A year ago this month, former NSA worker Edward Snowden became the man behind the biggest intelligence leak in history. What tangible effects has the Snowden story had one year on?
Snowden’s revelations outraged many Americans, including members of Congress who drew up a law designed to rein in intelligence agencies, America has 18 of them, but pushback from the security establishment meant the bill that eventually passed was watered down to such an extent that privacy advocates dismissed it as a sham.
Google and Facebook are among the heavy hitters who are now in on this debate; there is a campaign called Reset The Net, pushing for an internet that is safer from government snooping. Until that happens, journalists are among those who, over the past year, have started encrypting their communications, fearing for their professional safety or just trying to preserve the anonymity of their sources. There are many others. Our starting point this week is Moscow.
Newsbytes this week: Egypt’s best-known bloggers, Alaa Abdel Fattah, sentenced to 15 years in prison. The showdown between Geo TV in Pakistan and the ISI – the national intelligence service – has knocked Geo off the air. The US state department wants to take the propaganda fight to Boko Haram – by launching a TV channel in the rebel group’s stronghold, northern Nigeria.
Our feature: Islamophobia in the British media. In 2005, Britain had the 7/7 attacks which also affected the media in the UK. Read the British press, and not just the tabloids, or go online and there are some scary stories about Muslims – the most recent being one on a supposed “secret” Islamic plot to radicalise school students in Birmingham.
There is a steady stream of reports on Muslim women and whether they should be covered or not, Sharia law and a recent story on what’s being called the “surreptitious” serving of halal meat to “unsuspecting” Britons. Is the UK, as reflected through its media, Islamophobic? Or is this just a case of a community growing and the news media failing to cover them accurately? The Listening Post’s Nic Muirhead on Islam and the British media.
With the World Cup kicking off this week, we scoured the web for an appropriate video. This little film, BOUNCE – This is not a freestyle movie, follows a Montreal based film-maker Guillaume Blanchet, free styling with his football in different places around the globe.
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