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Lawmaker Reintroduces WikiLeaks Prosecution Bill

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the kickig-a-dead-horse dept.

The Courts 389

angry tapir writes "New legislation in the US Congress targets WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for espionage prosecution. Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, introduced the Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination, or SHIELD, Act (read the bill here [PDF]). The bill would clarify US law by saying it is an act of espionage to publish the protected names of American intelligence sources who collaborate with the US military or intelligence community."

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Libby and Cheiney (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226134)

So, does this apply to Libby / Chaney leaking name of active CIA operative? Oh wait, got a pardon from Bush....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Libby

Re:Libby and Cheiney (3, Informative)

rwade (131726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226296)

More to the point, he had his sentence commuted because Bush thought 30 months for endangering the life of a intelligence operative was excessive:

From the wikipedia article you cite:

"After Libby was denied bail during his appeal process on July 2, 2007, President Bush commuted Libby's 30-month federal prison sentence, calling it "excessive", but he did not change the other parts of the sentence and their conditions.[17] That presidential commutation left in place the felony conviction, the $250,000 fine, and the terms of probation."

He was still punished, but whether a fine and probation is enough is questionable...

Re:Libby and Cheiney (2)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226308)

Apply it to Libby and Cheney all you want. Richard Armitage revealed the fact that Valeria Plame was an agent.

     

Re:Libby and Cheiney (2)

CookieForYou (1945108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226384)

Well, revealing the information was ALWAYS a crime. This law seeks to make it illegal to "publish" that, which would include the Washington Post (in this instance) as well as several people, including Libby, who "published" it on television.

The "leaks" were from Bradley Manning, just like they were from Armitage in the example. They're seeking to make it illegal to "publish" already leaked information.

It won't pass a constitutional test and is such an absurd knee-jerk, with so many ridiculous implications....

Re:Libby and Cheiney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226542)

I hope you're right, but ever since torture passed a constitutional test I am very pessimistic.

Re:Libby and Cheiney (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226574)

Keep in mind that we don't even know that Bradley Manning was the one who leaked the information. The only "evidence" anybody knows about is simply an accusation by someone else... someone who happens to have been convicted before of hacking into computers...

Re:Libby and Cheiney (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226310)

Except that Valerie Plame's name was not leaked by Libby/Cheney. It was leaked by Richard Armitage (who opposed the Iraq war).

Re:Libby and Cheiney (0)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226606)

We can't let the facts get in front of Bush/Cheney bashing.

Misleading... (5, Insightful)

Shoten (260439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226136)

Neither this law, nor the original version of it, would have retroactive applicability; in other words, you can't make something illegal today, and then prosecute the guy that did it yesterday. It's more like the early laws around computer crime, which came about not to prosecute people who had already been hacking, but instead came about because existing law didn't properly address something that should already have been criminalized, in the eyes of the legislature.

Re:Misleading... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226172)

...and I thought SHIELD was the organisation with Samuel L. Jackson in it?

Re:Misleading... (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226400)

you're confusing the "good guys" with the "bad guys".

Re:Misleading... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226460)

so, what's HAMMER up to these days?

Re:Misleading... (3, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226448)

...and I thought SHIELD was the organisation with Samuel L. Jackson in it?

You're off by 90 degrees.
David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD [imdb.com]

Re:Misleading... (2)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226208)

Yes, but it tries to put a stop on the next bunch of Wikileaks that are on their way...

He is basically following the "Trick me once, shame on you... trick me twice, shame on me" mentality.

Re:Misleading... (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226588)

Yes, but it tries to put a stop on the next bunch of Wikileaks that are on their way...

He is basically following the "Trick me once, shame on you... trick me twice, shame on me" mentality.

at least it's not the bush version..."fool me once, shame on....shame on...you...................the fool can't get fooled again"

Re:Misleading... (4, Insightful)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226266)

Yes, but leaving those documents available on WikiLeaks after the law passes (if it passes in to law) would be an on-going act that could be illegal.

Re:Misleading... (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226610)

Sounds like good reason to immediately release the entire stash of documents before it becomes illegal to do so. There are still hundreds of thousands we haven't seen yet.

Re:Misleading... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226632)

Is wikileaks hosted in the USA?
I really doubt that.

