Archive for human rights

The Glenn Greenwald Experience

Posted in Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2017 by kathydasilva

 

This evening, I traveled to the Royal Society of Arts headquarters, London, to see David Miranda and his partner former Guardian, award winning, journalist Glenn Greenwald, talk about their experiences subsequent to the Snowden revelations, and their return to a country that had been out of their reach for about four years. Leading the discussion was Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, Shadow Attorney General and member of the House of Lords. This was quite a unique event, in that Glenn Greenwald, and his partner David Miranda, had been at the center of the most controversial of whistle-blows, possibly this side of the millennial change. Here we are in the twenty first century and, society has become tight lipped, and hidden. We behave like mice who have been put in a maze, with only certain doors open to us for expression. Tonight, was all but, an hour. A very short hour. Only enough time to cover essential facts, about the two courageous subjects, who for all the glory of the huge Snowden, story had become fugitives, unable to guarantee their own safe transition between one country or another, with possible threats to their freedom, and indictments hanging in the air, like lightning strikes.

It was, an emotional moment for the two of them. David Miranda’s own account vividly described to a live audience, who sat completely transfixed, as he described his nine hour ordeal at the hands of British GCHQ operatives, who bombarded him with questions and threats of incarceration. He had had to leave all his personal laptop and mobile phone equipment with the port at which he had arrived, hoping for an onward flight to Rio his final destination. He had decided to sit the nine hour ordeal, without taking food, or allowing a local British lawyer, to be brought in, for his knowledge of the law was such that a prisoner is only allowed one call to a lawyer. He was quick witted enough to remember this fact. His partner Glenn, had been called only after three hours of David’s detention to tell him where he was and when to expect his return. The talk and exchange lasted about half an hour, with question time from an audience only given twenty minutes. But, clearly the audience had an eager interest, in the whole topic of surveillance state, and Glenn’s book No Place to Hide, which now is in paperback and available through all good bookstores and online, was barely mentioned.

The audience questions were fast and flowing and surprisingly, dominated by women, who were keen to explore the subject of state intrusion and privacy on the internet. One person had said the net had been lost (they meant to the globalist agenda), well I hope not, I hope encryption will still make privacy possible again. There could be many worlds within worlds in computing. The Tor Project has proven, that I.D.’s can be scrambled, and therefore state intrusion kept out. I am in favor of invention with this respect.

I wondered that how all of this discussion was going on, in a building, which had association with ‘royalty’. Something of an institutional background with the whole room, covered in painting from a classical past, that, had me thinking, how distracting particularly because one of the paintings had quite a lot of semi undressed ‘gods’, and nymphs dancing about in a country scene. And then again, what a perfect simmering down from the ‘high’ alert that the two men, had had to endure for four years. Why is it journalists revealing big stories, become, vilified, for their efforts?

My friend from the Assange vigil Emmy, stood up to ask some questions, at the end, and became quite emotional. She is a Greek citizen, who now lives in Britain, with her family. She is someone who, takes an active interest in politics in general, but, also particularly in her country of origin. Her point was to emphasize, the how we as a world community have become entangled with Amercan NSA surveillance and sometimes, without much discussion. That the prime minister of Greece had found his own phone tapped by the NSA/CIA and had been threatened, and made to leave his job, during the time of the Greek Olympic year, 2004. His family had been literally kidnapped, and his hand forced. The citizens of Greece had been victims surveillance by the NSA initially for security during the Olympics, but the surveillance had continued for nine months afterward, when it should have come to an end. The publication of this fact, had only just recently come to light, and it was indeed Pierre Omidyar’s, The Intercept, who Glenn Greenwald writes for,  that had brought it to her and the public’s attention. So much has been occurring, in all of the European countries,  with regard to a tightening security grip, without public knowledge. Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, whilst on the whole did a splendid job of presentation, could not handle, the emotions being, poured out at the end of the talk with Glenn Greenwald and his partner David Miranda. In fact it slightly became frustrating, that not enough was discussed due to the small amount of question time.

I am pleased to have seen Glenn Greenwald live tonight and indeed to have listened to David Miranda tell of  his involvement in the Snowden revelations. I wished we could have had more time! Why no signing of his books??.. I was hopeful to get my hard back copy signed!

 

 

 

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