In The Week magazine: the silly season is over - official
Press intimidation and the rights and wrongs of intervention in Syria are on this week's agenda
WHEN is a thief not a thief? When he's a whistleblower.
The extraordinary steps taken by Britain's secret services to recover the data stolen by Edward Snowden – thrusting their way into the Guardian's offices and demanding the destruction of digital evidence; detaining David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, for nine hours at Heathrow – have all been justified on the grounds that they are effectively "catching a thief".
But how can we ever challenge the relentless tendency of secret agencies to classify everything they get up to as "top secret" if anyone who tries to blow the whistle on their more dubious activities – think torture and rendition, think an unacknowledged license to read all our emails – is classed as a criminal (or a terrorist)?
Some of the biggest questions facing our democracy today – how do we safeguard the rights of responsible whistleblowers; who should decide if whistles are being blown in the public interest (Snowden?) or in the interests of rogues (Assange?) – come to light in the Controversy of the Week on press intimidation in Issue 935 of The Week, on sale now.
And if that isn't serious enough for you, we also cover in our Main Story the rights and wrongs of going to war with Syria. Silly season? You've got to be joking.