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  Big-Government Dems Push for Internet Regulation  
The FCC has voted 3-2 along political lines to extend the government’s reach and regulate the internet via net neutrality.

The vote to institute net neutrality rules marks the first time the government has stepped into the world of internet regulation. Proponent’s of the net neutrality rules say that the move allows the government to stop companies from controlling too much of the internet, while opponents view it as a scary example of government control and an impediment of private business.

“As we stand here now, the freedom and openness of the Internet are unprotected… . That will change once we vote to approve this strong and balanced order,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said at a commission meeting on Tuesday, according to The Hill.

The rules have drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle, with Republicans arguing that it marks too much government oversight, and Democrats saying that rules don’t go far enough. Instead, Democrat commissioners wanted stronger rules for wireless companies, but said they would settle for today’s new rules.

But the move enraged the commission’s Republican members.

“The FCC is not Congress. We cannot make laws,” said Republican Commission Robert McDowell, describing Tuesday as “one of the darkest days in FCC history.” He also suggested that new rules may be in for a court battle.

"The era of Internet regulatory arbitrage has dawned,” he said.

Fellow Republican Commissioner Meredith Baker accused the chairman of smarmy political and manipulative tactics to pass the order, saying she only received her a copy of the proposal in the late hours of last night.

“I think we can all do better and let’s do so in the New Year,” she said.

Baker also questioned why the FCC rushed to vote on the rules as the Christmas holiday approaches. “I keep returning to what should be a threshold question,” she wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Tuesday. “Why does the FCC plan to intervene in a rushed manner, days before the year’s end, in the one sector of the economy that is working so well to create consumer choice, jobs and entrepreneurial opportunity? Until we can answer that, I hope my colleagues will stand down and allow Congress to take the lead on these issues.”

In an op-ed this morning on, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) called the move a “vampire-like“ leap on the ”next great sector of American life,“ and said those who want to regulate the internet are trying to ”suck it dry in the name of ‘public interest,‘ ’fair play,’ or any other euphemistic glamour the Executive and Legislative branches can be lulled into.”

“This may sound like a Halloween tale,” she wrote, “but the FCC‘s Christmas Week takeover of the Internet is the best example of President Reagan’s maxim that the nearest thing to eternal life on Earth is a federal program."
 From: CArnold     12/21/2010 09:58 PM     
Actually I believe the first, or at least one of the first, times they regulated the internet here in the u.s. was child pornography laws years ago. So they´re a little late worrying about government regulating the internet.

It remains to be seen what comes of this but with comcast wanting to charge websites for access to their customers while already charging the customers for access to websites, I think this could be a good thing.
  by: splicer   12/21/2010 11:02 PM     
  "Obama´s Mission Accomplished"  
By Tim Karr, December 21, 2010
Late Monday, a majority of the FCC´s commissioners indicated that they´re going to vote with Chairman Julius Genachowski for a toothless Net Neutrality rule.
According to all reports, the rule, which will be voted on during tomorrow´s FCC meeting, falls drastically short of earlier pledges by President Obama and the FCC Chairman to protect the free and open Internet.
The rule is so riddled with loopholes that it´s become clear that this FCC chairman crafted it with the sole purpose of winning the endorsement of AT&T and cable lobbyists, and not defending the interests of the tens of millions of Internet users.
Welcome to AT&T´s Internet
For the first time in history of telecommunications law the FCC has given its stamp of approval to online discrimination.
Instead of a rule to protect Internet users´ freedom to choose, the Commission has opened the door for broadband payola - letting phone and cable companies charge steep tolls to favor the content and services of a select group of corporate partners, relegating everyone else to the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road.
Instead of protecting openness on wireless Internet devices like the iPhone and Droid, the Commission has exempted the mobile Internet from Net Neutrality protections. This move enshrines Verizon and AT&T as gatekeepers to the expanding world of mobile Internet access, allowing them to favor their own applications while blocking, degrading or de-prioritizing others.
Instead of re-establishing the FCC´s authority to act as a consumer watchdog over the Internet, it places the agency´s authority on a shaky and indefensible legal footing -- giving ultimate control over the Internet to a small handful of carriers.
Obama´s ´Mission Accomplished´
Internet users deserve far better, and we thought we were going to get it from a president who promised to "take a backseat to no one in my commitment to Net Neutrality." Watch as he and his FCC chairman try to spin tomorrow´s betrayal as another "mission accomplished."
Don´t believe it. This bogus victory has become all too familiar to those watching the Obama administration and its appointees squander opportunities for real change. The reality is that reform is just a rhetorical front for industry compromises that reward the biggest players and K-Street lobbyists while giving the public nothing.
It´s not the FCC chairman´s job to seek consensus among the corporations that he was put into office to regulate. His duty is to protect Internet users.
More than two million people have taken action on behalf of Net Neutrality. Tomorrow, we´ll all get the carpet yanked from beneath our feet.
Net Neutrality is the freedom of speech, freedom of choice issue of the 21st century. It´s the guarantee of a more open and democratic media system that was baked into the Internet at its founding.
On Tuesday, Obama´s FCC is going to sell that out. - The Coalition is two million everyday people who have banded together with thousands of nonprofit organizations, businesses and bloggers to protect Internet freedom