Re:Misleading... (3, Insightful)

bstender (1279452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226364)

Neither this law, nor the original version of it, would have retroactive applicability

you trying to tell a law-maker what the law is? maybe they'll just pass another law making it lawful to enact retroactive law enforcement, bitch! it's not like the US public will say squat about it anyway as long as the cheap gas and Bacon double-cheesburgers keep rolling. and don't try that "i have rights constitution" bs, you must be a terrorist to talk like that. i've heard enough, guards, silently lock him away.

Re:Misleading... (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226534)

The Constitution of the United States of America, Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 3.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Re:Misleading... (2, Informative)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226600)

The Constitution of the United States of America, Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 3.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Except it's already been done, and relatively recently: telcom companies were given retroactive immunity for participation in the Bush warantless wiretapping program [talkingpointsmemo.com] .

Make no mistake: despite what politicians of both sides of the aisle say, no Republican, and far too few Democrats, really know or agree with what's actually in the Constitution.

Re:Misleading... (4, Insightful)

adamstew (909658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226568)

Except they can't do that. It's expressly forbidden to do this in the US Constitution. It's called "Ex Post Facto" and it's not allowed.

I could be wrong, but I don't even think an amendment to the constitution can allow ex post facto laws, since it's explicitly in the section called "limits on congress".

Re:Misleading... (1)

hamisht (197412) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226418)

not retroactive, phew, at least Karl Rove will be safe then.

Re:Misleading... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226422)

That's because any such law would be illegal under the US Constitution. We have a strong prohibition against any ex post facto law, and for good reason.

Re:Misleading... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226458)

Except sex offender registries and the subsequent restrictions placed on them. Those were retroactive. So were the changes to the statute of limitations on sex offenses, again, held up by the supreme court as having "special merit" because PEEDOFILES ARE IIICKY.

Re:Misleading... (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226538)

What puzzles me is how can the US (or any country) make a law that can possibly apply to what a citizen of another country does outside the US?

Assange is Australian. He never committed any "crime" on US soil. How the hell can any US law be legally binding on him? It has to be either an Australian law or the law of the land where he's staying. Or do I not understand what's going on? The US cannot for example pass a law saying "Shouting 'zigaboob' in Italy in a public space" is illegal. It can only say it's illegal in the US...

Re:Misleading... (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226666)

I'll bet that way down deep inside the UK–USA Security Agreement, of which Australia is a member, theres stuff in there about being able to go after citizens of a member state.

Assange is Australian, but Australia is in a super duper signals intelligence sharing treaty with Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, All the member states spy on the other member state's citizens.

The US Department of Justice likely can go get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) warrant and go after an Australian national for pushing around sensitive US documents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Act [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK [wikipedia.org] –USA_Security_Agreement

Re:Misleading... (1, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226626)

Are you entirely sure? There are people who argue that the Constitution applies not to actions of the US government in general, but that it only guarantees rights to US citizens. So, for example, the US government could detain foreigners without charging them indefinitely (no right to due process) or torture them (no ban on cruel and unusual punishment).

Re:Misleading... (0)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226628)

Neither this law, nor the original version of it, would have retroactive applicability; in other words, you can't make something illegal today, and then prosecute the guy that did it yesterday

Not only un-Constitutional, but if it were applied retroactively it would also affect Cheney, Bush, et al for the Plame thing, too.

de facto (0)

Apocryphos (1222870) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226138)

Are they making it retroactive then?

Re:de facto (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226190)

I believe that would be an ex post facto law, which is expressly forbidden by the US Constitution. Whether information published after (and if) the law is passed would be protected by the 1st amendment is another issue.

Re:de facto (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226292)

I believe that would be an ex post facto law, which is expressly forbidden by the US Constitution. Whether information published after (and if) the law is passed would be protected by the 1st amendment is another issue.

The Republican Party, and many Democrats don't believe that the Constitution applies to non-Citizens.

Re:de facto (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226586)

The Republican Party, and many Democrats don't believe that the Constitution applies to non-Citizens.

and if you're an American citizen, they delcare you an "enemy combatant" and snatch you off to gitmo in the night.

What a lovely place we live in.

