Feds See the Document Leak as an Opportunity for Surveillance and Control, by J.D. Tuccille

The Feds never pass up an opportunity to increase their surveillance and control. From J.D. Tuccille at reason.com:

Never underestimate officials’ ability to turn embarrassing moments into awful opportunities.

Several men sit in front of multiple monitors showing surveillance footage.

(Framestock Footages | Dreamstime.com

Another day, another government blunder used as an excuse to tighten the screws on the public in hopes of reducing the fallout from official incompetence. That’s a fair takeaway from efforts by the Biden administration and security agencies to lean on the media for reporting the contents of the recent intelligence leaks, and to plan expanded internet surveillance to catch inevitable future leakers.

Stop Looking at Me!

“We do believe that social media companies have a responsibility to their users and to the country to manage the private sector infrastructure that they create and now operate,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded last week to questions about a massive leak of military documents detailing everything from Pentagon assessments of Ukraine’s prospects in its war with Russia to apparent U.S. spying on its allies. “We normally urge companies to avoid facilitating those circulation of material detrimental to public safety and national security.”

Strictly speaking, it’s the job of governments to keep their own secrets. Private individuals and organizations have no responsibility to look away from information revealed to the world by random Air National Guard I.T. workers entrusted with sensitive intelligence. But when you’re a government flack trying to explain away the latest in a series of screw-ups, it must be tempting to wag your finger at a world that so stubbornly refuses to ignore your bouts of institutional Tourette syndrome. Of course, the surveillance state has some clever ideas for fixing the problem.

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