[ edited by MannyisHere ]
  by: MannyisHere     12/21/2010 11:07 PM     
Great article. I liked that a lot.

Question to all: Where´s the Liberal outrage??????

The Liberals/Dems were throwing gigantic fits over Bush´s Patriot Act because it allowed law-enforcement to wiretap phone-calls going overseas into terrorist-infested regions. Yes, that´s right. The whole "warrantless wiretap" controversy was over telephone calls made to Iran or Pakistan. The Libs called Bush a tyrant and a dictator because of this stipulation in the Patriot Act. So… where are those Dems, now?

Has anyone called Iran, lately? Nope, me neither. And chances are, we never will. BUT, we *do* use the internet. I, like millions of other Americans, use it daily. This is something that will affect *all* of us (not the .0001% that make a call to Sudan, or someplace like it).

Liberals vented a great deal of manufactured anger over nothing… but are silent about government control and regulation of the internet.

Any Liberals out there want to explain this duplicity?
  by: CArnold     12/21/2010 11:39 PM     
Just to clarify why so many were angry, the problem with the warrantless wiretaps wasn´t just that they gave certain groups immunity to wiretaps and sidestepped current laws but that it left the nsa in charge of deciding what was foreign, ie calls made within in the u.s. could be deemed foreign by the nsa. Again though I heard the most complaints about it from republicans so it may just be where you live and what you expose yourself to.

As far as net neutrality goes almost everyone i´ve talked to regardless of affiliation has hated it. Most can´t say why but some like MannyisHere know their stance.

The part that states you can´t block lawful traffic is nice especially since comcast had talked about blocking netflix for "overuse" if they couldn´t charge them for it. Haven´t seen anything that will let them charge providers but again we´ll see how bold they get.

Here´s some info.

Posting any other fcc documents or anything official outlining their little game here would be appreciated.
  by: splicer   12/22/2010 04:02 AM     
Child pornography is against the law, while charging for traffic on one´s data pipes is not. Therefore, by targeting people or companies who distribute or knowingly allow the distribution of child pornography on the internet, the government is not acting in a regulatory sense. It is acting in a law enforcement sense. Consequently, charging for the legal use of one´s bandwidth is not (at least, apparently, until now) against the law.

Also, Republicans also support Net Neutrality measures of their own design, so don´t let pundits like CArtman lead you to believe the Republican party is in favor of preserving your liberties anymore so than are their Democratic peers.

In the end, there is no net neutrality legislation that will help consumers un any manner. You might think that allowing government to tell a private company what it can and can´t charge for is a good thing but in long term, it isn´t.
  by: silencedmajority   12/22/2010 05:20 AM     
"Also, Republicans also..."
Two "also"s within 3 words?

