A few weeks ago, we were among many who were stunned to hear the story of On the Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman on the show about how she, her family, and a bunch of friends were all detained at the Canadian/American border by US Customs and Border Patrol agents (CBP) in two different locations. Every single one of the people detained were American citizens, and they were all treated absolutely horribly. Many had their electronics confiscated, and they were kept in freezing conditions without any explanation or recourse. One man was taken away from his family, put in a cell, and then his family was told that "an agency" was coming to deal with him, and they were told nothing further (only later to find out it was because of an unpaid ticket from years ago.
Perhaps even more horrifying than the treatment that they all went through was the complete lack of response to any and all journalistic questions about this. The DHS basically refused to return any calls and just ignored the matter. Abdurrahman was able to get one person from one of the border crossings on the phone at one point, and was basically told that he wasn't going to tell her anything. The sheer lack of accountability, concern or transparency was both shocking and depressing. Since then, On the Media has continued to try to get answers... and has come up empty. Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol appear to be taking the position that maybe if they ignore this situation it'll go away.
In talking their situation over with some experts, the OTM team was told that the way to deal with this was to get Congress to hold DHS accountable, and the way to do that is to have constituents of Representatives who have oversight authority concerning DHS to call their Reps and demand answers. OTM has tried calling their own Reps without much luck, so they've instead decided to crowdsource the journalistic effort. They're asking basically all of their listeners to put on their journalist hats, and to call Congress, asking some specific questions. If that listener happens to be represented by someone on a DHS oversight committee, it connects you directly to that office. Otherwise, they'll pick randomly from the list (of course, non-constituent calls tend to have less sway with Congress).
To make this even easier, they've built a tool to make it easy to call Congress, complete with the list of questions they'd like you to ask and a form to fill out the answers. Oh, and they've made the whole thing embeddable. It's at the bottom of this post. For those who think this doesn't have an impact, you should never underestimate the power of phone calls to your Representatives. They tend to have significantly more influence that most people expect.
As noted by Politco, General Alexander isn't a fan of journalists doing anything about these documents:
"I think it’s wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000—whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these—you know it just doesn’t make sense," Alexander said in an interview with the Defense Department's "Armed With Science" blog.
"We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that. That’s more of the courts and the policymakers but, from my perspective, it’s wrong to allow this to go on," the NSA director declared.
It's not the policymakers and the courts. It's the Constitution, and it says there's freedom of the press.
Other parts of the interview continue to show Alexander spewing things that have already been debunked:
“When you look at the 9/11 commission, it faulted the intelligence community for not connecting the dots. We didn’t have the tools. These [programs we have now] are tools that help us connect the dots. We have learned that lesson once. We all vowed this would never happen again. We should commit to that course of action.”
That's not true. The 9/11 commission argued, indeed, that the intelligence service failed to connect the dots, but it wasn't because they lacked the information. It's just that it wasn't properly shared. The way to fix that is not to collect more information and make it even harder to connect the dots. And yet that's been General Alexander's strategy all along.
Elsewhere in the interview, Alexander laughably tries to pretend that US Cyber Command, which he also controls, is focused on protecting "intellectual property." But that's also not true. As has been clearly stated and confirmed, it's focused on offensive attacks, which it does more than any other country (even as the US government tries to scold countries like China and Iran for their online attacks).
And then, I guess he figures that if he's going to lie about, well, everything, why not go all in, and just claim that these programs aren't "spying."
“They aren’t spying programs,” he says directly. “One is called the Business Records FISA Program, or Section 215, and the other is called the FISA Amendment Act 702 or PRISM.”
The business records program, or Section 215, is probably the most misunderstood of the two programs. The metadata program takes information and puts it in a data repository. Metadata is the phone number, the date, time, group, and duration of the call.
“That’s all we have,” Gen. Alexander explains. “We don’t have any names or any content.”
Except that having that metadata is incredibly revealing and absolutely is a form of spying. If it's not, why won't General Alexander release his phone numbers, date, time, group and duration of all of his calls from the past year? Why not? Because he thinks that's private information. Because it is. And because General Alexander is a hypocrite.
“The oversight and compliance on these programs is greater than any other program in our government.”
