Senator Wyden Puts Hold On Intelligence Authorization Act Over Free Speech Concerns

from the good-for-him dept

Once again, Senator Ron Wyden seems like one of a very small number of people in Congress actually willing to stand up against bad bills that are pushed forward with fear mongering. Earlier this year, we noted just how absolutely ridiculous it was that Senator Dianne Feinstein seemed a hell of a lot more concerned about punishing whoever blew the whistle on questionable US activities like Stuxnet, then about the questionable activities themselves. In response, she put forth some legislation that was designed to punish government whistleblowers, rather than understand why they were blowing the whistle. This bill got dumped into a key appropriations bill, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. In other words, Feinstein basically said that if we are to fund intelligence activities we have to crack down on whistleblowers. Shameful stuff.

Thankfully, Senator Wyden has now put a hold on the bill, noting his concern about how it would impact free speech issues, especially as it pertained to the media reporting on national security:
"I think Congress should be extremely skeptical of any anti-leaks bills that threaten to encroach upon the freedom of the press, or that would reduce access to information that the public has a right to know," Wyden said in a floor statement publicly announcing his hold. "Without transparent and informed public debate on foreign policy and national security topics, American voters would be ill-equipped to elect the policymakers who make important decisions in these areas."
Of course, part of the issue here is that Feinstein sees any form of whistleblowing or commentary as "leaks," while Wyden properly recognizes that a functioning democracy means allowing the press to report on questionable behavior by the government.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 4:44am

    Feinstein is in favor of a secretive government that is quick to punish whistleblowers. This behavior is more in line with a dictatorship than a democracy. Thanks to Wyden for standing strong for American principles.

     

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      gorehound (profile), Nov 15th, 2012 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      Thank You Wyden !

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 9:19am

      Criminals in politics

      Feinstein is in favor of a secretive government that is quick to punish whistleblowers. This behavior is more in line with a dictatorship than a democracy.

      And therefore Feinstein should be considered an enemy of the state, and not deserve the rights of an American citizen.

       

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        The Real Michael, Nov 16th, 2012 @ 6:57am

        Re: Criminals in politics

        To protect our rights is to protect America; to attack our rights is to attack America. Period.

         

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 4:53am

     

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    •  
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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 5:26am

      Re:

      A fair and ethical internet? - wtf does that mean

      "keep your grubby paws off the internet" sounds a lot better

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 5:08am

    if Feinstein is more concerned with keeping what the government and law enforcement are up to secret and then want to condemn anyone that brings wrong doings to the attention of the public, she shouldn't be in the job! probably more concerned with having a new (but stupid) bill associated to her than actually doing what she was elected to do

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 5:42am

    Seeking more info is itself more interesting...

    http://www.techdirt.com/blog/?tag=feinstein
    Seems to gets only one item from 2009, but maybe requires javascript...

    However I'd tried Google first, and here's the interesting bit: just "Feinstein" @ techdirt.com finds THIS story listed at least THREE times among the first 20 entries of "About 35,800 results" despite having been up only two hours! How DO you get Google to index you so quickly and so often, Mike? It's a more interesting topic than this particular item. -- As vague comparison I tried "Petraeus" @ drudgereport.com and get only "About 59 results"! -- IF we knew how Google works, might go a long way toward explaining how this dull re-write site is yet ranked so high. (PS: yes, I know about "gaming" Google and Mike's multiply redundant superfluity of excessive linkage: this seems still in excess of what to expect from that.)

    Senator Wyden Puts Hold On Intelligence Authorization Act Over ...
    www.techdirt.com/.../senator-wyden-puts-hold-intelligence-authorization-act-over-free-speech-co ncerns.shtml
    1 hour ago ... In other words, Feinstein basically said that if we are to fund intelligence ... Of
    course, part of the issue here is that Feinstein sees any form of ...

    #
    Techdirt.
    www.techdirt.com/ - Similar
    In other words, Feinstein basically said that if we are to fund intelligence activities
    we have to ... Of course, part of the issue here is that Feinstein sees any form of ...

    #
    Senator Wyden Puts Hold On Intelligence Authorization ... - Techdirt.
    www.techdirt.com/blog.php
    1 hour ago ... In other words, Feinstein basically said that if we are to fund intelligence ... Of
    course, part of the issue here is that Feinstein sees any form of ...


    ANYHOO, I try to find some interest here when none is provided.

     

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      The Real Michael, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 5:56am

      Re: Seeking more info is itself more interesting...

      Did anyone else notice the sudden gravitational pull from the palm to the face upon reading out_of_the_blue's post?

       

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      Kingster (profile), Nov 15th, 2012 @ 5:57am

      Re: Seeking more info is itself more interesting...

      I find nothing of the sort. Maybe it is Google tweaking your results based on history? Are you using Chrome? Signed in to Google? Something similar? Lots of things "influence" your Google results. I wish they would provide a way to turn that off...

      Doing a search on Google using "feinstein site:techdirt.com" grabs me only one hit for this particular article in my first 50.

      Then, I tried a search here without Javascript turned on. I got a significant number of results using both "feinstein" and the actual tag, "dianne feinstein". In fact, you could just scroll up and click on her name in the tags... And get a big ol' page of posts with her tagged in it.

      So... I'd venture to say you've found nothing of interest, while many of us find Senator Wyden's defense of our rights from those that choose to see "boogeymen" that don't exist important.

       

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        anon, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 6:20am

        Re: Re: Seeking more info is itself more interesting...

        it's called duckduckgo.com

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 6:36am

          Re: Re: Re: Seeking more info is itself more interesting...

          Yep.

          Results are getting good, but if you search for "something" and get no useful results, you can always write "something !google" and have your search directed to google.

          DuckDuckGo is full of win.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 7:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Seeking more info is itself more interesting...

            DuckDuckGo is awesome, You can also write "something !g" and have your search directed to Google.

            I don't like to type unnecessarily. ;)

             

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 5:58am

      Re: Seeking more info is itself more interesting...

      You should probably talk to a therapist before this turns into full-blown stalking.

       

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

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      Donnicton, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 5:59am

      Re: Seeking more info is itself more interesting...

      It's a shame how much effort you put into non-sequiturs. Think of what you could accomplish if you put even half of that time into civilized(read: no ad hominems) discussion.

      But then, it's far more likely that you just do this on purpose to see who you can get a rise out of, than to properly convey any point at all. There's no way that you can truly believe that throwing insults and attacks around would really ever prompt anyone to change their opinion on something.

      Assuming you're even the same person - I'm not convinced that you're not just a generic name used by random people whenever they feel like trolling the comments.

       

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

    •  
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      Michael, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 5:59am

      Re: Seeking more info is itself more interesting...

      Let me get this straight.

      You searched google for:

      "Feinstein" @ techdirt.com

      and you are wondering why techdirt articles are listed first?

      Pro tip - if you don't want techdirt.com in your search results on google, you shouldn't include it in your search criteria.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 7:33am

      Re: Seeking more info is itself more interesting...

      You're truly obsessed.

       

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

    •  
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      The Groove Tiger (profile), Nov 15th, 2012 @ 11:15am

      Re: Seeking more info is itself more interesting...

      The stupid, it burns! The Googles, they do nothing!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 12:55pm

    Well done wyden, a politician above the rest.......dont ever comprimise, there are far to few men like you

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

    So because she was foiled by some whistle blowers, she made a bill that punishes whistle blowers?

    And no one seemed to figure that she might be acting petty here?

     

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


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