"... also support Net Neutrality... measures of their own design, so don´t let pundits like CArtman lead you to believe the Republican party is in favor of preserving your liberties anymore so than are their Democratic peers."

Ted Stevens hardly constitutes "Republicans" (plural). He proposed a bill and his fellow Republicans shot it down.

Pundit? I am the conveyor of truth.
Unlike some people, I back up my statements with facts and sources. Perhaps you could do the same?

Look at the dates of these stories. This is a topic that Republicans have been fighting against for years.

"Republicans defeat Net neutrality proposal.
A partisan divide pitting Republicans against Democrats on the question of Internet regulation appears to be deepening.
A Republican-controlled House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Wednesday defeated a proposal that would have levied extensive regulations on broadband providers and forcibly prevented them from offering higher-speed video services to partners or affiliates."

"Ted Stevens Loses Net Neutrality Fight
109th Congress closes, proposed bill dies..."

(The Republicans held a solid majority in Congress in 2006. Stevens broke ranks with the Republicans on this matter and they shut him down.)

"GOP Senators Move to Stop Obama Net Neutrality Rules
A top Republican senator introduced legislation Monday to block the Obama administration’s attempt to impose formal net neutrality rules, just hours after FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced he would seek groundbreaking new limits on ISPs — both wireline and wireless."

To argue with me is to argue with the facts. You should know better than to question facts.
  by: carnold     12/22/2010 07:03 AM     
One of the definitions of regulate is to bring into conformity with a rule, so by definition it was a form of regulation. The point I was making anyhow was that child porn was most likely one of the first and that happened years ago. There were more before this and there will be more in the future most likely. Some of our regulatory behavior was why the moved most of the top level dns severs out of the country.

I don´t really put much belief into politicians as their main source of income is convincing people they need to be put into a better position, so don´t worry about that.

The one thing I liked that I did mention does help consumers. The internet blacklist has been banning legal websites with no controls to help them. This at least gives them something to work with as before even when they had proof of legal functioning they were being told they would continue to be blacklisted.

Again we will see what they do with it and whether it benefits anyone other then big business. It´s far more concerning that the didn´t regulate wireless practically at all in a time when big companies are splitting it between themselves.
  by: splicer   12/22/2010 08:02 AM     
Alternative Media sites will begin being censored and blocked within the next 18 months.
  by: Tetsuru Uzuki     12/22/2010 06:34 PM     
"Just to clarify why so many were angry, the problem with the warrantless left the nsa in charge of deciding what was foreign, ie calls made within in the u.s. could be deemed foreign by the nsa."

It could only be deemed foreign if an international call was placed to or from the United States. As I explained earlier, they could *not* use this with domestic calls made within and designating within the US.

"The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) as part of the war on terror. Under this program, referred to by the Bush administration as the "terrorist surveillance program",[1] part of the broader President´s Surveillance Program, the NSA is authorized by executive order to monitor, without search warrants, phone calls, e-mails, Internet activity, text messaging, and other communication involving any party believed by the NSA to be outside the U.S., even if the other end of the communication lies within the U.S."

I know why the Liberals are silent. I just wanted to hear one speak up and admit that all of their "anger" over the Patriot Act was manufactured. It was all partisan politics. They accused Bush of growing and expanding government... yet they promote and even encourage it when Obama does it with great alacrity.
  by: CArnold     12/22/2010 07:01 PM     
Which doesn´t invalidate my point what so ever as I was not arguing the wording of it but what they can do with it. It is under the nsa´s discretion what is deemed foreign and they have gotten in trouble for tapping domestic calls.

They called it "technical glitches", hence the issues they later had.

Regardless of our personal little argument it appears people are starting to take sides in the net neutrality issue. This pretty much means it´s going to be a big issue in the months to come.
  by: splicer   12/23/2010 12:35 AM     
  Easy there, CArtman.  
I´d hate to see you strain a muscle giving yourself a reach around... er, patting yourself on the back I mean. ;)

Arguing with you is arguing with the conventional wisdom of the Republican party (which you refer to as facts) and while you are correct that there is not any current support of net neutrality amongst Republicans, that doesn´t mean they haven´t fought to control the content on the internet. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see that net neutrality is, in and of itself, an effort to control the internet. Likewise, anyone with those same two brain cells can see that Republicans are all too happy to control any activity they see as offensive to their own personal definition of morality and that they do so with no regard to whether or not the "crime" they´ve witnessed (or heard of) actually has a victim. The internet is no exception to that rule.

