The key to most solved crimes is the snitch. They don’t tell you this on NCIS or Law and Order, but it is true. It has always been true.
The snitch is also the key to investigative reporting. The snitch knows what happened. He tells a reporter where to start looking for the needle in the haystack.
Today, the snitches know the truth: they have been bugged. The NSA and the FBI can track them down.
The age of snitch-based reporting needs a new level of encryption to be revived. But snitches now have a problem: nobody in government will be allowed to adopt encryption and keep his job. “What are you hiding?” We are told that “honest people have nothing to hide.” But people in government jobs have lots to hide. Their lives are spent hiding things. It’s “for your eyes only.” It’s when they turn honest that they are dangerous to the government.
Today, the NSA monitors all digital communications. It has for a decade. This is not going to change until Congress cuts off the NSA’s funding, most of which is hidden from Congress. Its real budget is revealed only on a “need to know” basis, and only those people in government who are willing to continue to fund it are determined by the NSA as having a need to know.
“Snitches, beware. Your tip can be traced.” They are getting the message.
The US government’s secret seizure of Associated Press phone records had a “chilling effect” on newsgathering by the agency and other news organizations, AP’s top executive said Wednesday.
“Some longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking with us,” AP president and chief executive Gary Pruitt said in a speech to the National Press Club.
“In some cases, government employees we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone. Others are reluctant to meet in person … This chilling effect on newsgathering is not just limited to AP.
“Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me that it has intimidated both official and nonofficial sources from speaking to them as well.”