Patrice Riemens on Fri, 4 Oct 2013 15:42:17 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> John Lanchester on the Snowden files (Guardian)

original to:

The Snowden files: why the British public should be worried about GCHQ

When the Guardian offered John Lanchester access to the GCHQ files, the
journalist and novelist was initially unconvinced. But what the papers
told him was alarming: that Britain is sliding towards an entirely new
kind of surveillance society

John Lanchester
The Guardian, Thursday 3 October 2013

In August, the editor of the Guardian rang me up and asked if I would
spend a week in New York, reading the GCHQ files whose UK copy the
Guardian was forced to destroy. His suggestion was that it might be
worthwhile to look at the material not from a perspective of making news
but from that of a novelist with an interest in the way we live now.

I took Alan Rusbridger up on his invitation, after an initial reluctance
that was based on two main reasons. The first of them was that I don't
share the instinctive sense felt by many on the left that it is always
wrong for states to have secrets. I'd put it more strongly than that:
democratic states need spies.


(Read on on the Guardian site, as the illustrations are essential for

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