The Net Neutrality Act, not unlike the Patriot Act, will be abused by Republicans in the future just as the Patriot Act has been abused by Democrats who came after Bush. Candidate Obama said he was hellbent on taking the abusive legislation Bush foisted on us away but what did we get from President Obama? More abuse. The same thing will happen with this act. It won´t be repealed and Republicans will use the vague language it contains for their own devises. And just for the record... I would like nothing more than to be completely wrong in that prediction but the truth be known I feel I´ll be correct. So strongly that I would wager a thousand dollars with you in the matter.

If you care to take the bet, PM me. I´ll set up a trust for the money, which will be held in an interest bearing account and will be administered by a trustee you and I agree upon. The trust will expire on January 20 of 2013, giving ample time for your Republican congress to do the right thing and allowing the Republican President you predict in 2012 a full year to do the right thing (Let´s hope you´re right about that).

Further, I will pay all the upfront costs of setting up the trust as well as compensating the trustee. In the event that I lose, I´ll lose that money but, in the event that I win, you will be obliged to pay those ancillary costs. The nice thing for you is that those costs will be fixed and you will have three years to save up for them.

You fancy yourself the all knowing prophet of all things and (to use your words) a "conveyor of truth", so I beg of you, put your money where your mouth is. If you do your due diligence you will find that I am indeed ready and able to put my money where my mouth is. It´s a no brainer as an investment for someone as sure as yourself. After all, you´ve probably never invested in the stock market with a harvest of more than 100% in three years... or maybe you have. On second thought, being all wise and such as you say, I´m sure you probably do that and more on a daily basis, but again I beg of you... give me this simple opportunity to loose my money.

All that´s left now is your response and to be sure this response, at least, I will await with baited breath.

Good day sir.
  by: silencedmajority   12/23/2010 05:29 AM     
  What is that a trick question?  
Quote:Question to all: Where´s the Liberal outrage??????
  by: hellblazer     12/24/2010 03:01 AM     
You’ve got to be kidding.
We can’t trust you to be honest in debate or within your posts. Do you really think I’m going suddenly trust you enough to pour money into an account you’ve created? Your proposal sounds like one of those spam emails I occasionally get from Nigerian swindlers.

“…while you are correct that there is not any current support of net neutrality amongst Republicans…”
Of course I’m correct.

“…that doesn´t mean they haven´t fought to control the content on the internet.”
Tell us, SM… When and in what instance have they “fought to control the content on the internet”?
Unless you can specifically point to such an instance, that statement is more fabrication on your part.

“…anyone with those same two brain cells can see that Republicans are all too happy to control any activity they see as offensive…”
You’ve obviously got them confused for Obama or the Liberals.
Who is pushing the “Fairness Doctrine”? Despite its misleading name, it’s a referendum pushed by the Dems and Libs to stifle free speech --- especially speech harmful to their candidates and party. The Republicans have never proposed nor endorsed any such legislation.
Which president went on the warpath to condemn and blaspheme news organizations that were critical of him. Yes, Hugo Chavez did this, but I was talking about an American president: Obama.

Again, show us instances.
You consistently make unfounded accusations and propagate false information. Do you do this out of sport to see if you’ll eventually get one by me?
  by: CArnold     12/27/2010 06:40 PM     
In another thread, I saw that you supported this net neutrality bill.
I’m curious as to why.

In that same thread, I asked Valk why she supported it. She expressed her concerns about Internet freedoms, but she didn’t address reasons as to why she believed this bill would serve to protect those freedoms.

