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Three Lawmakers Ask For Enforcement Against Leak Sites 316

Posted by kdawson
from the rest-of-the-world-perhaps-you've-heard-of-it dept.
eldavojohn writes "You may recall the TSA demonstrating how tech-savvy it is by releasing a document with redactions intact. Now three Republican lawmakers are asking what's being done to prosecute those hosting the document (e.g. Cryptome and Wikileaks). In a letter to the DHS (PDF), Charles Dent (R-PA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Peter T. King (R-NY) asked, 'How has [sic] the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration addressed the repeated reposting of this security manual to other websites, and what legal action, if any, can be taken to compel its removal?' And they asked if the DHS is 'considering issuing new regulations pursuant to its authority in Section 114 of Title 49, United States Code, and are criminal penalties necessary or desirable to ensure such information is not reposted in the future?' King is the representative who announcing a probe into Wikileaks after the half million 9/11 pager messages were released."
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Three Lawmakers Ask For Enforcement Against Leak Sites

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  • NO!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by splatacaster (653139) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:23AM (#30402082)
    This is a dangerous road to go down.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      we're already there.

    • by AP31R0N (723649)

      And oh so slippery.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Think about it this way though. Now we have the names of 3 lawmakers of which to start probing into their private lives INTENSELY.

      This certainly applies to them:

      Methinks thou dost protest too much.

    • C'mon, people shoot the messengers every day of the year. Why should today be any different?
  • by MaerD (954222) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:24AM (#30402104)
    It's kinda hard to put back, if there are criminal charges to be involved, it should be against the idiots who posted the document and should have known better.
    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:24PM (#30402930)

      it should be against the idiots who posted the document and should have known better.

      A government agency responsible for securing billions of dollars in assets and millions of lives yearly now knows the exact scope and nature of a serious breach of security that otherwise wouldn't have been noticed and could have been exploited by people who are a genuine threat to national security, as opposed to a bunch of average americans who get to feel special for about five minutes. Clearly, jailing the people who exposed this is the best route, as opposed to using a little-known fund that the DHS setup to reward private citizens who contribute to anti-terrorism objectives.

      The people who exposed this are heroes, not criminals. They've exposed a major security vulnerability before anyone could be hurt. Unfortunately, the reputation the TSA and DHS has when private citizens come forward to report problems with their administration of policy, or the policies themselves, is atrocious. They only option they had was a wide and public distribution -- if it could have been contained, they'd vanish right along with the problem. Moving forward the best thing to do is;

      1. Establish guidelines for reporting problems with administration of their policy
          (in the private sector, we euphemistically refer to these as "training opportunities").
      2. Establish guidelines for reporting problems with operational security.
      3. Modify existing damage control procedures to focus more on problem resolution than image protection.
      4. ACCEPTING THAT SECURITY BREACHES WILL OCCUR, and have a reporting procedure and clear chain of command
            (thus far, they've shown a remarkable lack of understanding of this key concept)
      5. Stop over-reacting to perceived security breaches -- it desensitizes people and worsens response time should a truly serious situation occur.
            Call it the "I cried wolf too many times" story. Stories about the TSA used to make front page... now they're barely slow news day material.

      The overarching objective here is to restore faith in the institution -- because the TSA has become the laughing stock of the media, and the flying public groans at the mention of it. Remember only a few years ago when the TSA was created how people said they'd willingly and happily stand in line for an hour and a half to get through the checkpoint, because they felt safer? Public opinion has dropped considerably since then -- now they're afraid they'll get the greased glove treatment if they so much as look at the equipment. When a flight attendant flips out over someone's request to have orange juice and then receives an official notice that they could be thrown in jail, charged with felonies, and be added to the no-fly list... There is a serious lack of understanding about both what security means, and the public's perception of it. And it's nobody's fault but the TSA's for allowing this to happen.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:25AM (#30402122)

    Dear My Government, It's Officers, Agents, And All Of That:

    You do not own the internet. You do not control the internet. You screwed up by releasing sensitive information to the public through lawful channels, via a lawful request, that was not in any way fraudulent or deceiving. Man up to this, and figure out how to avoid the problem in the future like every other self-respecting government would -- instead of trying to throw your citizens to the wolves without a trial, or god only knows what else you're planning.

