As DOJ Hunts For 'Second Leaker,' Will It Also Explore Who Leaked The Intercept's Story To The AP?

from the questions-to-ponder dept

Earlier this week, Tim Cushing wrote about The Intercept's latest scoop, concerning the makeup of the US government's federal terrorist watchlist, and the fact that a large chunk of it isn't affiliated with any terrorist groups. While most of the article focused on that point, he made two other notes in passing -- the first was that it was obvious that this release was from a second leaker, not Snowden, and the second was about how the government "leaked" the story in a "friendlier" manner to the AP in order to beat The Intercept. We thought both of these asides were interesting, but they've both turned into big stories on their own.

CNN later confirmed that US government officials are now searching for the second leaker (though "second" may not be accurate either...), more or less confirming what many people had been suspecting. Meanwhile, the "scoop spoiling" by the federal government actually resulted in a semi-apology from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) who gave the scoop to the AP. The NCTC claimed it had been working with the AP on a story for a while, and after seeing what The Intercept was doing, felt it needed to give them the heads up, though it also says it could have handled the situation better. Of course, this also makes it more likely that The Intercept won't bother giving the government much time (if any) to respond on future stories. Why risk the chance of having the government spoil the scoop again?

However, with all this concern about the "second leaker," Chris Soghoian asks a very good question. If the Justice Department is going to go hunting for whoever leaked the information to The Intercept, will it similarly go after whoever at NCTC was apparently providing the same basic information to the Associated Press? Or how about the person who told CNN that the US government believes there's a "second leaker"? Because that information is also a leak, and potentially a big one, given that it will alert the leaker that the government is searching for him or her.

Somehow, we don't think the DOJ will be too concerned about those leaks. "Official" leaks happen all the time and no one cares. It's just the leaks that make the government look bad that somehow are seen as criminal.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Violynne (profile), Aug 7th, 2014 @ 12:18pm

    "...given that it will alert the leaker that the government is searching for him or her."
    Can't agree with this. It's in the very term: whistle blower. The alert was already sounded the moment they started turning over information.

    Their concern now is not getting caught.

    To the informant(s): know when to fold your hand and leave the table. Good luck!

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 7th, 2014 @ 12:43pm

    Ahem

    Betteridge to the white courtesy phone. Betteridge to the white courtesy phone, please.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    David, Aug 7th, 2014 @ 1:02pm

    Reverse Spartacus

    "Snowden is me". One guy to blame for all and in the Russia bind him.

    How many other revelations will be assigned to Snowden just because it's possible?

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2014 @ 1:40pm

    Quickly

    Somebody alert Hong Kong! Oh, wait

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2014 @ 1:56pm

    This, among many other things, shows the danger of selective prosecution.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2014 @ 2:29pm

    selective prosecution?

    can selective prosecution - as described here - be used as a defense?

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2014 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Reverse Spartacus

    AnonymouSnowden

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2014 @ 3:38pm

    leaks that tell the truth about government, that said government is trying to keep hidden, that makes the government look bad are what they try to keep hidden!

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2014 @ 3:47pm

    Re: selective prosecution?

    "can selective prosecution - as described here - be used as a defense?"

    Are you kidding? Selective enforcement is what the DOJ is all about these days.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2014 @ 3:48pm

    The greatest crime...

    ...is revealing government wrong doing.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Aug 7th, 2014 @ 4:52pm

    Who's next?

    My hope is that this becomes "Whack-a-mole" until the government stops being so corrupt.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2014 @ 5:07pm

    Re:

    Controlling the language is all part of molding public opinion. Re-framing whistleblowing as leaking - the same as re-framing torture as 'enhanced interrogation techniques'

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    Padpaw (profile), Aug 7th, 2014 @ 8:13pm

    see something say something does not apply to any government corruption you happen across. it only applies to what the serfs do.

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    Padpaw (profile), Aug 7th, 2014 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Who's next?

    it is getting to the point Americans will either keep rolling over and taking it up the ass or revolt.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2014 @ 5:48pm

    "As DOJ Hunts For 'Second Leaker,' Will It Also Explore Who Leaked The Intercept's Story To The AP?"

    Oh! Oh! I know that one.
    The answer is.....

    No!

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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