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Bill Could Restrict Freedom of the Press

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the who-needs-news? dept.

747

WerewolfOfVulcan writes "The Washington Post is carrying an article about a disturbing Senate bill that could make it illegal to publicly disclose even the existence of US domestic spying programs (i.e. NSA wiretaps)." An aide to the bill's author assures us it's not aimed at reporters, but the language is ambiguous at best. From the article: "Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, said the measure is broader than any existing laws. She said, for example, the language does not specify that the information has to be harmful to national security or classified. 'The bill would make it a crime to tell the American people that the president is breaking the law, and the bill could make it a crime for the newspapers to publish that fact,' said Martin, a civil liberties advocate."

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bill... (-1, Offtopic)

mmmiiikkkeee (930217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905644)

my fisrt though was what is microsoft doing now.. that silly bill gates restricting our rights

Re:bill... (2, Funny)

pintomp3 (882811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905689)

you mixed up "bill" and then almost typed "frist" typing about it :)

Re:bill... (1)

stephaniesexton (960747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905716)

Yea it seems everyday Microsft has filed for a patent and alot of Congressman and Senators in Washington Seattle are pushing for easier laws for computer and software makers.

fuck (2, Insightful)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905649)

I hope you people are willing to exercise your 2nd amendment rights in order to protect the 1st. But for some reason, I doubt it.

Re:fuck (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905701)

Yeah, like "we the people" stand a chance against the U.S. Army. Unless we can get China to sell us tanks, nukes, and tactics training, our best bet would be to co-opt the military.

Actually, I can't think of a single (successful) revolution in the past couple hundred years that hasn't involved the military turning against its own government. Excluding France, natch.

"WE MUST DESTROY AMERICA!" (4, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905753)

...It is a threat to America!

In Soviet America, Domestic Spying Programs expose YOU!

Re:fuck (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905794)

You should have stopped at "Actually, I can't think[.]" :P

Just a couple from the top of my head,
Nicaragua: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandinistas#Oppositio n_to_Somoza_.281961.E2.80.931979.29 [wikipedia.org]
Cuba: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba#History [wikipedia.org]
Vietnam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Vietnam#Relatio nship_with_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

Re:fuck (3, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905707)

I hope you people are willing to exercise your 2nd amendment rights in order to protect the 1st. But for some reason, I doubt it.

The irony of the NRA is that they continually argue that guns are vitally important to protecting our rights, but they've never used guns to achieve their aims. Instead, they show just how effective writing letters, donating money, and voting on the issues can really be.

If people out there really want to protect our rights, it's really simple, and it doesn't involve threatening to shoot people, shooting people, or getting shot. Just go to the polls this November, and vote against the Republicans, who have been letting Bush trample all over the bill of rights (I'll give you one guess which party the bill's sponsors belong to). If they lose a few seats in the House and Senate, that will keep them from doing quite as much damage, and tell them they need to clean up their act.

Really, what good would a GUN do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905761)

The NRA seems to forget that the government has tanks, planes, ships, missiles, bombs and satellites. What chance do you really think you have with a magnum or a shotgun?

Re:Really, what good would a GUN do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905841)

Far better than the iraqi's have; We have more people and are spread out further. In addition, while most troops are not wild about shooting iraqi's, they know it is them or the other person. But put an American on the other side, and I assure you that Americans troops shooting at civilians and vs.versa, will not last that long. While it is easier to shoot a stranger, it is much harder to shoot your brother.

Re:Really, what good would a GUN do? (4, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905872)

it is much harder to shoot your brother.

Are you sure? Just a minute, I gotta check this...

Re:fuck (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905793)

What always shocks me about Americans is that they think that all their problems will be solved by voting for the other party next time. When are you people going to realize that both parties are playing for the same team?

For those who don't believe me, I want you to try something for me. Wait until the Democrats get into power and for the post-election BS to wear off. I'll bet you a soda that they'll be pushing the same sorts of laws for the same sorts of reasons.

