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Government The Media

Feds Confiscate Investigative Reporter's Confidential Files During Raid 622

schwit1 writes "Using a warrant to search for guns, Homeland security officers and Maryland police confiscated a journalist's confidential files. The reporter had written a series of articles critical of the TSA. It appears that the raid was specifically designed to get her files, which contain identifying information about her sources in the TSA. 'In particular, the files included notes that were used to expose how the Federal Air Marshal Service had lied to Congress about the number of airline flights there were actually protecting against another terrorist attack,' Hudson [the reporter] wrote in a summary about the raid provided to The Daily Caller. Recalling the experience during an interview this week, Hudson said: 'When they called and told me about it, I just about had a heart attack.' She said she asked Bosch [the investigator heading the raid] why they took the files. He responded that they needed to run them by TSA to make sure it was 'legitimate' for her to have them. '"Legitimate" for me to have my own notes?' she said incredulously on Wednesday. Asked how many sources she thinks may have been exposed, Hudson said: 'A lot. More than one. There were a lot of names in those files. This guy basically came in here and took my anonymous sources and turned them over — took my whistleblowers — and turned it over to the agency they were blowing the whistle on,' Hudson said. 'And these guys still work there.'"
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Feds Confiscate Investigative Reporter's Confidential Files During Raid

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  • by imnes ( 605429 ) on Friday October 25, 2013 @05:24PM (#45239891)
    I guess we'll get to see if the whistleblower protection program actually works. []

  • Nazi police state (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MRe_nl ( 306212 ) on Friday October 25, 2013 @05:26PM (#45239917)

    "Hitler's police state worked on the rule that if you said nothing, no harm, could come to you. If you had doubts about the way the country was going, you kept them to yourself - or paid the price". []

  • Time to leave (Score:5, Interesting)

    by comrade1 ( 748430 ) on Friday October 25, 2013 @05:45PM (#45240165)
    If you have desirable skills, it's time to leave the u.s. If you can't leave then move your data and services outside the u.s. I don't mean to godwin, but I spent most of my life wondering when I would have left Germany if I lived there during the rise of the Nazis, and how I can apply this to my own life. Two of my great-grandparents fled and lost some modest lands, and one of my grandfather's land was invaded by the Germans. He went back to fight the Germans while in the u.s. army. I often wondered at what point my great-grandparents decided it was time to give up and leave Germany. They left a comfortable aristocratic life and became immigrants in the u.s., owning a neighborhood grocery store. They made a new and somewhat comfortable life for themselves in the u.s. but gave up more to leave. About 6 years ago I decided to leave the u.s. and move to Switzerland, one of the last bastions of freedom in the West. I was lucky - it's difficult to get a work permit here, and will be even more difficult after the elections coming up. So, if you can, just leave. Don't be a cog in the evil that the u.s. has become. If you can't leave, then do what you can to not support it.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday October 25, 2013 @06:19PM (#45240599) Journal

    That's right. The scope of a search warrant can only be exceeded if there is evidence of some crime "in plain sight" when the authorities enter the premises.

    I don't see how the data in a computer file can ever be said to be "in plain sight".

    One thing that bothers me about this story is that the source is the Daily Caller. The surveillance beat is active enough right now that if this was real, we'd be reading about it in the Washington Post, Guardian, and dozens of reputable websites that focus on the press and privacy and government enforcement overreach.

    So I'm going to hold my water on this until the story appears in an actual hard-news outlet. I don't doubt that US law enforcement and intelligence services would do something like that, but it doesn't help the cause of fighting this stuff if we latch on to some right-wing website that has a long record of getting stories wrong.

  • by Austrian Anarchy ( 3010653 ) on Friday October 25, 2013 @06:37PM (#45240799) Homepage Journal

    Hey America! How's your police state working for you so far?

    Still playing catch up with Red China, North Korea, and Cuba. But we are trying our best.

  • by arashi no garou ( 699761 ) on Friday October 25, 2013 @07:41PM (#45241333)

    The problem with what allegedly happened here is that once the "cat is out of the bag", i.e. the TSA has seen the documents, they cannot be unseen. The cops and prosecutors involved could get fired or even jailed, but in the meantime the TSA got what it wanted and can do whatever they wish with the information, which is most likely firing or demoting/transferring the whistleblowers while giving unrelated cause for those actions.

  • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Friday October 25, 2013 @07:43PM (#45241345)

    A search warrant has to list what is being searched for. If it's not on the list it can't be taken.
    Now they did see official-use-only documents that they took, and presumably they could attempt to justify this as being evidence of other illegal activity (stealing documents). However they also took her handwritten notes which clearly were not official government documents.
    Not only that, they did not make it clear to the journalist that documents were even taken, who only found out about this a month later.
    These notes were then passed on to the TSA who has no jurisdiction in the matter.

    Basically there was a long string of mistakes being made by the law enforcement. Enough so that you could use this in a cadet training program as an "identify everything illegal in this search procedure" exercise.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2013 @07:49PM (#45241393)

    Do a Google search for the title of the article and you will come up with who is running with this story:

    - The Daily Caller
    - WorldNetDaily
    - The Blaze
    - Pajamas Media
    - Free Republic
    - American Thinker
    * Others

    And, this woman worked for the "Moonie" Times a freelancer for Newsmax.

    Starting to see a pattern?

    I'm now *very* skeptical of the truth of this story.

    * I had not head of the other sites they include:
    Topix (News aggregator for Gannet)
    Some "top secret" / security blogs

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Friday October 25, 2013 @08:22PM (#45241633) Journal

    I just looked through the MD court files. It appears that her husband was arrested on 4/14/85 for a carrying a concealed deadly weapon, assault, possession of Marihuana (as spelled on the docket) and resisting arrest. The concealed weapon charge was dismissed (Nolle Prosequi), the assault and possession of marihuana- he was found not guilty of. For the resisting arrest, he got a 3 year jail sentence that was suspended on probation for 3 years. The MD disqualifying crime is a 2 year jail term it seems.

    It appears I assumed a few things incorrectly that were spelled out in the article. Supposedly the government thought he purchased machine gun parts from a Swede but it was a potato gun that didn't work. Who would have thought that her husband was anordinance technician for the Coast Guard in Baltimore and he wasn't legally allowed to own or posses a firearm.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.