When Johns Hopkins cryptography professor Matthew Green linked to news articles on the NSA’s efforts to bypass the encryption of electronic communications on his personal blog, he was asked by university official to remove the post from JHU servers and even implicitly threatened with legal action if he failed to comply. Later that same day, Hopkins thought better of their overreaction and withdrew their request. It’s an episode that Green now says was “no big deal.”
But what is a big deal is the atmosphere of paranoia that would spur a university to suggest that a professor “seek counsel” if he were to refuse to remove links to articles in the New York Times, The Guardian, and ProPublica.
Green points out that Department of Defense employees are banned from reading Guardian articles on the NSA leaks of Edward Snowden and argues that declaring the information taboo even after it has been made public “limits debate.”
For more information, read the article in the Baltimore Sun.