Pulitzer winner Glenn Greenwald to speak on surveillance and privacy Saturday in Ottawa

Portrait of Glenn Greenwald -creator of Unclaimed Territory blog and contributing writer at Salon.com 2007 image by Glenn Greenwald, Wikimedia Commons

Glenn Greenwald, creator of Unclaimed Territory blog and contributing writer at Salon.com. Photo:  Glenn Greenwald, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

For those who follow broad issues of privacy and government surveillance, or specific cases – like Edward Snowden – here’s a heads-up that Glenn Greenwald will speak in Ottawa Saturday evening at 6:30 pm. (There is an admission charge.)

As described by event publicity:

Glenn Greenwald along with his colleagues at The Guardian was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his work on the Edward Snowden NSA documents. Glenn is also a NYT best selling author and frequent commenter on CBC, MSNBC, Morning Joe, and Democracy Now. Glenn Greenwald is now recognized as one of the most influential journalists in America.

Glenn will be speaking about state surveillance, privacy and its impact on Canadians. CSEC, Canadian Security Establishment Canada, is Canada’s version of the NSA. CSEC is a full partner in Five Eyes. CSEC is putting the final touches on their new facility in Ottawa, at $1.5 billion dollars, it is the most expensive building ever built in Canada. What are they doing there? Come join us and find out.

Government’s response to terrorism has, of course, become even more topical with the sobering events of the past week in Canada.

Here’s a sample of Greenwald’s positions in a 10/17 Q & A with Ian MacLeod for the Ottawa Citizen

Q. How does Canada fare at balancing national security and civil liberty?

A. I don’t think it fares very well at all. Canadians have this image of themselves as being more enlightened, more progressive, less radical and extreme than the United States, and there’s probably some extent to which that still is true, but that’s not a very high bar.

The reality is that Canada has been a very eager, submissive partner to the United States and the war on terror generally and on questions of surveillance specifically. This “collect-it-all” mentality, surveilling without limits, this is not an American policy, it’s a Five Eyes policy of which Canada is a crucial member, a very active and enthusiastic member. (Five Eyes is the informal name for the security intelligence alliance among Canada, the U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand.)

In this 10/23 interview on CBC’s “As It Happens“, Greenwald defended a rational (but awkwardly-timed) view that Canada’s 13-year participation in military action in world hot spots means no one should be be surprised by counter-attacks on Canadian soil.

Topical stuff indeed, in a country grappling with fresh trauma.

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10 Comments on “Pulitzer winner Glenn Greenwald to speak on surveillance and privacy Saturday in Ottawa”

  1. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Wish I could go. Tell Glenn “thanks for your work” for me.

  2. Pete Klein says:

    I have very mixed feelings on surveillance and privacy, surveillance more so than privacy.
    I don’t like the increased security at the borders. It makes me to think I never want to leave the country.
    A problem not discussed is how all the security stuff makes me think – “If the government doesn’t trust me, why should I trust it?”
    Privacy is a different animal. I don’t see privacy as a goal. I have no desire to keep my thoughts to myself. Smile! You’re on candid camera. The only thing I ask is that you can look all you want, just don’t touch unless you want a punch in the nose.

  3. The Original Larry says:

    Aside from the perfunctory security checks at airports, how does this affect the average citizen? It doesn’t. Sure, the idea of such surveillance is troubling and care should be taken that it doesn’t get out of control, but what else can we do, especially in a time when terrorists are recruiting jihadists for operations here at home (and in the other Five Eye countries as well)?

  4. Thank you to a great American patriot.

  5. What else can we do? Clearly our long-term goal should be to dismantle the militarist state. All our foreign meddling does is to create more and more enemies by giving otherwise neutral people more and more perfectly legitimate reasons to hate us.

    Think of it this way. Many people hate our government because it forces us to register firearms or because it is perceived to not be doing enough to control our borders. If those are enough to make you hate our government, then surely a drone blowing up your house and killing your family because a suspected terrorist is thought to live in the general vicinity will make you hate us even more.

    In addition to being more moral, more Christian if you will, dismantling the militarist state is a heck of a lot cheaper. All that money we’re wasting on destroying other countries and then rebuilding them as well as the money we’re spending on the Big Brother state, that could easily be used to build infrastructure here in America, beef up social programs AND lower taxes.

  6. The Original Larry says:

    Be serious. Like every other show of weakness, dismantling the “militarist state” will embolden our enemies and encourage them to try to impose their will on us. It has always been so. Read history.

  7. Walker says:

    Yeah, Larry, like our show of strength in Iraq did us a world of good. Talk about emboldening our enemies!

  8. The Original Larry says:

    We might have done better if not for the weakness demonstrated by a significant portion of the American people. How do you people think nations protect themselves and their citizens in this world? How do we get things done? By apologizing to our enemies and promising to do better? I can already hear the laughter coming from Iran…

  9. Lucy Martin says:

    Read Ottawa Citizen coverage of Greenwald’s Saturday talk here.

  10. The Original Larry says:

    “Unless citizens rebel and demand transparency and accountability, Greenwald believes one ultimate consequence could be an endless war between the West, Muslim nations, and extremist movements.”

    I have bad news for Mr. Greenwald: we are already in an endless war with the Muslim world. The origins of the war are as old as Islam, as is the debate about what started it and how to end it. One thing is certain: appeasement is never the right answer.

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