Helping you to #QuestionMore: How RT covered US surveillance scandals
It was in 2011 that US legislators introduced two controversial bills: The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act. Both SOPA and PIPA were largely seen as a crackdown on the internet, freedom of speech and privacy.
“But by using copyright as a wedge issue suddenly we are able to put this power into the hands of government. And then once they have it, it can be expanded and expanded to deal with a whole range of other things,” Reddit co-founder Programmer and net activist Aaron Swartz told RT in one of his several interviews with us.
At the time, Swartz himself was under investigation in a hacking case, after being accused of stealing content hosted on JSTOR, a digital archive used by universities and other research institutions.
In April 2012, RT spoke to Swartz for the last time, when discussing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, also known as CISPA, shortly before its approval by the House of Representatives.
Less than a year after that, Swartz, who himself was facing decades behind bars and a $1 million fine, committed a suicide. He was found hanged on January 11, 2013.
Swartz’s family accused the US government of killing the young man, who was 26 at the time.
Aaron Swartz was supported by the hacktivist group Anonymous that launched its “operations”, breaking into MIT – it pressed charges against Swartz – and the US State Department.
Several months later, in November 2013, Anonymous took the world by storm with its Million Mask March for the first time. Since day one, RT has been monitoring the movement, bringing its viewers and readers all the latest updates.
As the full picture of the extent of US surveillance came into view, RT made sure to reach out to observers on the front lines.
Journalist Glen Greenwald, among others, guided us through the scandal involving the US agency. He worked with Edward Snowden publishing the classified material he leaked about the NSA in May 2013.