The House of Representatives today voted 225-183 to approve an appropriations bill amendment that bars the Justice Department from forcing reporters to testify about their confidential sources.
"Advocates for journalists have tried for years to enact a federal 'media shield' bill allowing judges to quash such subpoenas," reports Charlie Savage at the New York Times. "The legislation, sponsored by Representative Allan Grayson, Democrat of Florida, has a long way to go before it would become law."
In related news, a former Fox News reporter this week shared more about his 2011 subpoena fight. In a report on the ABC News website, where he now works, Mike Levine explains that he was subpoenaed in January 2011 about his sources for a 2009 story. Levine fought the order, and the Justice Department dropped it in April 2012.
At abcnews.com, Levine writes:
It’s unclear what that will mean for the Times’ Risen, who is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on his case after a federal appeals court ruled against him. But in what might be the only other instance of Holder’s Justice Department subpoenaing a reporter to testify about his confidential sources, federal prosecutors ultimately backed down.
“The reporter” in this second, previously undisclosed case is the author of this article. In January 2011, while I was working for Fox News, the Justice Department persuaded a federal grand jury in Washington to subpoena me for my confidential sources after I reported two years earlier that several Somali-Americans were secretly indicted in Minneapolis for joining an al Qaeda-linked group in Somalia.
Professional and personal life under the threat of jail for 16 subsequent months is best captured in a note I wrote to myself at the time: “I've felt like throwing up all day so far … Just that 'racing heart' feeling throughout."
Still, I felt I had to protect my confidential sources.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder addresses reporters at a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. on May 14, 2013. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
And again, from Charlie Savage's report at the Times:
The subpoena is the second of its kind to come to light under the Obama administration, which also has tried to force James Risen, a reporter for The New York Times, to testify in the trial of a former Central Intelligence Agency officer charged with leaking to him.
A federal appeals court has ruled that Mr. Risen must testify. He has appealed that ruling, and the Supreme Court may announce as soon as Monday whether it will hear the case.
[Thanks, Josh Stearns]
In 2014, Poul-Henning Kamp, a prolific and respected contributor to many core free/open projects gave the closing keynote at the Free and Open Source Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM) in Belgium, and he did something incredibly clever: he presented a status report on a fictional NSA project (ORCHESTRA) whose mission was to make it cheaper to […]
Laura Poitras, whose 2014 Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour won the Academy Award for best doc, has a show on at NYC’s Whitney Museum called “Astro Noise,” which attempts to capture the sense of overwhelming surveillance she’s lived under since the US government targeted her while she was shooting a documentary in Iraq.
In less than an hour, Wikileaks will publish a set of TOP-SECRET/COMINT-GAMMA documents — “the most highly classified documents ever published by a media organization” — that document NSA spying on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, former French leader Nicolas […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]
In the world of app development, there’s no greater arena to find success than with Android users. About 80% of the smartphones in use today worldwide operate on the Android operating system, so if you build a great app that Android users love, you’re an international rock star. You’ll be able to make sure your […]
Unless you’re a programmer or webmaster, the term SQL probably doesn’t mean much to you. But for those looking to understand more about how and why the web works the way that it does, know this – SQL and its process of managing and presenting large data sets is everywhere…and it’s the most in-demand programming […]