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]
Lots of law enforcement agencies hate crypto, because the technology that helps us protect our communications from criminals and griefers and stalkers and spies also helps criminals keep secrets from cops. With each terrorist attack there’s a fresh round of doom-talk from spooks and cops about the criminals “going dark” — as though the present […]
CIA Director John Brennan wants you to think the Paris attacks were Snowden’s fault — the “hand wringing” over mass surveillance has ended his agency’s ability to “thwart” terrorists attacks “before they’re carried out.” There’s only one problem with that: there’s no evidence that the US’s mass surveillance programs have ever prevented a major terrorist […]
United States District Judge Richard Leon has affirmed his 2013 ruling and has ordered the NSA to stop collecting phone records belonging to J.J. Little and his firm J.J. Little & Associates, P.C., and to segregate all the records collected to date so that they aren’t searched.
Carrying this EDC card is like slinging around a handheld toolbox wherever you go. Its minimal design is small enough to fit in your wallet’s billfold, and it’s TSA-compliant so you’ll never leave it behind. It’s got hex wrenches, metric and imperial rulers, flathead and Phillip’s screwdrivers, and a bottle opener so that you’re ready […]
Today only take an additional 15% off the below drones today using coupon code: DRONE15 at checkoutThe Code Black is our top-selling drone of all time—and for good reason. This powerful, palm-size drone is not only insanely fun to fly, but can capture some serious video footage from up above. With a flight time of […]
Why interrupt your post-Thanksgiving turkey bliss to wait in an epic line, when the best deal of the season is a click away? We’re treating you Mac enthusiasts to the ultimate Black Friday bundle, packed with apps to give your machine a mega boost in the right direction. From Drive Genius to AfterShot Pro to […]