Re:de facto (1)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226222)

They might not be able to prosecute him for what has already been done, but what about future leaks?

Re:de facto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226256)

Ex Post Facto is unconstitutional.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_post_facto_law

Re:de facto (3)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226272)

I think the "facto" phrase you're thinking of is "Ex post facto [wikipedia.org] . As in "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed." (Section 9 of Article I of the United States Constitution).

So no, it won't be made retroactive, because no amount of OMG WAR ON TERROR fearmongering will make the US Supreme Court sustain an overtly unconstitutional law.

Well, almost none [wikipedia.org] . But at least recently, the Supremes have resisted the siren call of undeclared war and "no express grant of rights".

Can this be applied retroactively? (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226142)

In Sweden, we can't apply laws retroactively, that is, if something is still legal at the time you do it, you have not suddenly committed a crime just because someone passes a new law. How is the situation in the US?

Re:Can this be applied retroactively? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226192)

The US Constitution prohibits ex post facto laws in Article 1, Section 9. So, no.

Re:Can this be applied retroactively? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226228)

Of course, we have the minor problem that nobody in government has glanced at or otherwise considered the contents of the Constitution since... I'm going to say 9/12/2001.

Re:Can this be applied retroactively? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226288)

I don't remember anything particular happening on Sunday, december 9th, 2001.

Re:Can this be applied retroactively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226426)

That's because the Frontal Lobe of the USA was destroyed the day before.

Re:Can this be applied retroactively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226496)

I don't remember the US changing the MMDDYYYY format to DDMMYYYY, either.

This IS an article about the United States, after all...

Re:Can this be applied retroactively? (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226560)

And that's why I always use CCYY-MM-DD format.

That and you can compare two dates as strings to see which one is earlier.

Re:Can this be applied retroactively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226468)

Oh come on, since when does what the constitution says actually matter?

Hah, Hah, good one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226502)

You obviously don't work for a telecom company.

No (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226206)

That is one of the things the Constitution has a specific thing to say about. Article I Section 9 Paragraph 3 says "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

So if the law were passed it would make such an act illegal in the future, but would not apply to what has already been done.

Now what this would do it make it illegal for Wikileaks to release more information along the lines specified in the bill. Just because they had it before the law was passed wouldn't mean they could freely release them after the law was passed, if the law made it illegal to release information of that nature.

Re:Can this be applied retroactively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226218)

Nope. It's in the Constitution, Article One Section Nine: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

Re:Can this be applied retroactively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226306)

Ideally it's the same, practically they'll probably state that since wikileaks is still active, Julian Assange will have been violating the law as soon as it's passed (Unless of course they state it's from the time the law was DRAFTED, not passed. I'd be somewhat amused to see that happen with the modern US political/legal system.)

Currently though, yes, it is just like Sweden, you can't be convicted for something done before it was a crime, as well as having a statute of limitations on many crimes of 1, 5, 10, or 20 years I believe, depending on the severity (With murder and certain others I believe having an indefinite one, although I haven't researched that, and have seen differing reports of 20 year statute even for murder, and not.)

YMMV IANAL, ETC.

article 1 section 12 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226144)

No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed, and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.

Re:article 1 section 12 (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226280)

Well, we have laws impairing the obligation of contracts and those that result in the forfeiture of estate through conviction, so it's only a matter of time before the rest of the section is ignored as well.

Uh... what? (1)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226152)

I'm not sure exactly why this would apply to Assange. US law, last I checked, doesn't allow for prosecution of an act committed while it was still legal.

Re:Uh... what? (2)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226204)

http://vlex.com/vid/sec-disclosure-classified-information-19190926 [vlex.com]

if he didn't pull the information down from the site after it gets passed, he'd be in violation of the first paragraph - namely "or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person" .

At that point he could be prosecuted.

Re:Uh... what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226232)

Obviously if you violate the SHIELD act you are a terrorist and will be sent to Gitmo.

Your arguments against ex post facto laws and due process, et al, will all be considered at some future date when you may or may not stand trial, but they sound intriguing let me say!

Re:Uh... what? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226300)

It's also questionable how it could apply to a non-citizen for an act that didn't take place on U.S. soil...