Re:fuck (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905854)

You still believe all that pap about "there's no difference between Bush and Gore"? I'll tell you what, YOU'RE the reason Democrats are further to the right than they've ever been before. YOU'RE the ones who forced them there. You and all the other shitbags who voted for Nader did nothing but give the Republicans the opportunity to spend 8 years redefining the political center. You fucked us all. Fuck you.

Re:fuck (4, Insightful)

arrrrg (902404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905815)

I'm sure I'm butchering this, but the response goes something like:

the pen is mightier than the sword ... BUT, when the pen is taken away, the sword is our only hope of getting it back.

I'm not a gun nut, but this makes some sense to me. OTOH, I don't know what chance a handful of civilians with handguns have against a military with long-range missiles, tear gas, sonic weapons, etc. I guess if you'd really rather be dead than have your freedom taken away, though, go for it.

Re:fuck (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905862)

Small arms won't help much to defeat tyranny nowadays. When we discussed the possibility of a modern American revolution, my dad always used to say that we won't need guns, we can all just head for D.C. and park our cars in the middle of the roads.

I think he might have had a point. Opressive bureaucracy can easily be clogged up and rendered ineffective by the populace if the people simply ignore or indeed flaunt rampant disobedience of unjust, silly laws. Like copying DVDs and music, or whatever.

I agree, this November is when we throw these bastards out and take back some power. In the meantime, fuck the current U.S. copyright and patent regime. And fuck the inept crooked corrupt lawbreaking current president. I can't wait until he's impeached LEGALLY by our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES, according to law. BTW, this week I watched several PIRATED DVDs downloaded via the evil BITTORRENT protocol and I might buy the ones I liked. Come and get me motherfuckers. I'm gonna vote against all the undesirable incumbents in November (Santorum in particular has got to go) and I'll be speaking out against you in the meantime, trying to swing others' votes. The current regime is history come Tuesday this November.

Why you let the citizens arm (4, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905865)

The reason why you let the citizens of a nation arm themselves isn't so that you can shoot politicians when they piss you off (no matter how appealing that might sound at times). The reason why you let citizens arm themselves is two fold.

First, bad guys will arm themselves like it not. Making arms illegal hampers their ability to arm, but they will always find their ways. Honest citizens who do not break the law on the other hand, and so when firearms are made illegal it leaves the criminals armed and the honest citizens unarmed. This is hardly an ideal state of affairs.

Second, allowing your citizenry to arm prevents the police from holding a monopoly on force. A citizen should not have to wait for the police to show up to save them if a criminal is breaking into their house or threatening to harm them. A citizen should have the means to defend themselves, and the truth is that a firearm is pretty much it when it comes to self defense. Only a gun is going to allow a 100 pound woman be able to fight off a 200 pound man. Certainly not all citizens will choose to arm themselves, and this is of course fine, but if someone feels that their life is in danger and they do not trust the police protect them, they should have the option of defending themselves. Banning firearms is in affect telling your citizens that they can not defend themselves against criminals in any other manner then waiting for the police to show up.

As far as revolution and the like, an armed citizenry is a populace that can inspire a little fear in politicians. In this day and age that means almost nothing because, as much as we like to bitch, our government is pretty evenhanded and fair. Most people have the things that they need to survive (and then some) and the thought of 'revolution' in the violent sense of the word is about as far from anyone's mind as you can imagine. We still have plenty of political options sitting around that we have yet to use to change things if we really want to. When the constitution was being framed this really was not true. The threat of an outside force conquering the country or even an internal force mucking things up was real. It certainly could be a real threat again in the not-so-foreseeable future.

I consider the need for revolution remote and really don't weight it much in the gun issue. The simple right to self defense is a far more important issue to me then the need for the tools of an unlikely revolution. But, as the grand parent poster pointed out in his own lovable red neck NRA fan way, it isn't a bad thing to keep a few guns around... just in case.

Re:fuck (5, Insightful)

Green Salad (705185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905714)

Citizen: There is no need to exercise your 2nd amendment rights!

Just like with your 2nd amendment rights...you may now exercise your 1st amendment right to free speech after the requisite 3-day waiting period from the day you file your application to speak freely.

Don't forget to bring a valid national identification card. Your application for free speech will not be processed without valid ID.