Why do you support this bill?
  by: CArnold     12/27/2010 06:45 PM     
Then you set up the trust, choose the arbitrating trustee and open the account. I will still front the compensation to the trustee and pay the fees to set up the trust, with but one caveat and that is that the fees are in keeping with current fair market costs.

Surely you understand that the vehicle I propose provides legal protection for both of us, so your assertion that I´m completely untrustworthy should do nothing more than further guarantee your profit in this venture. That is, of course, if you have even a rudimentary understanding of how trusts work.

My offer stands and like any offer in the free market, you´re more than welcome to negotiate for terms that you feel would be more beneficial to yourself. You´re also free to decline my offer without an explanation of why, which would be much more respectable than issuing ad hominem attacks in leu of an honest answer.

I´ve explained to you that my offer comes with the protections of the legal system we both agree is a proper constitutional function of our government. Likewise, I´ve offered to allow you to choose the person who will carry out the trust and to pay the costs related to setting up the trust. I´ll even deposit my wager before you deposit yours.

You seem convinced that you´re always correct and with that, it would seem that you should see this opportunity as an easy way to make a solid grand, plus the interest on two.

It´s a yes or no question, so a simple yes or no is all you need offer.
  by: silencedmajority   12/28/2010 03:41 AM     
  LOL @ SM  
"It´s a yes or no question..."

Wow. Unbelievable. I went above and beyond a simple yes or no in my response and you still act like you’re waiting for an answer.

Three words: Nobody trusts you.

You blatantly post dishonest and fictional information on a regular basis. Despite the numerable times I’ve called you out on your flagrant dissemination of untruthful information and prove you wrong, you consistently continue doing it. You’ve destroyed your credibility over and over and have made no efforts towards repairing or restoring it.

Just look at my last post. I called you out on two more pieces of your notorious fiction, yet your last post didn’t touch-on or even acknowledge my challenges to their truthfulness. If we can’t trust the words you type, why would you think that anyone would trust you with $5, or even $1000?

Quit trying to change the topic. If you feel the need to feed your gambling problem or fill your desire to con someone out of their money, you’re going to have to find someone foolish enough to oblige you.

You still have two pieces of misinformation to account for. You’d better come up with some good answers for them because, as of now, they´re serving as shining examples as to why nobody trusts you or gives you any credibility.

[ edited by carnold ]
  by: carnold     12/28/2010 04:25 AM     
In August of 2010, Republican Attorney´s General Lawrence G. Wasden of Idaho, Mike Cox of Michigan, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Greg Abbott of Texas and Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II of Virginia joined 12 Democrat Attorney´s General in a letter writing campaign against Craigslist. The goal was to badger the site into taking down its adult services listing and it was successful. The site was breaking no laws and these AGs knew it, so they bullied the owner into taking the section down.

Senate Bill 3804:

A republican senator to be calls for media censorship, including internet media:

Here, a republican senate candidate attempts to use copyright law to shut down an internet site that posted old page views of her campaign site:
  by: silencedmajority   12/28/2010 05:27 PM     
All you’ve shown are instances of trying to enforce existing laws and public safety.

The Craigslist ordeal occurred in the wake of the Craigslist Killings.

This brought tremendous attention to the adult-services section of the site and the fact that it was a hotbed of advertised prostitution services. Notice that there was no legislation passed to “control the internet”. Lawmakers, along with concerned citizens, wrote letters to Craigslist *requesting* that they discontinue their adult-services section and be more vigilant about removing ads that promote prostitution. Craigslist voluntarily removed this ad category amidst public pressure.

Keeping classified documents classified is also a law. While we have no jurisdiction over other countries or their citizens, we can work to prevent this occurring in our own country.
Suppose that an Assange-wannabe living in America got hold of classified material and plastered it on his site/blog. Would shutting his site down be “censorship”? No, it would be upholding federal laws. And if a media-outlet does the same, they too should be held accountable for their irresponsible behavior.

