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AP: Reporters Exempt From Eavesdropping Bill (but not really)

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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:55 PM
Original message
AP: Reporters Exempt From Eavesdropping Bill (but not really)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

By KATHERINE SHRADER
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Reporters who write about government surveillance could be prosecuted under proposed legislation that would solidify the administration's eavesdropping authority, according to some legal analysts who are concerned about dramatic changes in U.S. law.

But an aide to the bill's chief author, Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, said that is not the intention of the legislation.

"It in no way applies to reporters -- in any way, shape or form," said Mike Dawson, a senior policy adviser to DeWine, responding to an inquiry Friday afternoon. "If a technical fix is necessary, it will be made."

... The draft would add to the criminal penalties for anyone who "intentionally discloses information identifying or describing" the Bush administration's terrorist surveillance program or any other eavesdropping program conducted under a 1978 surveillance law.

... Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, said the measure is broader than any existing laws. She said, for example, the language does not specify that the information has to be harmful to national security or classified.

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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well let me be clear: A technical fix is EXTREMELY NECESSARY
That law as written would make talking about it on DU illegal as well. It'd criminalize all professional reporting about the matter. It'd criminalize anyone talking about the matter on the street or in a cafe or in the toilet.

How did this even get to a first draft in America?
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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. the 1978 surveillance law has been GUTTED thanks to George...
...NOW he expects everyone ELSE to follow it, after he's blatantly shat upon it (just like he has the Constitution)?

HA! I see. How utterly REPUBLICAN of him. "The laws don't apply to ME. They only apply to EVERYONE ELSE."

Hypocrisy and arrogance embodied, folks. And utterly, purely, and unadulteratedly REPUBLICAN. Pretentious Hypocrisy is their Hallmark - and once again, they parade it in front of our eyes.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. Chilling to speech and the First Amendment.
Welcome to the new, privatized laws of the Constitution of the Corporatist Police States of America.

What if a reporter looks at some facts already in the public domain, then creatively puts those facts down on paper with a unique connect-the-dots twist, and it ends up being right? (writing sometimes opens up unique channels of thought) That reporter would appear to NSA folks or others in the know as having knowledge he/she's not privileged to have. Thus, said writing or reporting would be both "identifying" and "describing", because the reporter or citizen guessed correctly. It may or may not pass the "intent" test, depending upon what can be proven, but since when has this Executive Branch been concerned with proving anything competently? They just lock people up and don't give lawyers access if they can.



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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. So, DeWine has pointed out to him the real
consequences - and responds... that isn't the intention of the law? Er... Sen DeWine, then fix the bill now that you know the legal ramifications - KNOWING the reality makes the whole "denial" (ala "that wasn't our intent") rather ridiculous.
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Daphne08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
5. I understand the need for national security, but this seems a
bit over the line. I was under the impression that we lived in a free country.



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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. They're still more worried about the fact they got caught and
how they got outed than they are with the fact that high crimes, misdemeanors and felonies have been committed.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
7. k & r - this needs more attention n/t
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William Seger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
8. Right, it's only aimed at anyone who snitches on Bush to reporters
So, the "deal" is we forget about whatever laws have already been broken, rewrite the laws so BushCo can do whatever it wants as long as he doesn't tell the "oversight" committee about it, and instead make it illegal for anyone who knows what's really happening to talk about it.
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-13-06 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
9. Kick!!!
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