We just want to make sure you have a reasonable cooling off period and won't say anything dangerous to society. We'd also like to make sure that you've had no prior convictions related to saying anything dangerous before granting you permission to speak freely.

We have preserved your rights. Now move along before I arrest you.

The innocent have nothing to fear... (5, Insightful)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905848)

The president shouldn't have anything to worry about if he's innocent, so there's no need for this law.

So either the "innocent people have nothing to fear" argument is flawed for the surveillance program, or the US president is far from innocent...

Typical (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905650)

So what is all this "Land of the free" I keep hearing about?

Re:Typical (3, Insightful)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905748)

So what is all this "Land of the free" I keep hearing about?

The first comment from my friend from Canada, who lives in the US said: "That's it, I'm moving back to Canada."

Re:Typical (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905750)

Like in all fairy tales, it's something that was a long, long time ago.

Re:Typical (0, Troll)

hashinclude (192717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905771)

More like "Land OFF the free" ?

Re:Typical (1, Troll)

Green Salad (705185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905784)

Citizen: You may execise your Constitional freedoms at (almost) any time. First, file an application, allow a three day wainting period, and if you haven't abused your freedom, you will have the our permission to execise it.

One more thing, Citizen...If you truly wish to speak freely, do *not* forget to bring your National ID. Applications to get government permission to execise Constitutional freedoms will not be processed without valid ID.

1st amendment smack down (4, Interesting)

Shihar (153932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905886)

You see, not only is this the "land of the free", much to the surprise and horror of tyrants everywhere, it is also "land of the lawyers and civil societies" who love nothing more then a good old fashion 1st amendment smack down.

This law will not make it out of committee.

This law will not make it through the House.

This law will make it to the president's desk.

Should this law actually somehow become law, it absolutely will contested and struck down by the courts.

This has to be opposed (3, Insightful)

dynamo52 (890601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905654)

I for one am planning to write a letter of protest and sending it to every member of he Senate.

Re:This has to be opposed (1)

dynamo52 (890601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905665)

THE Senate ... sorry

Re:This has to be opposed (2, Funny)

Limax Maximus (640354) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905667)

Write to one - the wiretap is bound to pick it up and everyone will see it. Acutally, thats crap, they won't because there are no wiretaps in the states, there never have been and my mate George is the best man to have lived and done so much for maintaining a free and fair country.

This will never fly... (1)

sgant (178166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905670)

Even if by some fluke it actually gets passed as a law, it would be shot down SO fast by the courts that it would make their heads spin. We're talking about a HUGE fight with the multi-billion dollar news industry behind it.

What gets me mad is that congress wastes their time and my money on this flag-waving "look-how-patriotic-I-am" bullshit that wouldn't have a chance in HELL of passing through the courts. Like the idiotic flag burning ban they were talking about some years ago...that went no where of course. They just want to stand up there and say "Look at me! I'm an American! Vote for me next time!".

Pathetic.

Re:This will never fly... (5, Interesting)

eric76 (679787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905686)

it would be shot down SO fast by the courts that it would make their heads spin

Or they could arrest people, hold them in jail for a while, charge them, and then before the courts can make a decision, drop charges and let them go with stern warnings.

That way, the courts don't get a chance to shut them down since they have to have a real dispute, but the administration can use it to silence opponents.

Re:This will never fly... (5, Insightful)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905772)

Or they could arrest people, hold them in jail for a while, charge them, and then before the courts can make a decision, drop charges and let them go with stern warnings. That way, the courts don't get a chance to shut them down since they have to have a real dispute, but the administration can use it to silence opponents.

Note to self: never vote for this guy.

Re:This will never fly... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905786)

Actually, under the patriot act they can simply hold them without charge. This has been done to several hundred americans since 9/11.

Re:This will never fly... (1)

JuiceRat00 (566508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905726)

You mean shot down by the Bush court? surrrrrrrrrreeeee....

Re:This will never fly... (2, Informative)

smitingpurpleemu (951712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905775)

Hm... the Supreme Court is old and two have already retired, and have been replaced with solidly conservative Bush allies. I wouldn't be so sure that the courts will in fact shoot down this bill.