Hahahahah. No. This is also a lie. It's been shown that the courts and Congress have admitted they're limited by what the NSA tells them -- and the NSA goes out of its way to avoid telling Congress very much.
Alexander also mocks the recent claims about spying on French phone calls, using the exact same dodge as his boss, James Clapper. Both pretend that the news reports said that 70 million calls were recorded. Alexander mocks this by pointing out it would be impossible to have so many calls listened to, and to find enough translators to understand them. But the reports were about mostly metadata, and just some recordings. Pretending that the press said something that it didn't doesn't make Alexander look trustworthy. It makes it look like he's lying.
Not surprisingly, though hilariously, the blogger for the Defense Department's "Armed With Science," Jessica Tozer doesn't appear to challenge any of Alexander's claims. Instead, she repeats all the statements and mocks anyone who might challenge them:
Some people would rather believe a dramatic, convenient lie than a real, uncomplicated truth. Don’t be that person.
I'd argue that right back at Tozer and Alexander, because Alexander is flat out lying in the interview, based on confirmed facts.
Don’t give credence to speculation, rumor, or hyperbole. Simply put, don’t give into the hype. When it comes down it, a nation without the NSA would be a nation left undefended.
And that, dear readers, is no lie.
Um. It's absolutely a challengeable statement, but the Defense Department, obviously, isn't here for reasoned discussion on this issues.
It isn't exactly news that newspapers are facing some serious business difficulties. But if you haven't been keeping up with the business of journalism (and who could blame you since most of the news is crap), you might have missed seeing that some tech billionaires are starting to invest in journalistic endeavors. Sure, billionaires have always owned all the major news organizations (eg. Hearst, Bloomberg, Zuckerman), but the key part here is that technology-savvy billionaires are getting into the game. Maybe that small detail will matter. Or Maybe it won't. In case you haven't been reading any of this news, here are some examples of this billionaire buying trend.
It's been somewhat incredible to watch government officials try to claim that reporters covering the NSA revelations from Ed Snowden's leaked documents are somehow "traitors." Last week, in the UK, the head of MI5, Andrew Parker, made a fool of himself going around telling other newspapers that The Guardian had somehow helped terrorists. However, as Amy Davidson at the New Yorker reminds us, when the government suddenly starts calling journalists "traitors," it pays to be skeptical, because it's most likely that the government is just very embarrassed about some news that makes them look bad.
Davidson relays the story of "the Spiegel Affair" from 1962, in which German officials went completely insane in attacking Der Spiegel for supposedly "putting lives at risk" by revealing 41 "highly classified state secrets." Officials also claimed that the publisher and the reporter were fleeing the country and needed to be stopped and arrested. The publication's offices had to be raided. Of course, it all later turned out to be almost entirely bogus. The report was certainly embarrassing to German officials -- highlighting how ill-prepared the country was in the case of an attack, because a simulation had resulted in fifteen million West Germans dead. Many of the official claims were outright lies (like the publisher skipping town to Cuba, which never happened). While that doesn't mean that reporters can't sometimes reveal too much, it's a good reminder that when the government flips its lid in situations like this, it pays to take the claims with a very large grain of salt.
The key paragraph from Davidson makes the point clear:
The professional secret-keepers are phenomenally bad at distinguishing between the threat of terror and their terror at being threatened—or worse, as with Strauss, at being humiliated. They need the press not just to shake them up but also to keep them from being destabilized by their own weaknesses and vanities.
We've discussed at length the overclassification problem in the government, and this is all a symptom of that. The government likes to overclassify things that may embarrass government officials -- and thus they tend to overreact when those things eventually come out. This is, in part, because of the embarrassing information, but also because of the attempt to cover up the embarrassment, which only makes the whole thing worse.
Either way, this historical example is good to remember as we continue to see government officials make fanciful claims without any evidence to support them about how much the Chelsea Manning or Ed Snowden leaks have "harmed" our safety.
If you dig through a Techdirt search on augmentation, you'll return links for our ongoing Daily Dirt pieces and some interesting stuff about augmented reality. That kind of thing is all well and good, but fans of cyberpunk thrill-rides like me have something different in mind for ourselves when it comes to augments. We want the good stuff. You know, implanted HUD vision, mechanical servos in our leg joints that will make us jump like LeBron, maybe a gun-arm or two so we can savagely disperse justice on unsuspecting bad guys. Unfortunately, very little in the way of improvement in these fields has occurred.
