The digital revolution? It’s all a gift to the power of the state

On Monday the US justice department admitted it knew of every phone call made by 100 Associated Press reporters in April and May last year. It had seized the details, undisclosed, from the relevant phone companies. No reason was given. The department said it “valued the freedom of the press”, but – that phrase is always followed by but – it had to balance this against the public interest in security.This week also saw the boot on the other foot. Reporters at Bloomberg had access to restricted data via market tracking terminals that the firm had sold to Wall Street banks. The banks realised that reporters could follow “searches and keystrokes in their mergers and acquisitions departments” as a result of Bloomberg’s “spy in the office”. The company hurriedly apologised.

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