Welcome... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905655)

Welcome to the Soviet States of America! All your free speech are belong to us!

Your's kindly,
George W. Bush

Re:Welcome... (3, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905693)

In Soviet America, the news watches you. ...or... Information wants to be jailed. ...hmmm not so good .. others?

Re:Welcome... (1)

jimboisbored (871959) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905704)

In Soviet America country rule people

Checks and Balances (5, Insightful)

RunFatBoy.net (960072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905658)

While not perfect, the media is a crucial factor in the check and balances system. Once the media is supressed, branches of the government have free reign. -- Jim http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net]

someone please mod this karma whore down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905733)

hello this is a vaguely on topic message mod me up because i have a need for people to visit my web$ite --Anonymouscoward http://pasted-link-to-website-that-will-make-me-ri ch.com/ [pasted-lin...e-rich.com]

Mod Parent Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905795)

maybe insightful but the link is bullshit

Appropitate lyrics .. :P (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905659)

"Slowly But surely Your appetite is more than I knew"

From Wishing Well [gaarde.org] by Terence Trent D'Arby

Bill Could... (0, Flamebait)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905660)

In other news, it was announced today that the "Bill could make it a crime to floss your teeth" and that the "Bill could make it a crime to use the telephone".

How about some specific language that would actually restrict speech from a proposed bill with a remote chance of passing Congress that the Supreme Court is also likely to find constitutional, instead of one long speculation about possible dire consequences that'd never survive the most rudimentary court challenge?

I mean, we could spend all year talking about what some theoretical bill "could" make illegal, if it only had a chance to pass Congress, the President and the Supremes.

Re:Bill Could... (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905749)

1) the Supreme Court has been dodgy on both sides of the political spectrum for a long time.

2) It is easier to lobby congress not to pass the law now than it would be to overturn the law later. 1 oz. prevention - 1 lb. cure and all that.

What is disturbing about it: (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905760)

That someone had the guts to propose it. It's not so much that the supreme court could shoot it down as unconstitutional (with a supreme court being lined up with "loyal" judges... but let's imagine for a moment that the system still works) that bothers me, it's that someone actually thinks this should be a law.

And the more of those censorship bills are proposed, the higher the chance that one of them will finally make it into law. It's simply a matter of statistics. Yes, 999 out of 1000 bills like this will be canceled as unconstitutional. It's the 1000th you have to worry about.

Re:Bill Could... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905824)

How about some specific language that would actually restrict speech from a proposed bill with a remote chance of passing Congress that the Supreme Court is also likely to find constitutional

I agree with you about specific wording instead of vague scaremongering. However, your requirement that it be likely to be upheld by the Supreme Court is a bit silly. There is ZERO punishment applied to either congressmen for passing an unconstitutional law nor for the administration enforcing it. This means that people can be imprisoned for a law like this if it is passed by Congress and the Senate. Their rights will be infringed and if the law is ever struck down by the courts (there are plenty of ways to slow that process) then Congress just has to pass a new one.

The Supreme Court is essentially toothless against unconstitutional acts by govenment, because it chooses to be so.

(Captcha text: "disgusts", I swear that thing is developing into an AI)

Re:Bill Could... (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905853)

I mean, we could spend all year talking about what some theoretical bill "could" make illegal, if it only had a chance to pass Congress, the President and the Supremes.

Right, like the PATRIOT Act. I'm glad no one got all upset about that bill before it passed. Thank GOD, we have the PATRIOT Act to protect us from Terrorists <font size=-7>and other miscreants, or anyone else that the executive branch can find a justification for using it against them</font>

Yeah whatever (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905662)

An aide to the bill's author assures us it's not aimed at reporters

And the patriot act wasn't aimed at drug enforcement, but that certainly didn't stop it for being used for exactly that purpose.

Re:Yeah whatever (5, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905692)

Re:Yeah whatever (1)

Lesrahpem (687242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905799)

See, if someone wants to say the bill isn't aimed at a specific group of people, like reporters, then when doesn't it specifically say that? Law has nothing to do with intentions and everything to do with the ink on the paper.

Re:Yeah whatever (4, Interesting)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905825)

How's that cliche go?

