Time Magazine’s backhanded “Tribute” to Edward Snowden, runner up for their “
Man Person of the Year” shows that the NSA obviously got to the magazine beforehand to not only make sure that Snowden not win the title, but to also make sure that the magazine discredit Snowden as much as possible.
The entire article is riddled with the NSA talking points, for example, Snowden’s revelations caused (bold parts highlighted by us):
… financial damage to U.S. technology companies and an as yet uncertain harm to U.S. national interests, including documented changes in the way terrorists communicate online. ‘This increases the probability that a terrorist attack will get through‘” says General Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency (NSA). ‘I think it’s absolutely wrong.’
The article describes the NSA as
a place where U.S. law and policy did not recognize the right to privacy of foreigners operating outside the country
What? No, they are spying on all of us IN our country, not just foreigners.
“Surveillance is the business model of the Internet,” explains Bruce Schneier, a security technologist who has access to some of the documents Snowden provided.
Surveillance is the new norm? Huh?
Electronic intelligence historically focused on foreign governments and their public officials, but the hijackers who took down the World Trade Center were private individuals, born abroad and living in the homeland.
Good, bring up 9/11, and the fact that the terrorists were on U.S. soil, to justify the NSA spying on all US citizens.
For a time, the government sucked up similar metadata on Internet traffic as well. Cellular location data, mostly from foreign-owned phones
Foreign-owned phones, uh huh..
The agency hacked overseas cables and satellites and surreptitiously sucked information transiting among foreign cloud servers of U.S. technology companies like Google and Yahoo.
Their foreign servers that process emails from everyone, including US citizens?
The NSA is not the only one playing the game. It just does it better, on a grander scale, than anyone else, at least so far. Russia and China have similar surveillance infrastructures
Another talking point, everyone does it. The article is then peppered with lines like:
That is the thing that led him to break the law…
Are privacy protections a human right or just a convenience of nationality?
…providing the spies a back door to encrypted communications. Though the law-enforcement purpose of such an effort is clear, as terrorists and foreign powers experiment with encryption…
Snowden decided he had an individual obligation to defy his government and his own contractual obligations.
Snowden documents concern not mass surveillance but the targeting of foreign leaders. “They’re being put out in a way that does the maximum damage to NSA and our nation,” says Alexander. “And it’s hurting our industry.”
And finally, one big advertisement for how great, patriotic and law abiding the NSA is:
The NSA, for its part, has always prided itself on being different from the intelligence services of authoritarian regimes, and it has long collected far less information on Americans than it could.
The programs Snowden revealed in U.S. surveillance agencies, at least since the 1970s, are subject to a strict, regularly audited system of checks and balances and a complex set of rules that restrict the circumstances under which the data gathered on Americans can be reviewed. As a general rule, a court order is still expected to review the content of American phone calls and e-mail messages.
Indeed, none of the Snowden disclosures published to date have revealed any ongoing programs that clearly violate current law, at least in a way that any court has so far identified. Parts of all three branches of government had been briefed and had given their approval.
Congratulations Michael Scherer @michaelscherer for writing such a wonderful puff-piece for the NSA especially in these trying times for them, you must truly be proud of yourself as a journalist. You can read the Time article here.
The fact that Time Magazine had to write such a scathing article on Snowden, full of verbatim NSA talking points, shows that the magazine is less about journalism and more about propping up its own government. A truly missed opportunity for Time Magazine to prove to the world its dedication to the concept of a free press.
So we have the Pope, who is turning out to be a bit more progressive than recent popes, which is a good thing, as the winner of this year’s Time Magazine “Person of the Year” award.
Pope Francis gets to join ranks with other notable Time Magazine “Man of the Year” winners:
Congratulations to the winner!