Damn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226166)

Of course, this lets Mr. Novak, The Dick Cheney, et al. off the hook for "leaking" Natalie Plame's name...(OK, so Novak is dead...), as it's not supposed to be all that Constitutional, etc. to pass laws that retroactively incriminate people, not that it doesn't happen...

Constitutional? I doubt it. (2)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226168)

I don't see how the courts would uphold this outside of wartime (in wartime courts routinely let Congress and the Executive Branch run all over the Constitution), assuming the publisher didn't have "dirty hands" in obtaining the information in the first place.

Re:Constitutional? I doubt it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226214)

Moot point.

It IS wartime, and shall likely be for a very long time to come....

Re:Constitutional? I doubt it. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226226)

Who cares about the constitution? Well, you and I likely do, but the government as of late doesn't seem to.

Re:Constitutional? I doubt it. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226304)

in wartime courts routinely let Congress and the Executive Branch run all over the Constitution

Doesn't this policy implicitly encourage warmongering?

Re:Constitutional? I doubt it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226540)

Err.. given that between the various "wars" being pursued by the US government, we've had about ... zero days of actual non-wartime in the past few decades. I can certainly see Congress letting this one pass.

Re:Constitutional? I doubt it. (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226616)

Question: When was the last time the US was not at war?

Although this might stop wikileaks in the US (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226170)

I guess this is some sort of panic attack to be able to legally block wikileaks from the US and that make sure that Assange actually can be taken to court if it shows that he allowed someone in the US to take part of any of the leaked cables after this law is passed..

Seems to me... (1)

sdguero (1112795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226182)

That we need less punishment for publishing state secrets as the government become more and more overbearing with things like the Patriot Act, foreign wars, and free market manipulation. What are we supposed to do when the government runs afoul if that same government can throw us in prison for talking about it? Representative King is more interested in having his name in the papers than representing the people. Protecting intelligence assets is the responsibility of the intelligence community, not the publishers that it gets leaked too.

Joke (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226188)

Our politicians are a joke.

Julian Assange is not subject to US law.

No American citizen who has "publish[ed] the protected names of American intelligence sources who collaborate with the US military or intelligence community" in the past would be affected by this law.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Re:Joke (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226252)

Please! Any information the government deems as a secret is no longer considered free speech. Sure, that doesn't make sense at all but it's completely true!

Marvel should sue (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226212)

Did no one else see "SHIELD act" and immediately think Marvel Comics?

I half expected the link to lead to an Onion article with Nick Furry on it

Re:Marvel should sue (5, Funny)

VRisaMetaphor (87720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226344)

I'd ask you who "Nick Furry" is, but I'm afraid of what the answer might be.

Re:Marvel should sue (0)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226576)

He was recruited by Tony Stark to form the SHIELD alliance, the nemesis of the Hydra organization.

Espionage Definition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226216)

"Espionage involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information."

Wasn't the information considered secret in the first place?
Why do they need to clarify U.S. law by saying that it is an act of espionage to publish the "protected names" of American intelligence sources?

How about (4, Interesting)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226220)

Bills should be introduced in the USA, UK, Australia and lots more places saying things like

It is a crime to hide things from the electorate. (This should not be mixed up with "Freedom of Information acts" that rarely work.)
It is a crime to govern by misdirection of public attention.
It is a crime to protect the powerful to the detriment of the weak or less powerful.
It is a crime to take away civil rights, whatever the state of the nation
It is a crime to introduce 'knee jerk' legislation.
It is a crime to retrospectively criminalise something. It can only be criminalised from the introduction of the law
It is a crime to give or accept identifiable corporate campaign donations

That last one would be the one that would upset many politicians and large companies.

Re:How about (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226332)

That last one would be the one that would upset many politicians and large companies.

No, it would violate an individual's right to free speech. Because money is speech (somehow)! Sure, it causes so many problems and the average person has no chance against people with seemingly unlimited supplies of money (outside of unrealistic boycotting, which may or may not work), but it's speech somehow, and therefore we can't make that a crime!

Re:How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226430)

The problem is not that money isn't speech -- of course it is, people with more money are better able to express themselves and limiting what they do with that money limits their expression. The problem is that we don't really want free speech in terms of political campaigns. No one wants to admit that, but what we really want is a little campaign socialism, where the state controls how much spending is allowed/etc. While that's definitely an impingement on certain freedoms it might be the only real way to ensure we don't lose them all.