If supporters of a bill, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, dismiss the concerns as purely hypothetical, they are lying. They intend to use such a law exactly that way as early and often as possible.

Re:Yeah whatever (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905877)

Actually, the patriot act is doing exactly what it was intended to do. It allows the gov. to give any information to the DOJ that it gleaned while in the persuit of a terrorists. Just because it is wrapped up in a nice name and has been spoken of being about terrorism, does not change that GWB was already using NSA resources illegally BEFORE the patriot act was approved. IOW, the patriot act does not enhance terrorism. It DOES give this admin access to anything on the wire that it wants.
 
  And yes, this bill would be targetted at the press or giving any info to them.

I, for one....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905671)

welcome our all-knowing, all-watching overlor....UMMPH!

Notice from Homeland Security.

This unit was double-plus ungood, and has never existed. Move along, society units.

US Govt Being a Big Brother (1)

abhinavkaiser (960721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905677)

The big brother attitude by the US government is annoying. They want to have all the information that is out there. First it was google. I really feel that there are somethings on the internet that are supposed to be confidential.

How about a proposing a bill (5, Funny)

d474 (695126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905678)

...that makes it illegal to make bills like this illegal one because they are trying to legalize the concealment of illegal activities.

Orwell, eat your heart out!

Re:How about a proposing a bill (1)

Lesrahpem (687242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905817)

It already exists, and it's called the Bill of Rights. Sadly, no one seems to ever enforce it when it really matters.

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.

What part of this is so damn hard for them to understand? If they want to change this they have to amend the constitution.

And if it is amended to include only leakers? (2, Interesting)

David Hume (200499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905684)

FTFA:
"It in no way applies to reporters _ in any way, shape or form," said Mike Dawson, a senior policy adviser to DeWine, responding to an inquiry Friday afternoon. "If a technical fix is necessary, it will be made."
It looks like the critics may , as a matter of (good) tactics, jumping on the preliminary language of the preliminary draft of poorly drafted bill.

Would people object if it was limited to leakers? If it excluded reporters, including blogger?

Re:And if it is amended to include only leakers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905713)

Yes.

Re:And if it is amended to include only leakers? (1)

David Hume (200499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905752)

Would people object if it was limited to leakers? If it excluded reporters, including blogger?
Yes.
Interesting. So there should be no criminal penalties for leaking any top secret information?

Or are you insisting on some sort of judicially reviewable, and perhaps jury determination, of harm? Perhaps with a mens rea [wikipedia.org] requirment regarding the harm?

Re:And if it is amended to include only leakers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905756)

Because leaker, like the bad guy who brought Nixon down, are always evil.

Re:And if it is amended to include only leakers? (2, Insightful)

David Hume (200499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905770)

Because leaker, like the bad guy who brought Nixon down, are always evil.
The question is whether they are ever evil.

Then it's even worse. (3, Insightful)

jabbo (860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905838)

Preferentially stifling debate is even worse than wholesale gag orders.

I may not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Ring a bell? It bloody well should, unless you're a big fan of Franco, Mussolini, and Stalin.

If any of our countrymen's freedoms are being taken away, whether we agree or disagree with them and their views, we are all poorer and less free for it. Silencing dissent weakens the commonwealth by encouraging ignorance and mindless assent. It is time to take a stand, and not budge one micron until the traitors who propose this have been excised from the fabric of the legislature.

Coup (4, Insightful)

Tengoo (446300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905687)

Six or seven years ago, if I were able to read today's headlines, maybe I'd think that a Coup d'etat had occurred in the states.

Re:Coup (5, Insightful)

dynamo52 (890601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905694)

Six or seven years ago, if I were able to read today's headlines, maybe I'd think that a Coup d'etat had occurred in the states.

No, just a facist takeover through a manipulated electoralprocess

Re:Coup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905709)

tagging beta - + facism

Re:Coup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905744)

Agreed
http://www.bushflash.com/14.html [bushflash.com]

What they always say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905878)

Don't attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

Re:Coup (2, Funny)

Green Salad (705185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905819)

Citizen: There has been no coup d'etat.

