Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Obama's Scary Infringement on Freedom of Speech

Sphere: Related Content

In a What If Bush Had Done it scenario, the Justice Department subpoenaed numerous documents of the vile Indymedia site(s):

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 Indymedia.us 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.

Kristina Clair, a 34-year old Linux administrator living in Philadelphia who provides free server space for Indymedia.us, said she was shocked to receive the Justice Department's subpoena. (The Independent Media Center is a left-of-center amalgamation of journalists and advocates that – according to their principles of unity and mission statement – work toward "promoting social and economic justice" and "social change.")

The subpoena (PDF) from U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis demanded "all IP traffic to and from www.indymedia.us" on June 25, 2008. It instructed Clair to "include IP addresses, times, and any other identifying information," including e-mail addresses, physical addresses, registered accounts, and Indymedia readers' Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and so on.
Why Indymedia would have Social Security Numbers and bank account numbers is beyond me but that's not the point. The federal government asked for physical addresses of people who read a website including times and other identifying info. That is one scary step towards violating the 1st Amendment rights of a great many people. They also forced them to be quiet about it which I find incredibly chilling.

But wait, it gets much better worse:

A Justice Department official familiar with this subpoena just told me that the attorney general's office never saw it and that it had not been submitted to the department's headquarters in Washington, D.C. for review. If that's correct, it suggests that U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison and Assistant U.S. Attorney Doris Pryor did not follow department regulations requiring the "express authorization of the attorney general" for media subpoenas -- and it means that neither Attorney General Eric Holder nor Acting Attorney General Mark Filip were involved. I wouldn't be surprised to see an internal investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility; my source would not confirm or deny that.

Am I to believe that these underlings acted on their own in the midst of a transition and while working under an interim boss? If so, why haven't they been fired and why did we not hear of this before now?

The Obama administration is turning into one of the most secretive since Nixon and acting like the shadiest since Tricky Dick as well.

Here's the EFF post on the legal issues. Thank goodness for those who are protecting us when real rights are violated by the government unlike the ACLU who makes shit up.

1 comment:

otis.opse said...

DOES THIS SURPRISE YOU? This band of thieves is an amalgam of LBJ, Nixon & Carter. Too bad the MSM has its head so far up this administration's ass, they are missing one hell of a story. History will tell all. Unless, of course, all the history books are redacted!