Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Leviathan Swells

Justice Dept. Asked For News Site's Visitor Lists.

I have a sense that I don't have to say much about this. Other than "TYRANNY!"
The shits in power will do WHATEVER THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH.

They do not respect or care about the Constitutional limits of their power.  The Constitution is nothing more than an obstacle to 'get around'. Be warned. This is what we have wrought by our inattention, by our indolence, by our lack of vigilance.

Good God.
In a case that raises questions about online journalism and privacy rights, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a formal request to an independent news site ordering it to provide details of all reader visits on a certain day.

The grand jury subpoena also required the Philadelphia-based Web site "not to disclose the existence of this request" unless authorized by the Justice Department, a gag order that presents an unusual quandary for any news organization.


What's even weirder, is that this is a Leftie site. What the HELL can these guys have been looking for? This gov't isn't exactly in the habit of squelching Marxist speech!

Their subpoena, which apparently was not legally acquired demanded wholesale "phishing" into the records of every single visitor to that site...not just targeted individuals.

Under long-standing Justice Department guidelines, subpoenas to members of the news media are supposed to receive special treatment. One portion of the guidelines, for instance, says that "no subpoena may be issued to any member of the news media" without "the express authorization of the attorney general" – that would be current attorney general Eric Holder – and subpoenas should be "directed at material information regarding a limited subject matter."

I don't like it. I don't like it at all. Very creepy advance notice of what's coming down the pike if we don't get control of this very out of control Imperial State.

Happily they didn't get away with it. This time.

How long before they do?

Morrison replied in a one-sentence letter saying the subpoena had been withdrawn. Around the same time, according to the EFF, the group had a series of discussions with assistant U.S. attorneys in Morrison's office who threatened Clair with possible prosecution for obstruction of justice if she disclosed the existence of the already-withdrawn subpoena -- claiming it "may endanger someone's health" and would have a "human cost."

Lucy Dalglish, the executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of The Press, said a gag order to a news organization wouldn't stand up in court: "If you get a subpoena and you're a journalist, they can't gag you."

Dalglish said that a subpoena being issued and withdrawn is not unprecedented. "I have seen any number of these things withdrawn when counsel for someone who is claiming a reporter's privilege says, 'Can you tell me the date you got approval from the attorney general's office'... I'm willing to chalk this up to bad lawyering on the part of the DOJ, or just not thinking."

And you know, I'm just not going for this. "Not thinking". "Bad Lawyering?" Please. Pushing the limits, stretching the envelope, grabbing as much power as possible, breaking the rules and violating rights...and hoping nobody challenges them.That's what I'm willing to "chalk this up to".

Making this investigation more mysterious is that is an aggregation site, meaning articles that appear on it were published somewhere else first, and there's no hint about what sparked the criminal probe. Clair, the system administrator, says that no IP (Internet Protocol) addresses are recorded for, and non-IP address logs are kept for a few weeks and then discarded.

Very nasty business. Very nasty indeed.

Eternal vigilance.

The bastards are coming at us seven ways to Sunday.

The Gunslinger, EOTIS
Para Bellum

1 comment:

  1. Stalin's purges of "once-valuable allies" comes to mind.A trifle dramatic comparison (for now) perhaps,but...Gangsters have a drowse-inducing predictability to their pathological behavior patterns.