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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Griper Blade: Dancing to Republicans' Tune on Security

Surveillance cameras
Is it legal for a journalist to disclose classified information to the public? That's something of an open question, although legal opinion seems to lean heavily toward "no." After all, if you could prosecute reporters for detailing classified info, all the executive branch would need to do to censor any news story would be to direct the appropriate agency to smack that info with the "TOP SECRET" stamp. So the notion that journalists could be jailed for publishing leaked information is a very dangerous one and one that courts have not treated well.

From a historical standpoint,  publishing classified info as journalism is completely legal and any finding that said otherwise would upset years of legal opinion.

Which brings us to this:

The Guardian: The partner of the Guardian journalist who has written a series of stories revealing mass surveillance programmes by the US National Security Agency was held for almost nine hours on Sunday by UK authorities as he passed through London's Heathrow airport on his way home to Rio de Janeiro.

David Miranda, who lives with Glenn Greenwald, was returning from a trip to Berlin when he was stopped by officers at 8.05am and informed that he was to be questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The controversial law, which applies only at airports, ports and border areas, allows officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals.

The 28-year-old was held for nine hours, the maximum the law allows before officers must release or formally arrest the individual. According to official figures, most examinations under schedule 7 – over 97% – last less than an hour, and only one in 2,000 people detained are kept for more than six hours...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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