Oops. See, part of the reason that Sarif Industries' cybernetic implants are still in their infancy is that the company doesn't exist. Sarif Industries is a fictitious company from a cyberpunk video game, Deus Ex, set in a future Detroit. As Kotaku notes:
Granted, the folks behind The Sun don't really care that much about nonsense like "accuracy" or "making sure the news they report isn't actually from a video game." And yes, perhaps eyeball implants will indeed be common in 50 years. But they probably won't come from Sarif Industries.
Thank science for all the fact-checking our brick and mortar newspapers do. On the other hand, seriously, how much fact-checking is required to determine that no biomedical company producing what would be a ground-breaking achievement in augmentation exists in Detroit? I recognize that the Sun has a bit of a reputation for skipping out on pesky little things like "facts" in its reporting, but rewriting video games as fact seems to take things to a different level.
Back in May, we wrote about Aaron Swartz's final project, done in collaboration with Wired's Kevin Poulsen, to create a very secure platform to allow whistleblowers to anonymously submit documents to the press. At the time it was called DeadDrop, and the initial media partner was The New Yorker, which set up its version as Strongbox. It's unclear if anyone's actually used Strongbox, but obviously since that launch there's been renewed attention concerning leakers and whistleblowers, and ways to leak information safely.
Today it was announced that the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an offshoot of the EFF which we've covered before, has taken over the project, now dubbed SecureDrop. Besides having the support of the Foundation to help with development and deployment of the platform, they've also announced that the system has gone through a significant security audit by some of the most respected names in the business, leading to a few additional improvements:
SecureDrop’s code has gone through a detailed security audit by a team of University of Washington researchers, led by Alexei Czeckis. Other authors of the audit include renowned security expert Bruce Schneier and Tor developer Jacob Appelbaum. Freedom of the Press Foundation has made a number of updates to SecureDrop based on these findings and will be making a significant investment in continually improving the system.
On top of that the Foundation has hired computer security expert James Dolan to maintain the code and to help install the system for media organizations. He helped do the original installation of StrongBox for the New Yorker. Hopefully a bunch of media organizations look into using this system, as it will help provide better ways to protect whistleblowers, especially in an age where they're under such constant attack from the government.
We've already discussed why it makes sense for journalists to make a reasonable determination about whether or not leaked intelligence documents are newsworthy, but apparently some journalists feel differently about their own judgment. Chris Blackhurst, who until recently was the editor of The Independent (and is now "group content director" -- whatever that means) has published an absolutely incredible article that's basically a total and complete abdication of his role as a journalist stating directly: "If MI5 warns that this is not in the public interest who am I to disbelieve them?"
As the title suggests, Blackhurst makes it quite clear that he believes the role of a journalist is to be a stenographer of the government, to simply amplify their position on things, rather than to hold them accountable:
If the security services insist something is contrary to the public interest, and might harm their operations, who am I (despite my grounding from Watergate onwards) to disbelieve them?
In August, this paper also received information from the Snowden files. We did not publish much of the information we were given because the Government, in the shape of a Defence Advisory Notice or "DA" notice, asked us to desist, in the interests of national security. Several times in my career, I've been served with a DA notice. On each occasion, I confess, I've not published. Does that make me a coward and an establishment lackey? Or responsible and sensible?
He later defends this by arguing that there's nothing that interesting in the Snowden leaks anyway.
First, try as I might, I cannot get that excited about it. With the Snowden leaks I find myself speculating – as I did with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks – as to whether I am getting too old and losing the plot as a journalist. But, as with WikiLeaks, will someone please put the boasts about size and volume on one side and tell me: where is the story?
If it's that the security services monitor emails and phone calls, and use internet searches to track down terrorists and would-be terrorists – including, I now read, something called the "dark net" – I cannot get wound up about it. At Kings Place, home of The Guardian, they will say my judgement is a mess. Never had any, they will probably sneer. Far too cosy to the powers-that-be, they might add.
In which case, guys, uncurl your lips and explain what it is, exactly, that the NSA and GCHQ, are doing that is so profoundly terrible? What justifies all the posturing we've been subjected to these past months? I watched The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who obtained the Snowden scoop, on Newsnight the other evening and was nonplussed. I wanted him to say what the real scandal was that he had uncovered. But he did not.
