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White House Uses Espionage Act to Pursue Leak Cases (nytimes.com)
47 points by rmanocha 1977 days ago | hide | past | web | 7 comments | favorite

The government seems to be pursuing the right to know everything about you, coupled with the right to hide their business and everything they know about you. The justification is always national security. However, we have no way of knowing that it warrants national security because we don't know the secret.

Good old patronizing government. And paternalistic.

"Now child, don't question father's drinking, gambling and violence problems, you wouldn't understand."

Jake Tapper, the White House correspondent for ABC News, pointed out that the administration had lauded brave reporting in distant lands more than once and then asked, “How does that square with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistle-blowers to court?”

He then suggested that the administration seemed to believe that “the truth should come out abroad; it shouldn’t come out here.”

The Obama administration, which promised during its transition to power that it would enhance “whistle-blower laws to protect federal workers,” has been more prone than any administration in history in trying to silence and prosecute federal workers.

I wonder how much of this is down to policy changes, and how much comes from increased IT fingerprints, monitoring, etc.

In other words, has the motivation to catch leakers increased, or is it just the capability that has increased?

I think it's probably a mix of the two; I reckon some earlier administrations would have clamped down on leakers as hard, if they could have.

From what I read in the article I believe it's a matter of government overreach. Some of the details leaked were trivial and to reporters. It is not espionage to leak information to the media when the government does, or is about to do, something wrong; it is whistle-blowing. But charging them with espionage means the government gets to avoid those pesky whistle-blowing laws we supposedly have to protect such people.

The article seems to be implying that it's more policy change, such as the case of Thomas A. Drake they use as an example. Additionally, they shouldn't need to use the espionage act for basic leaks. I would imagine other laws should suffice (though I don't know the particulars of which)

SMBC: It cuts both ways[1]


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