Your other “example” is about copyright infringement.
Guess what, SM? This very site you’re making posts on doesn’t allow copyright infringement either. Are you trying to imply that by adhering to copyright laws that ShortNews is trying to “control the internet”? How many times have you tried looking at a YouTube video only to find that “The video you’re looking for has been removed due to copyright infringement.”? Is YouTube trying to “control the internet” by following the laws?

These links do nothing to substantiate your fabricated claims. It’s all fluff and no substance.
  by: CArnold     12/28/2010 06:53 PM     
  Again CArtman...  
I never said legislation had been passed. I said Republicans support censorship when and where it suits their own devices.

Craigslist wasn´t in violation of any laws by offering an adult listing. The AGs who pressured it knew this but they pressured it none the less. Murderers operated before Craigslist allowed adults to advertise and murderers are still operating since the government suppressed its first amendment rights.

Keeping classified documents classified is the responsibility of those who classify them. Journalists who receive leaked classified information without having stolen it themselves are protected by the first amendment. Likewise, the constitution also provides for the prosecution of those who steal classified documents and endanger the country. Assange is not guilty of treason, nor are the other journalists who published the information they were given. Republicans think otherwise, even thought the constitution is very clear.

My last example was about trying to use copyright infringement law when it didn´t fit. Again, Republicans attempting to censor when they have no grounds to do so.

If you don´t understand these things or you don´t agree with them, that´s fine. However, your repeated claims that I´m a liar do little to damage my credibility, if any. And if they do hurt my credibility a little, they hurt yours more. Not many people come here to read libelous claims against others... that´s what Judge Judy, Jerry Springer and the like are for.

In the end, if you were as smart as you claim to be and you knew me to be as full of shit as you accuse me of being, you´d have entertained my offer. The fact that you could only muster an insult ridden rant in answer to my offer stands as proof enough that you probably either don´t understand what you say or don´t believe it. I tend to think it´s a combination of both but then again, I have no proof of that so I won´t make blanket statements about your character. Instead, I´ll leave that to the readers´ of your tripe. ;)
  by: silencedmajority   12/29/2010 04:21 AM     
“I said Republicans support censorship when and where it suits their own devices…”
The only links you’ve provided in which the Republicans were in support of suppression of information was when classified material was involved. Are you saying that by guarding our national security, the Republicans have only served themselves? Do you not see how ridiculously preposterous your claims sound?

“Craigslist wasn´t in violation of any laws by offering an adult listing.”
Again with Craigslist. Were any charges made against them? Were their sites shut down? Were any laws made to hinder internet commerce or content?
No. They wrote letters. They acted as concerned citizens and *asked* Craigslist to review and revise their policies and make them more mindful of public safety and take into consideration the public´s concerns. You’re really beating a dead horse, with this one.

“…your repeated claims that I´m a liar do little to damage my credibility…”
I’m not the one hurting your credibility. You are.
You and ichi are one-and-the-same. I’m constantly correcting the both of you for posting misinformation and blatant falsehoods. The only difference between the two of you is that ichi runs off and disappears for a few days after being kicked around, while you stick around hoping to spin or BS yourself out of the BS that got you pressed into the corner in the first place. Just look at this thread:

In that thread, you spin and BS until you eventually run out of gas and resort to bloviating and talking in circles.
Time and time again, I tell the both of you that the best way to avoid being pinned to the mat is to not put yourself in that position, to begin with. Yet, the both of you continue to do it. It’s as if you guys are void of any self-respect.

“In the end, if you were as smart as you claim to be…you´d have entertained my offer.”
I’ve already given you my answer and that´s that. There is *no* way I would ever fork over money to someone I can’t trust.

“Journalists who receive leaked classified information without having stolen it themselves are protected by the first amendment.”
Wrong, again (imagine that). The only reason the reporters and their publishers didn’t get prosecuted is because WikiLeaks had already leaked the information into the public domain. Had *they* been the first to the punch, they would have been charged under the Espionage Act under Section 793.

The next post will provide quotes, law citations, and court rulings to dispel yet *another* myth you´re attempting to spread.

