US mass surveillance in the Pacific

Here’s my weekly Guardian column published today: What if China was beating the US at its own super-power game in the Pacific and we didn’t even notice? While Washington distracts itself with… shutdown shenanigans… and failed attempts to control the situation in the Middle East, president Obama’s “pivot to Asia”… looks increasingly shaky. Beijing is… quietly filling the gap,…

Inside the mind of a Chinese internet censor

A key theme of my book The Blogging Revolution is China’s extensive web censorship regime. Fast forward to 2013 and this story, via Reuters, offers unique details about the pathological desire to exercise control over citizens: In a modern office building on the outskirts of the Chinese city of Tianjin, rows of censors stare at…

Direct call for whistle-blowers to reveal what state shamefully denies

My following article appears in today’s Guardian: Revelations of British government intrusion of legitimate media reporting of… American-led, global surveillance… is a call to arms for journalists everywhere. Australian attorney general Mark Dreyfus recently claimed that Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden… weren’t whistle-blowers… because they were “politically motivated”, and neither man exposed government wrong-doing (in fact, both did in…

What Edward Snowden revelations say about indy journalism

An insightful feature in the New York Times magazine by Peter Maass on the role played by film-maker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald when discovering Edward Snowden and reporting his invaluable NSA revelations: Poitras and Greenwald… are an especially dramatic example of what outsider reporting looks like in 2013. They do not work in a…

China’s gargantuan web filtering system

There has never been anything like it in human history. Then again, the internet is the perfect tool for officials to monitor and censor material. Disturbing piece in the New York Review of Books by Perry Link: Every day in China, hundreds of messages are sent from government offices to website editors around the country…