1. You have not exercized your first amendment freedom responsibly here.

2. It has been duly noted in your national record.

FIRsT POST (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905691)

to make sure the or mislead the fun to be again. of reality. KKep so that their go of the minutiae OUTER SPACE THE Paranoid conspiracy over a quality parts of you are

"All Animals are equal..." (3, Interesting)

Bushido Hacks (788211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905695)

"...except some are more equal than others." --George Orwell, Animal Farm

I suppose the next thing the will want to do is confescate all of our "controband" and "propganda".

If this is the future of America then I suggest a scishim and a sucession from the Imperial American Empire! Save the REAL United States of America from the New World Order.

More evidence of corruption? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905702)

It seems that the U.S. government is doing many things now that would never have happened 10 years ago.

Movie about 9/11: WTC building 7 fell in exactly the same way as WTC 1 and 2, and it was NOT hit by an airplane. ALL the collapses looked exactly like controlled demolitions. Loose Change [google.com] .

Clear violation of first amendment? (4, Insightful)

mejesster (813444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905705)

I will confess my initial reaction was pure shock and horror, however the worst case scenarios pictured in both the article and slashdotters' heads don't seem likely. It's a clear violation of the first amendment right to free speech to abridge political speech, and NO supreme court, conservative or liberal, would interpret otherwise. I will say, I'm shocked at how Republicans in Congress are pandering to this administration's bizarre and invasive agenda.

Re:Clear violation of first amendment? (4, Insightful)

jabbo (860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905798)

No. Wrong. It is *THAT FUCKING BAD*. Read the parts of the bill that are available or have been analyzed:

The draft would add to the criminal penalties for anyone who "intentionally discloses information identifying or describing" the Bush administration's terrorist surveillance program or any other eavesdropping program conducted under a 1978 surveillance law. Under the boosted penalties, those found guilty could face fines of up to $1 million, 15 years in jail or both.

Any Senator or Congressman who signs this bill should hang for treason. I am not joking. Signing this bill would be high treason. Full Stop.

Did anyone else... (4, Funny)

Sinbios (852437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905710)

...think "Gates" when they read the title? :P

Illegal to Complain About Crime?? (3, Insightful)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905711)

So they want to make it illegal to report a crime.....

Talk about stupid. Hopefully the Supreme Court would see fit to nuke this bill from orbit (should the US suffer the misfortune of this insane bill not being stillborn).

Press is not the issue... (5, Insightful)

ucsckevin (176383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905715)

Even if Media is excluded from the language of the bill, it will still have negative consequences. Primarily, I wonder how it could not stiffle or discourage whistle blowing, if said whistleblower feared running afowl of this new law. Leaks are often bad, but they are often important---otherwise the public would have no knowledge of bad policy. I would doubt, with all the trouble the patriot act had passing, that this would pass as well. Unfortunately, though, the past 20 years we've relied more and more on the courts to protect our freedoms. I wish it didn't come to that, because sometimes they mess up too (imminent domain anyone?

In about a year from now.. (2, Insightful)

scsirob (246572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905722)

.. you will have to address the president as 'Mullah Bush'.

This government is just as scary as those folkes they are trying to eliminate in the Middle East.

Oh, Great! Reporters Are Exempted! (4, Insightful)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905741)

But anybody who tells them about the illegal spy program is going to end up in jail -- and the reporter will end up in jail on contempt of court charges for not ratting out his/her informant.

Anybody up for thoughtcrime today? Thought so (1)

Sting_TVT (959719) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905747)

And people wonder why I'm an expatriate. Is it still too late to buy an island and create your own nation?

Re:Anybody up for thoughtcrime today? Thought so (1)

ami-in-hamburg (917802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905797)

Me Too! Germany is pretty restrictive in general but the US Government is completely out of control.

Spineless Democrats (4, Insightful)

visualight (468005) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905758)

Most of them voted to renew the Patriot Act, and for a minute there I thought there was hope they'd make a big enough stink to get a few Republicans to disobey their leaders.

If George wants this one, it'll pass too, probably with half of the Democrats voting for it.

Doesn't the last 5 years seem almost surreal? WTF happened to our country?