    Sincerely,

    A Whole Lot of Patriots

    P.S. Those badges look like something out of a cereal box. Take this as an opportunity to make them actually look like something better than what you'd expect from a first year graphic design student. Or use psychic paper. Your choice.

    • by sconeu (64226)

      Dear Messrs, Dent, Bilirakis, and King,

      Since your high school civics classes obviously forgot to include it in your course of study, please allow me to introduce you to the First Amendment [usconstitution.net] to the United States Constitution.:

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      (Emphasis is min

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:49PM (#30403348)

        Since your high school civics classes obviously forgot to include it in your course of study, please allow me to introduce you to the First Amendment

        They also forgot the exceptions to the First Amendment, because constitutional law is complex and has no place in a high school classroom with children that still believe that there are no losers, everything is sunshine and kittens, and basic language skills consist of "hey dood wut up? u wana cut skool n go smoke sum pot?"

        Times of War.The Supreme Court has upheld on numerous occasions restrictions to speech that center around the military, particularily during times of war. It's become a clear precident that the protections afforded by the First Amendment can (and are) overlooked during wartime. There's also the "Clear and present danger" restrictions, made famous by saying free speech doesn't apply to someone yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. The Supreme Court has stated that the states could punish people who's words "by their very nature, involve danger to the public peace and to the security of the state."

        Obscenity/Sex If I say "Fuck you!" -- that's obscenity. If I say "Fuck the military," then it's a political statement. If I fuck you and record it, that's pornography. If I fuck you while dressed like Lady Liberty, and you're dressed like Justice, then it has "artistic merit" and is free speech. Unfortunately, like my analogies, the laws covering obscenity and sex are equally obtuse, poorly-worded, and occasionally humorous.

        Slander and Libel. I say you're a child molester. You say "bullshit!" I can't prove it. I'm not protected because I made a false statement about your character, and you're not protected because you swore at me for doing so. ...
        And the list goes on.

        • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:55PM (#30403462)

          If I fuck you while dressed like Lady Liberty, and you're dressed like Justice

          I put on my robe and judge's wig.

        • Dag nab it. Posting to fix a slip of the finger.

          My last of 15 -- thanks for not letting us undo, /.

          (You were supposed to get an "interesting".)

        • by Belial6 (794905)

          They also forgot the exceptions to the First Amendment, because constitutional law is complex and has no place in a high school classroom

          That is a really sad statement.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kirijini (214824)

          Sorry, but I think your post is misleading and inaccurate.

          "It's become a clear precident that the protections afforded by the First Amendment can (and are) overlooked during wartime."

          This is misleading. The most important restrictions on free speech relating to national security actually came during times of peace. Scarily enough, they were related to the red scare in the 1920s (Gitlow v. People of New York) and McCarthyism in the 1950s (Dennis v. United States). Those rulings basically stand for the proposition that if the government is afraid of an ideology (i.e., communism), then its okay to punish members of groups that es

        • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday December 11, 2009 @03:59PM (#30406072) Homepage Journal

          It's become a clear precident that the protections afforded by the First Amendment can (and are) overlooked during wartime.

          Not just the first amendment. In WWII, native-born American citizens of Japanese and certain other anscestries were put in camps. In the Civil War, unarmed civilians were killed by both sides, and their properties burned.

          And it's not just in times of war, either. [wikipedia.org]

          has no place in a high school classroom with children that still believe that there are no losers, everything is sunshine and kittens, and basic language skills consist of "hey dood wut up? u wana cut skool n go smoke sum pot?"

          First off, I wouldn't characterise high schoolers as "children" even though people in their twenties seem like children to me (yeah, I'm gettin' old). Only a few centuries ago the average age of marriage was the same age as these high schoolers. Yes, I realise that the teenaged brain isn't fully developed, but still...