Re:How about (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226464)

The problem is not that money isn't speech -- of course it is

How?

Re:How about (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226348)

It is a crime to protect the powerful to the detriment of the weak or less powerful.

So, the US emergency response plans would become illegal, where the government is scattered across the US while regular citizens are left to die?

It is a crime to retrospectively criminalise something. It can only be criminalised from the introduction of the law

This is already illegal in the US and, more than likely, the UK and Australia as well.

Re:How about (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226500)

It is a crime to introduce 'knee jerk' legislation.

The funny thing is that this would itself be "'knee jerk' legislation".

Re:How about (2)

Ayashii (1751302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226640)

While I do agree on most counts, I don't think that hiding things from the electorate is a crime, it's more of a sheer necessity. A lot of times things that aren't deemed "morally acceptable" by the masses need to be done for the greater good of a country, also there are some things that NEED to be kept a secret to be of any use (just think what would happen if informations about undercover operations or police investigations would be made public... they'd be useless). Sure they should be revealed 30 years down the line and involved people may need to be judged for them, but leaking them before that should be a crime, one of the worst ones that you could commit against a country. Depending on the situation (if you risk to endanger many lives by that action, even if nothing happens) it should be AT LEAST treaded as multiple counts of attempted murder. Even worse if it's a situation of war. Believe me, you don't want to be down there fighting for your country and having to fear both your enemies and some dumbass at home that tells everyone, enemies included, informations about you :\

clarification (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226224)

in a way this could be good.

now there's no doubt about what needs to be redacted, and wikileaks can get on with their job without that extra accusation being thrown at them. just redact protected names and be done with it.

Could be worse (2)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226230)

Seems like a bigger deal than it is-- had Assange done what everyone told him to do & take the extra 5 minutes to censor all the names, it would still be law-abiding! Well...names of the human-rights-violators should still be left intact...

Re:Could be worse (2)

bstender (1279452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226514)

1. no names means the leaks are fairly useless to the public, who are the ones who need to know
2. this pathetic law he's pitching is about reinforcing the state of immunity from accountability for those very criminals (himself included)
3. they're all human rights violators, putting it politely

Re:Could be worse (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226612)

touche

Systems protecting their own (1)

SigmaTao (629358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226234)

I understand the US government wanting to protect itself from Wikileaks and send a message to any others that it will cost them. What worries me is that from here (Australia) it appears that a large proportion of the american people think what Wikileaks is doing is unjustifiably bad. Is that really the case or is it just media hype?

Re:Systems protecting their own (1)

bstender (1279452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226440)

i suspect it is media hype, but all i have to go on is media hype. ergo whatever the media around here is hyping is generally opposite of the truth (it's bad, send help!)

If it applies to one, then to the other too. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226264)

If they somehow try to apply this to Assange then they should apply it to Dick Cheney and Karl Rove for outing (or giving the orders to out) Valerie Plame.

The GOP (actually all Congressmen) show their complete hypocrisy. They cried foul when Plame was outed and the Democrats accused the administration of being involved, but now they are jumping all over themselves to go after Assange.

Recursive law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226274)

This law does not make sense. It says that it is espionage to discover US espionage? Moreover, this is the first recursive law I had ever read. For example, would that mean that a US newspaper/US attorney can be prosecuted for publishing a story about a criminal if he is a spy?

But (3, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226282)

But will they be able to get Nick Fury to run S.H.I.E.L.D?

The first part sounds like a good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226286)

I mean, Securing Human Intelligence? Sounds good to me!

What about (1)

Mistakill (965922) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226302)

So, if the pass the law, people would just go Bob Smith, 123456 Weird St, Auckland, New Zealand is NOT the person who supplied the US with information... ie... youd end up with alot of 'not' words being added to documents... brilliant

And they want to use the new law retroactively? (2)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226354)

Gee, I wonder if anyone could use the SHIELD Act to prosecute Karl Rove or someone for leaking Valerie Plames CIA cover.

Oh that's right. It's not a crime when Republicans do it.