Feingold is the only one with a spine (4, Interesting)

jabbo (860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905805)

All the rest are cowering sycophants who place politics far, far ahead of principles. They may twist in the wind for all that I care, and for all that they care about their constituent's liberties.

Feingold, however, is the Eliot Spitzer of the halls of Congress. The guy should run for Emperor, errr Potentate, errr... what's Bush's title today?

i.e. vs. e.g. (5, Informative)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905792)

"i.e." stands for "id est" and means "that is [to say]".

"e.g." stands for "exempli gratia" and means "for example".

The article summary should have used e.g. instead of i.e. I see this mistake all the time and it irritates me.

Re:i.e. vs. e.g. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905849)

If you're using those to save keystrokes and mix them up, just remember that the "e" in "e.g." is the same first letter as in "example". :-)

Re:i.e. vs. e.g. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905866)

here here!

(oops, sorry; hear, hear!)

They Thought They Were Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905804)

This really applies to just about anything that is going on in the US with the gov't lately. It just reflects the principle of how easy it is to erode rights with slowly boiling frog process, overreaching on some measures to achieve a much smaller erosion of rights, knowing that the entrenched power will give time to achieve an overall enslavement of a people.

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928. html [uchicago.edu]

In fact, I think this should become a constitutional amendment the way things are going these days.

It's OK If You Are A Republican (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905806)

Hey, why not? The NSA domestic spying already violates the 4th Amendment. And the Republican Congress is willing to violate the spirit of the 9th, "no ex post facto laws", to change the law just to try to make Bush's crimes, breaking the FISA and Constutiotion, "go away".

Re:It's OK If You Are A Republican (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905832)

No, the bar against ex post facto laws is in Article I, Section 9. The 9th Amendment is the one that says that the enumeration of rights shall not be construed to mean that unenumerated rights don't exist.

Lese-majesty anyone? (3, Insightful)

ian_wolffe (625024) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905807)

Anyone familiar with the term should know what I'm talking about. I hereby propose we (the people) stop f'in around and propose a new amendment to the Constitution(tm) and: I. Criticism of the Government(R) is now a felony and will be tried as treason. II. Disagreement with the above statement shall be considered Terrorism(R). III. Disenting views shall be subject to provisions I. and II. above. IV. Buy more stuff. All in favor? I believe in one man, one vote. I'm the man, ergo I get the vote. All complaints subject to above four provisions

footnotes & references (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905808)

I'd rather have the press required to provide footnotes and references for their articles. IMHO, there's too much bullshit being made up by lazy reporters.

Just like the Patriot Act (5, Insightful)

BinBoy (164798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905812)

An aide to the bill's author assures us it's not aimed at reporters

And the Patriot Act is only used against terrorists.

Bah, I have an idea for a law... (4, Interesting)

Shihar (153932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905814)

First, this proposed law will get shot pretty much instantly by the courts should it pass the senate (which it wont). This proposed law pretty much pisses on the first amendment, something that should be clear to senate, and something that is certainly clear to the courts. I really am not the least bit worried.

That said, I think that this law inspires me to want a law of my own. Let's call my new law the "three strikes, now stop fucking with the constitution" law. Any congressman that votes for three laws that are later over turned on the grounds of it being unconstitutional should have their seat revoked for their absolute and utter incompetence in upholding the constitution of the United States.

These worthless fuckers have sworn an oath to the constitution, and it really fucking pisses me off when they promptly turn around and drop one of these shit for laws. Not only does it piss me off that they are so incompetent as to not see the clear violation of the constitution that they are proposing, but it also pisses me off that my tax money has to be pissed away overturning these steaming piles of shit.

Would a "three strikes, now STFU and stop messing with the constitution law" be great? Sure. It won't happen, so let's do the next best thing. STOP VOTING FOR THESE DUMB FUCKER. I am not sure who to be more pissed off at, the spineless incompetent politicians that seem to think that upholding the constitution is optional, or the worthless and lazy voters that blindly support their parties candidate and vote for these dumb fucker.

Bah. This crap will be shot down. Thankfully, the court system still mostly works and takes its responsibility to the constitution seriously. It still pisses me off though that it even needs to go that far.