          And even prepubescent children know that there are losers in any game (if you don't want to lose, don't play), and that everything isn't sunshine and kittens, especially if they're being raised in a slum. AFAIK It's a particularly American trait to characterise anyone as a "loser". And unless things have changed dramatically since my kids were in high school (youngest is now 22), the number of kids that were incapable of speaking anything but Ghetto English are a small minority.

          Illinois state law mandates that these kids learn and be tested on both the US and Illinois constitutions.

          Pedantric Nit (since you dissed the teens' language and literacy skills): it's "whose words", not "who's words". Who's is a contraction of "who is".

          As to slander and libel, the Constitution doesn't gurantee you the right to harm me. Your right to swing you fist ends just before my nose.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nomadic (141991)
      Dear My Government, It's Officers, Agents, And All Of That:

      I don't think they're reading slashdot.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mcgrew (92797) *

        I'd bet that out of all its officers, agents, and all of that there are a surprising number that actually ARE reading slashdot.

  • I would think posting words would be covered under free speach. I doubt they are copyrighted. Plus with the internet you can host outside the USA. But I guess that didn't work for The Pirate Bay so who knows.
    • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:41AM (#30402344)

      Despite what some would have you believe, there are other (and more important) laws than copyright laws. If the document in question is appropriately labeled confidential, secret, or top secret, it's possible that those who leaked the document inappropriately could face serious consequences, and I'm not even sure that it is so labeled in this case. As to those who received and posted the documents for the world to see, unless they have a security clearance themselves (and have been appropriately briefed) I don't believe they are liable (obviously IANAL) so I don't see what exactly the congress-critters are asking for in this case.

      To me, it sounds like they are saying "B- B- But they're doing something wrong, surely we can lock them up or something". In other words, "I don't know what law they're breaking, but I don't like what they're doing so find one that applies and enforce it." And that, even to someone who doesn't really buy into all the police state fears that go on around here, is a bit scary.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dwiget001 (1073738)

        You are correct.

        Only the person(s) covered by a security clearance that disclosed the information are the ones liable, as they signed the documents agreeing to be bound by the rules/laws governing the handling of such classified material.

        A person receiving such disclosed material (a third party), is under no obligation to protect or otherwise not distribute the information. Oh, sure, they could turn the material over to the authorities and turn the person in, yeap.

        This all sounds to me like certain members

      • by Jawn98685 (687784)

        Despite what some would have you believe, there are other (and more important) laws than copyright laws. If the document in question is appropriately labeled confidential, secret, or top secret, it's possible that those who leaked the document inappropriately could face serious consequences, and I'm not even sure that it is so labeled in this case. As to those who received and posted the documents for the world to see, unless they have a security clearance themselves (and have been appropriately briefed) I don't believe they are liable (obviously IANAL) so I don't see what exactly the congress-critters are asking for in this case.

        I should think that would be obvious. It's just yet-another thing to bitch about for the party who had their asses handed to them by the electorate in the last two elections. Having failed when it comes to properly running the country, and having continued to put forth the same failed ideas (tax breaks for the wealthy, privatizing critical military and security functions, etc.) they are reduced to bitching and, wherever the can, obstructing the party that was elected to clean up their fucking mess.

    • Government works are never copyrighted, but the government has some limited ability to declare information to be so critical to national security that it must be kept secret for our own safety. For example, if you happen to find a nuclear weapon design document, with detail technical specifications, the government can bar you from publishing it.

      It used to be that this law only applied to nuclear secrets and information related to the location of nuclear subs (and so forth), but these days terrorism is a
  • I know transparency terrifies you & your ilk, but I hope you get a clue & leave Wikileaks alone.

  • by Jugalator (259273) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:28AM (#30402160) Journal

    "The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness." ~ Nikos Kazantzaki

    Of course, this is not what the people responsible for it wish to happen.