[ edited by carnold ]
  by: carnold     12/29/2010 09:51 AM     
  Journalists, classified info, and the law...  
“Under 18 U.S.C. § 793(e), it is a crime to “willfully communicate” any “information relating to the national defense which . . . the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation . . . to any person not entitled to receive it.” Moreover, when two or more persons cooperate to violate section 793(e), that constitutes conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. § 793(g). Additionally, under 18 U.S.C. § 798(a)(3), “whoever knowingly and willfully . . . publishes . . . any classified information . . . concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government” is subject to up to ten years of imprisonment.

Indeed, the most famous prosecution under the Act was of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were charged with treason and ultimately executed.

Yet, as Matthew Friedrich, the chief of staff of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, told the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week, the relevant sections of the Espionage Act “do not exempt any class of professionals, including reporters, from their reach.”

In its 1988 decision in United States v. Morison, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the Espionage Act conviction of former U.S. Navy analyst Samuel Morison, who had mailed secret satellite photos to Jane’s Defence Weekly, a popular British military affairs magazine.

The Fourth Circuit rejected Morison’s claim that the First Amendment “offers asylum . . . merely because the transmittal was to a representative of the press.” The court reasoned that the “First Amendment, in the interest of securing news or otherwise, does not ‘confer a license on either the reporter or his news source to violate valid criminal laws.’”

In a concurring opinion, Judge Wilkinson pointed out that “the Court has held that government restrictions that would otherwise be impermissible may be sustained where national security and foreign policy are implicated,” recognizing “‘a compelling interest in protecting . . . the secrecy of information important to our national security.’” He also opined that an opposite result would have amounted to “a judicial declaration that the government may never use criminal penalties to secure the confidentiality of intelligence information.”

In New York Times v. United States, the government asked for an injunction against the New York Times and the Washington Post to prevent them from publishing classified excerpts of the Pentagon Papers. The Court refused the injunction, but in dicta – that is, language not integral to the case’s resolution – several justices suggested that after publication, the government could bring criminal charges against the newspapers under the Espionage Act.

In his concurrence (joined by Justice Potter Stewart), Justice Byron White went even further. Having reviewed the legislative history behind the Espionage Act, he stated that “Congress appeared to have little doubt that newspapers would be subject to criminal prosecution if they insisted on publishing information of the type Congress had itself determined should not be revealed.” He warned that he “would have no difficulty in sustaining [such] convictions” under the Espionage Act. In addition, Chief Justice Warren Burger expressed his “general agreement” with “much of” what Justice White said in this respect.

Even the more liberal Justices Thurgood Marshall and Harry Blackmun were unwilling to expressly rule out Espionage Act prosecutions of journalists. Indeed, Blackmun emphasized that “First Amendment absolutism has never commanded a majority of this Court,” and quoted Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ view in the Schenck case that “It is a question of proximity and degree. When a nation is at war many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.”
  by: carnold     12/29/2010 09:52 AM     
When nineteen attorneys general write strongly worded letters to one company, that isn´t concerned citizens making a request, it´s government officials coercing a private citizen. You´d understand that if those nineteen letters were addressed to you regarding a legal activity you were facilitating.

As for Assange... Has there been an indictment? No. Were The New York Times, Daniel Ellsberg or Anthony Russo adjudicated guilty of any crime regarding the Pentagon Papers? No.
  by: silencedmajority   12/29/2010 03:34 PM     
You used Craigslist as an example of how Republicans attempt to control the internet. Now that you´ve failed in supporting this argument, you´re turning to how AG´s were trying to.
News flash: They´re doing their job. It´s against the law to offer or solicit prostitution in 49 states.
Talk about spin...

"As for Assange... "
You´re changing your argument, again. Nobody was debating if someone was charged, or not. That´s irrelavent to your erroneous claim that journalists are immune to criminal charges for divulging classified information. I quoted law, cases, and District and Supreme Court opinions proving otherwise.

Put down the shovel, stop digging yourself a deeper hole, and get back on topic.

[ edited by CArnold ]
  by: CArnold     12/29/2010 05:15 PM     
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