Apparently collecting data on every phone call, as well as scooping up a ridiculous amount of everyone's communications data, despite previous claims of not doing that, isn't a concern to Blackhurst. He simply believes -- because the government tells him -- that they need this information to "stop terrorists." And yet, the evidence has shown that these efforts haven't actually done much to stop terrorists and that this information has been abused for a variety of reasons. Furthermore, it's not as if we need to reach very far back in history to find examples of governments abusing this kind of information to destroy people's lives -- including reporters. But, Blackhurst seems to think that if his buddies in the government say it's okay, it must be okay. Because.
I don't want my civil liberties infringed, and as a taxpayer I'd like to know as much as possible about what the Government and its agents are doing with my money. But I also want the security services to do their jobs properly, to make the world safer. I know they will make mistakes; I know that occasionally they will stray. I hope I'm not complacent. Others, doubtless, will disagree.
Again, this seems to be totally ignoring his role as a journalist to be the one to help people understand what the government is doing with his and their money -- and to make sure that the security services are actually doing their jobs properly and not abusing the system (which goes way beyond merely making "mistakes.") If this is the way The Independent views its journalism role these days, it really ought to change its title to "the Government's Mouthpiece" or something more appropriate.
Nick Davies at The Guardian has an interesting article challenging those (including some competing UK newspapers) who have been arguing that it's somehow inappropriate for journalists to make the decision about whether or not Snowden's leaked documents can be revealed without revealing sensitive information that puts lives in danger. We've seen similar claims elsewhere, including in our comments, where some insist that it's preposterous to think that anyone other than the intelligence community can know for certain whether or not the documents are sensitive. Davies, however, makes the strong case that the government has a long and sordid history of hiding behind these kinds of claims to disguise highly questionable activity -- and, instead, it's the power of the press that is necessary to keep them honest.
The official answer is that we should trust the security agencies themselves. Over the past 35 years, I've worked with a clutch of whistleblowers from those agencies, and they've all shared one underlying theme – that behind the screen of official secrecy, they had seen rules being bent and/or broken in a way which precisely suggested that the agencies should not be trusted. Cathy Massiter and Robin Robison, for example, described respectively MI5 and GCHQ pursuing politically motivated projects to spy on peace activists and trade unionists. Peter Wright told of MI5 illegally burgling its way across London "while pompous bowler-hatted civil servants in Whitehall pretended to look the other way". David Shayler exposed a plot both lawless and reckless by MI5 and MI6 to recruit al-Qaida supporters to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi.
All of this was known to their bosses. None of it should have been happening. But the agencies in whom we are invited to place our trust not only concealed it but without exception then attacked the whistleblowers who revealed it.
Davies also destroys the idea that politicians in charge of "oversight" can do an effective job:
Would we do better to trust the politicians who have oversight of the agencies? It's instructive to look back from our vantage point, post-Snowden, to consider what was happening only two years ago when the government attempted to introduce new legislation which came to be known as the snooper's charter. If the oversight politicians are as well-informed as they claim, they must have known that this was in part a cynical attempt to create retrospective legal cover for surveillance tools that were already secretly being used, but they said nothing. And when parliament refused to pass that law, clearly indicating that there was no democratic mandate for those tools, they still stayed silent.
Politicians fall easy victim to a political Stockholm syndrome which sees them abandon their role as representatives of the people in favour of becoming spokesmen for the spooks. It was there in the 1970s when the New Statesman bravely exposed security lapses and financial corruption in GCHQ, only to face a prosecution orchestrated by a Labour attorney general; there again with Jack Straw describing in his autobiography how MI5 had spied on him and his family since he was 15 but declaring that he was "neither surprised nor shocked – this was the world we lived in"; and there again, of course, in the foreign secretary William Hague's bland presumption that "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" from the systems of mass surveillance exposed by Snowden.
These are all UK examples, of course. But we've seen the identical situation in the US as well. The over-classification problem in our government is well-documented and no one seems to want to fix it. Furthermore, stories of intelligence community abuses of power are well-known throughout US history. As for political oversight, the litany of stories we've had concerning Rep. Mike Rogers tells a different story altogether. He's supposedly in charge of oversight, but comes from an intelligence background and has shown, repeatedly that his focus is not on oversight, but on running cover to prevent real oversight of the intelligence community's actions.