  • by Wireless Joe (604314) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:29AM (#30402166) Homepage
    Three Lawmakers Ask For Enforcement Against Leak Sources
  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:31AM (#30402196)
    If your national security relies on censorship in this day and age, you're just not doing it right.
  • by T Murphy (1054674) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:32AM (#30402216) Journal
    I've never known a politician to be thick or outdated, so I'm sure these guys are just concerned for our rights. They must be intentionally invoking the Streisand effect upon realizing how important this information is to have spread further across the internet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DaFallus (805248)
      Hopefully someone will go out of their way to dig up some dirt on Dent, Bilirakis, and King and immediately post it to WikiLeaks. Smells like they have some dark secrets and the idea of WikiLeaks makes them very nervous. All the more reason to put them under a magnifying glass.
  • Exposure is good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RichMan (8097) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:33AM (#30402224)

    Suppressing the exposure is not the solution. It just means any future such leaks will be distributed "below the radar". In the interests of national security the leaks should be made as public as possible so that reactions can done to the leaks if required. Ideally the policies should be secure enough that we are still safe with full disclosure. As we all know security through obscurity is not a good solution.

    Better that we know the leak occurred than the leak occurs and we don't know it happened.

    • not a substitute (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nten (709128)

      Obscurity is not a substitute for security. But people forget that it *is* a very useful supplement to security in many cases. By all mean publish the plans to the safe, but don't tell people where you put the safe, that serves no purpose. Likewise, if you have a method or technique that you already know is flawed but have not found a way to remedy, keeping the badguys in the dark longer is a good thing. However the real point of this story is that people who really need to know better don't realize lea

  • by flyneye (84093)

    Like the Google CEO said a few days ago in a story, " If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide".
    (of course the fascist said it pertaining to personal privacy, but the sentiment really belongs to government transparency.)
    Now the fat ibogaine addicted swine are mudwrestling and brandishing weapons trying to get the toothpaste back in the tube.
    Anything to draw the publics attention away from the fact that not only do they not uphold their constitutional duties, but

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by eldavojohn (898314) *

      Like the Google CEO said a few days ago in a story, " If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide".

      Swing and a miss. If you're going to use quotation marks, take the time to look up what he actually said [slashdot.org]:

      'If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.'

      Of course, we'll remove the 'maybe' and the 'don't want anyone to know' and make it sound more Orwellian and before you know it, 640 kilobytes ought to be enough for anybody!

  • by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:33AM (#30402238)

    what legal action, if any, can be taken to compel its removal?

    Wikileaks is hosted outside the United States. So, none.

    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      And according to their FAQ, they are mirrored in a fashion that would make them very, very, very hard to actually take down.

    • by abigsmurf (919188)
      They can remove the wikileaks domains and compel ISPs to filter all traffic to and from any IP addresses that resolve to the wikileak servers.

      You can't remove it from the web completely but you can make it incredibly hard for anyone in the US to access.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rhizome (115711)

        They can remove the wikileaks domains and compel ISPs to filter all traffic to and from any IP addresses that resolve to the wikileak servers.

        Oh, you mean like when Bad Country uses their national firewall to block access to websites deemed unsavory?

    • A) That’s what Saddam said. Look how well that worked out. ;)

      B) That’s what Osama said. And he was right. ;)

      C) What if it’s in a darknet. With many copies. That will be next to impossible to attack.

      D) I say, if they want to take the hoster down, then host it on their own servers and watch them taking themselves down. :D

    • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:54PM (#30403440)

      The information was openly requested - No Charge

      The information was provided by the US Government legally - No Charge

      The information was posted on a website not hosted in the US and is not breaking any local or international laws - No charge

      What can they do ... nothing

  • by Xeoz (1648225) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:34AM (#30402244)
    The press is allowed to post anything newsworthy, no matter how the information got into their hands, even if it was acquired via illegal actions. So long as the press organization and it's agents have not done anything illegal to get it.
    • by R2.0 (532027) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:17PM (#30402824)

      "The press is allowed to post anything newsworthy, no matter how the information got into their hands, even if it was acquired via illegal actions. So long as the press organization and it's agents have not done anything illegal to get it.The press is allowed to post anything newsworthy, no matter how the information got into their hands, even if it was acquired via illegal actions. So long as the press organization and it's agents have not done anything illegal to get it."

