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US Justice Department Dug Up Reporter's Phone, Bank Records 217

tripleevenfall writes "A court filing provides new details about the extraordinary measures Justice Department prosecutors are using to identify government leakers. Prosecutors obtained a suspect's telephone, credit and bank records. Lucy Dalglish, of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press said, 'This tells us the Obama administration will do almost anything to figure out who is leaking government information.'"
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US Justice Department Dug Up Reporter's Phone, Bank Records

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  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @07:24PM (#35326802)
    ...journalists should learn about Tor, email encryption, steganography, and other privacy protecting technologies. It is unfortunate, but if journalists wish to protect their sources, these are the lengths they will have to go to (if not now, then in the near future).
  • by mykos ( 1627575 ) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @07:34PM (#35326870)
    The summary says prosecutors obtained the suspect's records. But the title has it right; DoJ pulled bank and credit records on someone not suspected of a crime. If I were the news man, I'd demand to see the warrant.
  • Re:Okay, And? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @08:33PM (#35327180)
    It's news because it is yet another example of Obama's public campaign (and in-office) lies. This is yet another promise he made during his campaign and in office (protecting confidential news sources) that he broke at the first opportunity, and continues to do.

    Let's face it: Obama tends to say one thing publicly, then behind everybody's back does the opposite. By now you can't convince me that it isn't his real policy, because he's done it too often.
  • by FridayBob ( 619244 ) on Saturday February 26, 2011 @09:05PM (#35327384) Homepage
    Excuse me, but often today's leaker turns out to be tomorrow's hero.

    For example, after the Pentagon Papers were leaked to the New York Times in 1971, it showed that a number of presidents had lied to the American people and violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution. That leak helped to end the Vietnam war.

    Daniel Ellsberg, the leaker and the first person ever to be prosecuted for a leak in the United States, was prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917. This act had been designed for espionage and, until that time, had never been used for anything else except to prosecute spies: those who act with the express intent to harm the US or help a foreign power. However, against Ellsberg they used a clause within the act that says only those with legal authority may publish classified documents. The same clause is now being used against Bradley Manning.

    Why use the Espionage Act against leakers? Because, unlike Great Britain, the US has never had an Official Secrets Act: a law that would criminalize any and all disclosure of classified information. Efforts have been made by Congress to pass one -- the last time under Bill Clinton (which he vetoed) -- but this has never succeeded, because lawmakers have always considered that it would be too much at odds with the First Amendment. Yet, that's the way the Espionage Act is now being used.

    Finally, is it not highly ironic that, even as the government prosecutes Bradley Manning, the State Dept. is promoting a documentary film that celebrates Daniel Ellsberg and his leaking of the Pentagon Papers? (see this link [tampabay.com]).
  • Re:Correction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gambino21 ( 809810 ) on Sunday February 27, 2011 @12:54AM (#35328554)

    Not exactly. Obama seems to be kicking it up a notch in the war against whistle-blowers [salon.com].

    That subpoena had originally been served but was then abandoned by the Bush DOJ, but its revitalization by the Obama administration was but one of many steps taken to dramatically expand the war on whistleblowers being waged by the current President

  • by Breathwork ( 1977146 ) on Sunday February 27, 2011 @01:51PM (#35331536)

    Interesting... I don't know a single "liberal" who likes Obama at this point. Almost every progressive person I talk to says Obama is a disgrace. From where I'm sitting here's his track record:

    80% - Percent of Campaign Promises Broken
    18% - Percent of Campaign Promises he attempted to fullfill knowing ahead of time they would not, to give the illusion he is "trying"
    2% - Percent of Campaign Promises he has actually kept (usually the conservative ones with a few exceptions).

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas