you encounter a post with the word “SugarFree” over it around here, make sure there’s no one within eyesight of your computer screen that you’d consider “polite company”.

                  1. I thought he was/is an HnR irregular?

  7. OT, but Raw Story calls out Reason for inaccuracies in that food stamp, sex shop story posted earlier

    I checked and it looks like Elizabeth Nolan Brown made the appropriate update.

    1. They should be calling out WAFB, the news affiliate that originally reported the story that ENB was blogging about.

      I mean, there’s absolutely no evidence that the blog post was written in anything but good faith, but the comments on Raw Story there just start going off about how it’s typical of what corrupt, lying, lie-filled liars all libertarians (liebertarians?) are.

      1. After looking into it, it appears her article is generally true in the sense that TANF offers cash benefits that have almost no restrictions on them and thus could conceivably be spent on sex toys. The store just apparently has a policy against it and has not recorded any sales in that manner.

        She’s actually in the Raw Story comments section defending herself right now. It’s pretty awesome since she’s actually quoting her work and citing her sources.

        1. The store just apparently has a policy against it and has not recorded any sales in that manner.

          Aren’t sex toys a right?

  8. Pretty scary stuff when you think about it. Wow.


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