      That's not exactly true. If documents are an *actual* security risk, the publication can be suppressed. The Pentagon Papers case wasn't about the ability of the government to prevent the publication of material that threatened national security; it was about how the government classifies such information. The court found that the government cannot simply declare document "Top Secret" for no reason, or because the are embarrassing.

      In practice, the press can get away with a lot because they use the Pentagon Papers case as an invincible shield, when it's not. In the Valerie Plame case, Bob Novak KNEW she had a TS clearance and was still under cover, and he published anyway. He should have been prosecuted along with Armitage. And if that lead to the VP and others, so be it. Instead we got Scooter Libby for lying to the FBI. Lots of justice there, yessiree.

    • by Yaa 101 (664725)

      In my country buying of stolen goods or information is a criminal offence, at least the members of press that got information in their hands have to prove they did not know that the info or goods were stolen.

  • by harl (84412) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:35AM (#30402260)

    How are the web sites at fault? The TSA gave them the information. If the TSA didn't want it posted they shouldn't have released the information.

    The TSA's lack of technical skills is not a crime on the web sites part?

  • by rwv (1636355) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:36AM (#30402280) Homepage Journal

    When I was young Republicans wanted a less powerful government who couldn't regulate anything. Why is there a call by three Republicans for more government control? Do they not remember the values of their party?

    Maybe they only want a powerful government when it's convenient for them?

    • by Raisey-raison (850922) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:01PM (#30402598)

      When I was young Republicans wanted a less powerful government who couldn't regulate anything. Why is there a call by three Republicans for more government control? Do they not remember the values of their party?

      Maybe they only want a powerful government when it's convenient for them?

      Republicans only care about less government when that means lower taxes and the government not providing services to it's citizens - especially the poor ones. But when it comes to a police state, defense spending and going to war they don't give a crap about liberty.

      There really is no option (with respect to a viable political party) for someone who believes in liberty in all areas. The democrats want to take away economic liberty.

      And both major parties don't seem to have common sense, eg we cant run deficits year after year since 2001 without severe consequences, IP is out of control and the gini coefienient is way too high. And except for a few on the hard left, there seems to be serious brain damage in the American political system when the majority of people think that you can have an effective health care system delivered by the free market. The free market doesn't work for health care.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Rich0 (548339)

        an effective health care system delivered by the free market. The free market doesn't work for health care

        That depends on your definition of "effective."

        The current health care system isn't a free-market system by any stretch of the imagination. A few reforms would make it much closer to one and it would greatly reduce costs. These reforms wouldn't socialize medicine, but you could add socialism a lot cheaper if you had these reforms:

        1. Price lists - health providers MUST have and PUBLISH them, and MUST

    • by divide overflow (599608) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:37PM (#30403172)

      Maybe they only want a powerful government when it's convenient for them?

      More accurately, they only want a powerful government when they are in power.

    • by argStyopa (232550) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:37PM (#30403174) Journal

      It's the bifurcation of the right.

      When Republicans were kind of the 'permanent minority' in Congress, we remained the party of small, local government (our founding principles).

      When the Democrats screwed up so bad that they lost control to the Republicans, there emerged the neo-con - EVANGELICAL (in a jam-it-down-their-throats way, not a religious way, although a large proportion of them ARE religious) conservatism. It's the party of force-your-conservative-viewpoints-on-everyone instead of the mildly Libertarian "just generally leave us alone" original party platform. This was likewise the party that supported the GWBush 'spend like a drunken sailor' plan, and the Bush 'massively broaden the powers and reach of the Federal government plan' that would have had Republicans even from the 70's and 80's going WTF?

      Sucks, and I think that's most of what's wrong with the Republican party now, but there it is.

      FWIW the Democrats have pretty much also morphed into something unrecognizable by their grandfathers. Can you see a blue-collar steelworker from the 1960s looking at NAMBLA and saying "oh yeah, I'll vote with them!"?

      • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday December 11, 2009 @06:57PM (#30408116)

        When Republicans were kind of the 'permanent minority' in Congress, we remained the party of small, local government (our founding principles).

        The Republican Party was founded in 1854, and elected its first President in 1860. Given the most notable events of that first administration, I don't think the Republican Party's "founding principles" had much to do with "small, local government".

        It's the party of force-your-conservative-viewpoints-on-everyone instead of the mildly Libertarian "just generally leave us alone" original party platform.

        Please present a copy of the text of this "just generally leave us alone" original platform of the Republican Party. Because the earliest party platforms -- those of 1856 and 1860 -- I can find contains a call for building new infrastructure (a transcontinental railroad, river and harbor improvements, etc.) as a government priority, including a positive call for an expansive view of federal Constitutional authority to support that effort, and a call for strong federal regulation on certain contemporary areas of trade. Insofar as they contain "just generally leave us alone" provisions at all, they are in regard to the 1860 platforms declaration of the inviolability of State's rights to control its own domestic institutions, which certainly didn't seem to survive very long past 1860 as a core Republican principle.

        This was likewise the party that supported the GWBush 'spend like a drunken sailor' plan, and the Bush 'massively broaden the powers and reach of the Federal government plan' that would have had Republicans even from the 70's and 80's going WTF?

        Given the similar expansion and spending of the Reagan years, I have trouble understanding that. Unless you are suggesting that the intervening decade would have caused Republicans from that time to forget the 1980s.

        FWIW the Democrats have pretty much also morphed into something unrecognizable by their grandfathers. Can you see a blue-collar steelworker from the 1960s looking at NAMBLA and saying "oh yeah, I'll vote with them!"?

        What does NAMBLA have to do with anything? I can't imagine current Democrats supporting NAMBLA any more than I can imagine 1960s Democrats doing so (well, except that 1960s Democrats -- like 1960s Republicans -- wouldn't have a choice, since NAMBLA didn't exist.)

        A more real change in the Democratic Party since the 1960s was a result of the Civil Rights movement, which drove a wedge between the conservative (and often segregationist) wing of the party and the rest of the party, which was exploited by Republicans with Nixon's Southern strategy and subsequent efforts, over time turning the South from a Democratic stronghold to a Republican one.

  • Retards in office. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ground.zero.612 (1563557) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:38AM (#30402304)
    Am I the only person that believes we have certifiable retards running our country? Like, seriously I think you have to be retarded if you actually think you can remove data from the internet.
    • People achieve office based on their ability to convince enough people to vote for them (and rigging elections). Sadly, and obviously, it says nothing about their ability to responsibly and intelligently govern.
    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Am I the only person that believes we have certifiable retards running our country? Like, seriously I think you have to be retarded if you actually think you can remove data from the internet."

      We have plenty of retards relentlessly electing the "retards" who run the country.

      We really need to admit that most of the American public are, to be polite, stupid, superstitious, willfully ignorant, and vicious.
      Smart, clueful people will always be a tiny, often beseiged, minority.

      • by Again (1351325)
        Which is exactly why you do not want to convince people to vote. A low voter turn-out can be a very good thing if the turn-out is low because only people who have educated themselves on the issues at hand will go vote.

        It is when the educated get apathetic enough to stop going to polls that we need to start worrying.

        I admit that my attitude is at least slightly elitist but I would like to propose a system where people get extra votes based on some sort of a test or quiz that they can fill out that wou
  • by Tangential (266113) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:44AM (#30402390) Homepage
    Seems to me that the Congress ought to be more concerned about the levels of security and training maintained by the TSA than with sites that replicate publicly available information. Sounds to me that in addition to firing the redactor of the document for incompetence, several heads should roll in their IT, security and training organizations.
    • More heads inside TSA need to roll. Don't punish the citizens for wanting to know WTF their security theater troop is doing to protect them.