More legislation is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226370)

Can someone introduce a bill that outlaws backronyms?

we are the world? (2)

juliuszs (1269402) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226374)

So King claims jurisdiction outside of USA. Audacious, if stupid. Would he be OK with Ruritania legislating against morons being elected to US Congress on the basis that this constitutes a clear and present danger to the world? Would the USA comply with demands to extradite King and others of his ilk to be incarcerated until such time they are deemed fully functional and literate?

Somethings is Rotten in the District of Columbia (4, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226406)

Anonymous seems to have stumbled upon a much bigger problem. Read Glen Greenwald's piece [salon.com] on the collaboration between DoJ, BoA and rogue 'security' companies. Greenwald was to be personally targeted, and now he's taking names:

It's impossible to imagine the DOJ ever, ever prosecuting a huge entity like Bank of America for doing something like waging war against WikiLeaks and its supporters. These massive corporations and the firms that serve them have no fear of law or government because they control each. That's why they so freely plot to target those who oppose them in any way. They not only have massive resources to devote to such attacks, but the ability to act without limits.

It's his most powerful piece to date.

We need S.H.I.E.L.D. (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226412)

"... it is an act of espionage to publish the protected names of American intelligence sources who collaborate with the US military or intelligence community."

I agree with this statement.
By all means, pass it as a law and then bring in Samuel L. Jackson sporting an eyepatch to start an agency named after this Bill.

Backronym abuse (2)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226444)

How about a bit of legislation prohibiting the titling of bills in a manner that constitutes blatant propaganda? It's perhaps not as bad as the PATRIOT act, which is the most crotch-punchingly offensive example I've come across, but it's the same fucking ballpark. I'm not sure who should be most insulted: people who don't back the legislation, or the general public whose intelligence is held in such dim regard (and all snark aside, I don't think that most people are really all that stupid).

If simply using sequential numbers is too boring, I propose that the opposing team be allowed free rein to add words to the title of the bill, with no right of appeal or amendment granted to the originator. In this case, for instance, the 'no' camp could insist that the title be amended to Another Nugget of Awful Legislation Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination.

Who's the enemy here? (3, Interesting)

chicago_scott (458445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226492)

"The bill would clarify U.S. law by saying that it is an act of espionage to publish the protected names of American intelligence sources who collaborate with the U.S. military or intelligence community."

Anyone who would want to create a classification of people who are immune from public scrutiny is definitely an enemy of United States. That's you Rep. King.

How would they know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226530)

How exactly would they know which names are protected? IRC, Wikileaks offered the government a chance to identify such names, and the govt. refused.

not retroactive, but effective (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226544)

wikileaks won't be able to be prosecuted for the leaks they've done, but they won't be able to make any new leaks. This isn't about retaliation or damage control, but about giving them some legal teeth for later.

Publishing name (2)

Dracos (107777) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226556)

Didn't WikiLeaks ask at least one federal department for help redacting names and other identifying info from the documents, and those departments declined to do so?

I bet the people who drafted this Bill for him (and I don't mean his staff) didn't know that, or conveniently forgot about it.

First prosecute Curveball, Scooter and Cheney (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226596)

Today, Curveball admitted he lied to start the Iraq War.

Millions dead - mostly civilians and drafted Iraqi soldiers.

Bankrupt nation - both Iraq and America.

After the war crimes trials for all three ... then they can come for Assange.

And NOT a MOMENT before.

They are Punishing the wrong person. (3, Interesting)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226634)

They should throw the book and the bench at Pfc. Bradley Manning and not touch Jullian Assange. Manning was the one who STOLE the information in the first damn place.

This amounts to trying to "kill the messenger" if the messenger was telling everyone about something he heard from from someone who stole the information. It has a bad "chilling effect" and is not good for free speech.

It is like trying to shut down a newspaper that published stolen state secrets, instead of going after the person who stole them in the first place.

Worry about the guys leaking them (1)

Arch_Android (1989386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226636)

The politicians need to realize that, in this day and age, once a secret is out, it's out forever. Once the next Bradley Manning leaks some secrets, they're pretty much public. All Assange is doing is putting them in one place. I'm not saying leaking secrets is good. Some secrets should stay that way. But go after the people leaking them.
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