GLENN GREENWALD: As I leave, I really urge everyone to take note of, and stand against, what I and others have written about for years, but which is becoming increasingly more threatening: namely, a sustained and unprecedented
attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process in the US. That same menacing climate is now manifest in the UK as well, as evidenced by the truly stunning warnings issued this week by British Prime Minister David Cameron:
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 US 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.
There are extremist though influential factions in both countries which want to criminalize not only whistleblowing but the act of journalism itself (pdf). I’m not leaving because of those threats – if anything, they make me want to stay and continue to publish here – but I do believe it’s urgent that everyone who believes in basic press freedoms unite against this.
Allowing journalism to be criminalized is in nobody’s interest other than the states which are trying to achieve that. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in an 1804 letter to John Tyler:
Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.