Daily Archives: June 12, 2013

The Istanbul protests and the future of Turkish politics
What prompted the unrest in Istanbul? What does it mean? What does the future hold for Turkish politics and the wider region? Dan Dombey, Turkey correspondent, and Lex’s Vincent Boland, a former Turkey correspondent, join Gideon Rachman.

Gideon Rachman

Edward Snowden has now made it clear that he intends to stay in Hong Kong and fight extradition to the US through the local courts. Legal experts there seem to reckon that – if Hong Kong’s courts operate normally, then Snowden will probably be put back onto a plane to America.

However, Hong Kong is actually part of the People’s Republic of China. And, although under “one country, two systems”, the Hong Kong legal system is independent, China has the final say on matters affecting national security and foreign policy. So, if Beijing chose to classify the Snowden extradition in this way, it definitely could intervene to prevent it. The question is, how will the government in Beijing play this? 

News that the US government monitors vast amounts of private communications data has divided opinion at home and caused outrage in Europe. But what lengths do other countries go to in order to keep tabs on their citizens?

UK

It has been a requirement since 2009 for communication service providers to hold information about their customers’ use of communications for at least a year. (CSPs are a broad group that can include telephone companies, Skype and search engines).

The spy base at RAF Menwith Hill in north Yorkshire, England (Getty)

The government proposed further legislation that would require CSPs to collect additional information generated by third-party CSPs based outside the UK in order to access services like Gmail. The communications data bill was rejected by the Liberal Democrats, who were concerned that it would infringe civil liberties.
However, a recent terror attack in Woolwich, London, in which an army fusilier was killed in an apparent attack by Islamist extremists, prompted calls for the coalition government to resurrect its proposals.  

By Aranya Jain

♦ Ewen Macaskill describes how and why Edward Snowden revealed himself to the Guardian, starting with emails in February.
♦ Geoff Dyer examines the extent of government surveillance and why we might need a ‘Church committee for the digital age’.
♦ Turkey – The struggle for Taksim continues, and the stand-off is here to stay – any new developments will likely come from within Erdogan’s own party.
♦ A plea for help from Masanjia labour camp in China was hidden in Halloween decorations and found by a woman in Oregon, leading to an exposition of the camp’s brutal system.
♦ The North Pond Hermit of Maine has committed at least 1,000 burglaries over 27 years, while living alone in the woods.