Wikileaks Decides: If The US Gov't Won't Create A Real Shield Law, We'll Shield Journalists Instead

from the technology-to-the-rescue dept

With the US federal gov't continually watering down and limiting any attempt at a federal shield law to help protect journalists from being pressured into revealing their sources, it looks like the site Wikileaks wants to help. It's trying to set up a system, whereby a source can leak information directly to a journalist for a period of time, before Wikileaks goes public with the info. But, either way, Wikileaks promises to protect the source, keeping the journalist separate from the source. While I have no idea if this particular program will actually work, it does show the futility of politicians trying to water down such a shield law. It seems like every time politicians try to do these sorts of things, the internet comes to the rescue with its own solutions.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 6:22am

    First!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    David T, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    [Sarcasm]

    Clearly this is a subversion of democracy and a clear and present threat. I hope Wikileaks likes it on the Terrorist Watch List...

    [/Sarcasm]

     

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  3.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Oct 13th, 2009 @ 7:38am

    Defending democracy

    This strikes me as a significant act of Jeffersonian principles. It amounts to individuals taking responsibility for protecting freedom when the government fails to do so. I wish them the best of luck and a good defense team.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 7:56am

    Gov'ment

    Sad it is the protection we need the most is protection from our government!

     

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  5.  
    icon
    James (profile), Oct 13th, 2009 @ 8:09am

    Internet comes to the rescue? Not for long. People think it is great that the US is "giving up" control over the internet. What our governement is "giving up" is having to deal with US law over issues like spying on email and other stuff. better to give it up to the UN who will then allow the governements of the world to do whatver they like in the name of "law inforcement". Just like this pesky "bill of rights". better to give and international police for jurisdiction in all countries of the world. Sorry chaps, feel like your rights were violated? the constutution of the US only protects you from the US government. Not the UN and not INTERPOL.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Davis Freeberg, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 8:52am

    Straw Man

    The issue isn't about stripping journalists of their rights or discouraging members of the public from sharing evidence of a crime with the press, it's about preventing people from refusing to cooperate in police investigations by claiming that their Twitter account gives them a shield. There will still be plenty of journalists that people can leak to as well, they just won't be able to clam up if they spill the beans on a public forum.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 9:04am

    All Wikileaks is doing is putting itself in the middle. Instead of the journalist getting sued to reveal sources, the folks running wikileaks will end up with the problem.

    I would say that they are being fools.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Jon B., Oct 13th, 2009 @ 10:27am

    Re: Gov'ment

    That's not sad or new. The US was built on the principle that the protection we need most is protection from government. The sad part is that lately as a people we've moved away from that thought.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Straw Man

    The issue isn't about stripping journalists of their rights or discouraging members of the public from sharing evidence of a crime with the press,...

    Err, in many cases that is exactly what may happen.

    ...it's about preventing people from refusing to cooperate in police investigations....

    And journalists ARE people.

    ...by claiming that their Twitter account gives them a shield.

    I find your claim that it would only apply to Twitter accounts to be deceptive. In fact, the law doesn't even mention Twitter. Talk about straw men. Oh well, I give you credit for at least being honest enough to disclose "Straw Man" in your subject line.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 3:58pm

    Re:

    I would say that they are being fools.

    Some people are willing to go out on a limb and risk their own personal interests for the sake of doing good in the world. Some people can't understand why anyone would do anything other than what's in their own best interest and call those who would "fools".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    John 8:32

    You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
    -- John 8:32

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Straw Man

    "There will still be plenty of journalists that people can leak to as well"

    Journalists who would either

    A: Censor it

    B: Report it and make it their intellectual property.

    No thanks. The laws should allow me to communicate it directly to the public, anonymously, without making it anyone's intellectual property. PERIOD.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Allan Masri (profile), Oct 14th, 2009 @ 9:39am

    RE RE Straw Man

    Absolutely true, anonymous coward. Furthermore, most governmental leaks occur at the top levels because a company or a government wants to leak information favorable to itself. Since those leakers are high-level guys, they will never be the targets of lawsuits. Genuine whistleblowers need protection from their bosses.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Terrence, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 12:14am

    mls search

    Nice comment
    Terrence
    mls search

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Terrence, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 12:16am

    Re: mls search

    Thanks for paritcipate.
    Terrence
    mls search

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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