Journalists may not be perfect, but they certainly have a much better track record than either governments or politicians in making these kinds of determinations.
We all know that companies will occasionally use social media in a way that just comes off as wrong, either intentionally or not. For instance, one pizzeria's friendly promotion for free pie is another feminist league's gross attempt to view women's breasts. The point is that in a world that is more connected than ever, in which social media attempts can go viral quickly for reasons good or bad, a corporation had damned well better get the message right or risk the consequences.
One would think that news organizations and their employees, already adept at writing headlines, would be proficient in this. One would not, however, always be right in that regard. Take the example of a Fox News employee, Joyce Evans, who tweeted the following to followers of the local Philadelphia station:
Thought "Breaking Bad" was hot last Sunday? @FOX29philly See who's breakin' bad in SW Philly leavin' 6 people SHOT - Tonite at Ten!
— Joyce Evans (@JoyceEvansFox29) October 7, 2013
Your reaction range ought to be somewhere between cringe and laugh, depending on how dark your sense of humor is. Teasing a story in which multiple people were shot using that kind of terminology is something you just don't do. At the very least, those involved in the story are going to be outraged. More likely, you're going to outrage a good portion of those not involved who don't think that conflating entertainment with the real-life harm of a multiple shooting is something news companies should be doing.
So, as you'd imagine, the properly chastised Evans issued a sincere apology. Just kidding, she doubled down on her ignorance.
Last tweet NOT AST ALL A JOKE. Very real life drama was the point as oppose to one that end on tv. That was my point
— Joyce Evans (@JoyceEvansFox29) October 7, 2013
Mmm, no. Your point was that the story was "hot" in the same entertaining way as a fictional show. And nobody is buying the BS, either. Welcome to social media, Joyce!
Over the past several months, the Obama Administration has defended the government's far-reaching data collection efforts, arguing that only criminals and terrorists need worry. The nation's leading internet and telecommunications companies have said they are committed to the sanctity of their customers' privacy.
I have some very personal reasons to doubt those assurances.
In 2004, my telephone records as well as those of another New York Times reporter and two reporters from the Washington Post, were obtained by federal agents assigned to investigate a leak of classified information. What happened next says a lot about what happens when the government's privacy protections collide with the day-to-day realities of global surveillance.
The story begins in 2003 when I wrote an article about the killing of two American teachers in West Papua, a remote region of Indonesia where Freeport-McMoRan operates one of the world's largest copper and gold mines. The Indonesian government and Freeport blamed the killings on a separatist group, the Free Papua Movement, which had been fighting a low-level guerrilla war for several decades.
I opened my article with this sentence: "Bush Administration officials have determined that Indonesian soldiers carried out a deadly ambush that killed two American teachers."
I also reported that two FBI agents had travelled to Indonesia to assist in the inquiry and quoted a "senior administration official" as saying there "was no question there was a military involvement.''
The story prompted a leak investigation. The FBI sought to obtain my phone records and those of Jane Perlez, the Times bureau chief in Indonesia and my wife. They also went after the records of the Washington Post reporters in Indonesia who had published the first reports about the Indonesian government's involvement in the killings.
As part of its investigation, the FBI asked for help from what is described in a subsequent government report as an "on-site communications service" provider. The report, by the Department of Justice's Inspector General, offers only the vaguest description of this key player, calling it "Company A.''
"We do not identify the specific companies because the identities of the specific providers who were under contract with the FBI for specific services are classified,'' the report explained.
Whoever they were, Company A had some impressive powers. Through some means – the report is silent on how – Company A obtained records of calls made on Indonesian cell phones and landlines by the Times and Post reporters. The records showed whom we called, when and for how long -- what has now become famous as "metadata."
Under DOJ rules, the FBI investigators were required to ask the Attorney General to approve a grand jury subpoena before requesting records of reporters' calls. But that's not what happened.
Instead, the bureau sent Company A what is known as an "exigent letter'' asking for the metadata.
