Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Photo: Folded Sky Productions

“Chilling news for readers and writers alike: A new report has found that large numbers of American writers are concerned about government surveillance and are self-censoring their writing as a result.
     Some 85 percent of writers are worried about government surveillance of Americans, with 73 percent responding they have never been as worried about privacy rights and freedom of the press as they are today, according to a survey by the PEN American Center and the FDR Group.
     'Freedom of expression is under threat and, as a result, freedom of information is imperiled as well,' the report stated.
     The report, which surveyed 528 PEN members in October, found that government spying, including surveillance by the National Security Agency, has had a serious chilling effect on writers, some of whom are avoiding speaking about or writing on controversial topics as a result.”
— Husna Haq, The Christian Science Monitor
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“The [NSA] document [provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden] contends that the three Arabic-speaking targets have more contacts with affiliates of extremist groups, but does not suggest they themselves are involved in any terror plots. Instead, the NSA believes the targeted individuals radicalize people through the expression of controversial ideas via YouTube, Facebook and other social media websites. Their audience, both English and Arabic speakers, 'includes individuals who do not yet hold extremist views but who are susceptible to the extremist message,' the document states. The NSA says the speeches and writings of the six individuals resonate most in countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Kenya, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia. […]
From: International Herald Tribune (via Writing Cave)
     Another target [of surveillance], a foreign citizen the NSA describes as a 'respected academic,' holds the offending view that 'offensive jihad is justified,' and his vulnerabilities are listed as 'online promiscuity' and 'publishes articles without checking facts.' A third targeted radical is described as a 'well-known media celebrity' based in the Middle East who argues that 'the U.S perpetrated the 9/11 attack.' Under vulnerabilities, he is said to lead 'a glamorous lifestyle.' A fourth target, who argues that 'the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks on itself' is said to be vulnerable to accusations of 'deceitful use of funds.' The document expresses the hope that revealing damaging information about the individuals could undermine their perceived 'devotion to the jihadist cause.’”
— Ryan Gallagher, Ryan Grim, Glenn Greenwald; Huffington Post

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