Re:Bah, I have an idea for a law... (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905860)

>have sworn an oath to the constitution

Exactly correct, and here's the relevant part of the text of the Senate oath of office:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; ..."

YOEU FAIL IT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905831)

Yover the 5ame Fucking numbers,

"Is It Fascism, Yet?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905836)

Yes, it's fascism.

What are you going to do about it?

You can't spell IMPEACH without CHIMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905850)

IMPEACH the chimperor and the rest will follow!

Oh, I thought... (1)

Errandboy of Doom (917941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905852)

I thought the article was about some new DRM from Microsoft.

Fp DOLl (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905874)

another special project face5 a set BSD addicts, flame play area Try not

They say it's not meant to cover the press... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905879)

But then the question arise -- how can a reporter out this "detail" before the politicians writing the bill does?

If this is intentional to sneak in a mechanism to protect the government, it's really bad, but how bad is it if they'd be incompetent enough to unintentionally formulate a bill that had this major loophole that could be exploited in the future?

I can't find any respect for the US government for this regardless how I look at it.

Speech isn't free, and this bill is needed (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14905883)

First off, Speech is not Free.

McCain-Feingold (with the Supremes upholding it) puts lots of restrictions on political speech. Among them the NRA, NOW, ACLU and Sierra Club plus other advocacy groups unable to run ads endorsing or attacking candidates in Primaries and General Elections. With the result that various vague entities constructed under McCain-Feingold run thinly disguised attack ads.

Liberals and Progressives got the speech restrictions they want (along the lines of Speech Codes in the Universities) so have to live with the inevitable extension into areas that don't adhere to PC religion.

Second, the Parent article sites an authority with an axe to grind. Disclosures by people in the intelligence areas (likely Senators and Congressmen with access and axes to grind, looking at you Senator Rockefeller) have damaged National Security and brought Al Qaeda one step closer to nuking NYC or DC or both.

You all live in this dream world fantasy where the biggest enemy is GWB. I'll agree that Bush is an idiot, and mostly wrong, but on Al Qaeda he's right. GWB is a lame duck President with miserable polls who'll be gone in two years. Al Qaeda is still trying to kill us, and that means anyone in a big city particularly. Given their ties to Iran (bin Laden's son is living their with senior Al Qaeda leaders) and Iran's nukes, plus nukes from Pakistan which is one bullet away from Al Qaeda control this is no idle threat.

Disclosures of our secret prisons in Europe holding dangerous terrorists, satellite programs, intercepts of what Al Qaeda thought were purely foreign calls (US companies route foreign to foreign calls through their US switches) etc. have seriously impacted our ability to recognize a nuclear attack on us and save (millions) of lives. This is serious stuff not your paranoid grandiose fantasies of GWB being the bad guy and bin Laden the good guy or useless joke. We are at war. They really want to nuke us. I say use everything we got before we go to trading nukes and killing on an industrial scale after NYC vanishes. I'm perfectly fine with secret prisons to avoid killing 300 million people in retaliation for losing several million of ours (believe me, after Dubai Port World and Cartoon Jihad most of America is a "nuke em all" mood already).

Muslims around the world told you in Cartoon Jihad what they want: signs saying "Freedom Go To Hell," "Behead those who Insult Islam," and "God Bless Hitler." Iran's President says he will make a "World Without America" happen through nukes. Bin Laden has a fatwa allowing nuking of America.

We need this bill.

Let me point out to you where the real danger was: America's First Blackmailer J Edgar Hoover who had secret blackmail files on everyone. The Senate and House already agreed to formalized oversight of non-FISA surveillance, allowing Bush and Co. to do the job but requiring accountability. I'm more worried about a guy like Hoover who outlasted Hoover, FDR, Truman, Ike, Kennedy, Johnson, and into Nixon's term.

It's never the system. It's always the men. Anyone thinking GWB could do more than the bare minimum of finding his ass in the dark without a map and flashlight is delusional. He's barely able to decide what's for breakfast let alone spy on your porn visiting.

Pass the bill.

Outsourcing (5, Funny)

Tarmas (954439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14905884)

Come to think of it, outsourcing a government to India is not such a bad idea.
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