A heavily redacted version of the DOJ report, released in 2010, noted that exigent letters are supposed to be used in extreme circumstances where there is no time to ask a judge to issue a subpoena. The report found nothing "exigent'' in an investigation of several three-year-old newspaper stories.
The need for an exigent letter suggests two things about Company A. First, that it was an American firm subject to American laws. Second, that it had come to possess my records through lawful means and needed legal justification to turn them over to the government.
The report disclosed that the agents' use of the exigent letter was choreographed by the company and the bureau. It said the FBI agent drafting the letter received "guidance" from "a Company A analyst.'' According to the report, lawyers for Company A and the bureau worked together to develop the approach.
Not surprisingly, "Company A" quickly responded to the letter it helped write. In fact, it was particularly generous, supplying the FBI with records covering a 22-month period, even though the bureau's investigation was limited to a seven-month period. Altogether, "Company A" gave the FBI metadata on 1,627 calls by me and the other reporters.
Only three calls were within the seven-month window of phone conversations investigators had decided to review.
It doesn't end there.
The DOJ report asserts that "the FBI made no investigative use of the reporters' telephone records." But I don't believe that is accurate.
In 2007, I heard rumblings that the leak investigation was focusing on a diplomat named Steve Mull, who was the deputy chief of mission in Indonesia at the time of the killings. I had known Mull when he was a political officer in Poland and I was posted there in the early 1990s. He is a person of great integrity and a dedicated public servant.
The DOJ asked to interview me. Of course, I would not agree to help law enforcement officials identify my anonymous sources. But I was troubled because I felt an honorable public servant had been forced to spend money on lawyers to fend off a charge that was untrue. After considerable internal debate, I decided to talk to the DOJ for the limited purpose of clearing Mull.
It was not a decision I could make unilaterally. The Times also had a stake in this. If I allowed myself to be interviewed, how could the Times say no the next time the government wanted to question a Times reporter about a leak?
The Times lawyer handling this was George Freeman, a journalist's lawyer, a man Times reporters liked having in their corner. George and the DOJ lawyers began to negotiate over my interview. Eventually, we agreed that I would speak on two conditions: one, that they could not ask me for the name of my source; and two, if they asked me if it was ‘X,' and I said no, they could not then start going through other names.
Freeman and I sat across a table from two DOJ lawyers. I'm a lawyer, and prided myself on being able to answer their questions with ease, never having to turn to Freeman for advice.
Until that is, one of the lawyers took a sheaf of papers that were just off to his right, and began asking me about phone calls I made to Mull. One call was for 19 minutes, the DOJ lawyer said, giving me the date and time. I asked for a break to consult with Freeman.
We came back, and answered questions about the phone calls. I said that I couldn't remember what these calls were about – it had been more than four years earlier – but that Mull had not given me any information about the killings. Per our agreement, the DOJ lawyers did not ask further questions about my sources, and the interview ended.
I didn't know how the DOJ had gotten my phone records, but assumed the Indonesian government had provided them. Then, about a year later, I received a letter from the FBI's general counsel, Valerie Caproni who wrote that my phone records had been taken from "certain databases" under the authority of an "exigent letter,'' (a term I had never heard).
Caproni sent similar letters to Perlez, to the Washington Post reporters, and to the executive editors of the Post and the Times, Leonard Downie and Bill Keller, respectively. In addition, FBI Director Robert Mueller called Downie and Keller, according to the report.
Caproni wrote that the records had not been seen by anyone other than the agent requesting them and that they had been expunged from all databases.
I'm uneasy because the DOJ report makes clear that the FBI is still concealing some aspect of this incident. After describing Caproni's letters, the report says: "However, the FBI did not disclose to the reporters or their editors that [BLACKED OUT]." The thick black lines obliterate what appear to be several sentences.
If you were to ask senior intelligence officials whether I should wonder about those deletions, they'd probably say no.
I'm not so sure.
The government learned extensive details about my personal and professional life. Most of those calls were about other stories I was writing. Some were undoubtedly to arrange my golf game with the Australian ambassador. Is he now under suspicion? The report says the data has been destroyed and that only two analysts ever looked at it.
But who is this 'Company A" that willingly cooperated with the government? Why was it working hand in glove with the FBI? And what did the FBI director not tell the editors of the Times and the Washington Post when he called them acknowledging the government had improperly obtained reporter's records?