    • by Petaris (771874)

      I work in IT as do many here. There are a number of reasons this could have happened that have nothing to do with incompetence of the IT department. As for training it can be difficult to find time and or money to train employees, and many don't pay attention anyway. I would hesitate to suggest firing a bunch of people without knowing the details first. If no one gave that person proper training then it really isn't their fault. If they were trained and ignored the training then it is. Was that person

  • From the summary:

    How has [sic] the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration...

    Why was the sic added to this statement? I'm not an English major but I don't find that sentence to use any archaic or incorrect spellings nor do I find the grammar to be wrong.

    • by natehoy (1608657)

      "has" in that sentence should be "have".

      How has Jon and Bob been acting?
      How have John and Bob been acting?

      [sic] Heil!

      Signed,
        - Goermer, proud member, local Grammar Nazi Union #242 :)

    • by macaddict (91085)
      The sentence is referring to two separate agencies: DHS and TSA. Rewrite the sentence to "How has they addressed the repeated posting..." vs. "How have they addressed the repeated posting...", and you'll see the error.
  • Why don't they say anything about going after news agencies that reposted the documents? Or is that a battle they don't want to fight? I don't get it.
  • by jfengel (409917) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:05PM (#30402664) Homepage Journal

    So, Republican representatives... when WikiLeaks is being used to post information you object to, you want it investigated.

    I trust the same outrage applies to the emails stolen from the CRU and posted on WikiLeaks? Or does your interest in privacy only apply to issues you care about?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cdrguru (88047)

      Maybe document stolen from England need enforcement action from England rather than promoting the US as the World Police Force(tm).

  • By having one wikileaks in a place not covered by US laws and another covered by US laws. What is the law for placing subdomains with a separate hosting provider broad by the way? Lets say us.wikileaks.org was hosted in France and www.wikileaks.org was hosted in the USA?

    Another option might be to place a wikileaks on Freenet, and simply place references to the content on the wikileaks website.

    • Then there may be no way to determine who and from where someone posted the content.

      On the other side: oppressive regimes are likely to block sites like this to begin with, if they could access through for example Freenet, blocking the content from the citizens is likely much harder. This include content like in these cases where information is about supposed free countries.

      --
      9/11 - Also known as the day US helped overthrow the Democracy in Chile inserting the dictator Pinochet as head of state.

  • Very Dangerous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:16PM (#30402806)

    This equates to Digital Book Burning. This is an essential liberty.

  • Now three Republican lawmakers are asking what's being done to prosecute those hosting the document

    Why don't you ask what steps are being taken to make us trust our politicians and corporations so that sites like Wikileaks become moot?

    Hint: Going after Wikileaks et al. ain't one of those steps and shows a shocking lack of understanding of the purpose of the first amendment or the ephemeral nature of the internet...
    • I think you're giving them too much credit in saying that they lack understanding of the purpose of the first amendment. I'm normally a fan of the old "Never attribute to malice that which can just as easily be attributed to ignorance" (or something like that) quote. When it comes to politicians, especially at the upper levels of our national government, I do tend to find it far more likely that they're willfully malicious. I'm sure they understand the first amendment perfectly, they just don't like it a
  • by Tom (822) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:18PM (#30402844) Homepage Journal

    And there I was, thinking I was funny:
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1470306&cid=30363244 [slashdot.org]

    And now they're doing it.

    Can we please re-introduce the death penalty for stupidity? Back in the days, before the whole "civilization" nonsense, fuckers like these wouldn't have survived long enough to demonstrate that there is a perfect vaccuum in this universe - inside their heads.

  • ...you prosecute others because they laugh at you?

    You know what’s great about this?

    1. That way, they won’t ever learn from it, and continue to make stuff available for us.
    2. Since they can by definition never remove it from the Internet, once it’s out in the public, their chase will never stop.

    The stuff is already floating though the P2P nets. Just wait until someone creates a distributed Wikileaks site inside a darknet. Try to shut that down! ^^

    I hope they get even more arrogant, and star

  • The genie is out of the bottle on this one. The document won't disappear, and even if it becomes illegal to host it, it'll continue circulating. The legislators need to accept this as a "teachable moment" and figure out ways to prevent it from recurring, perhaps through improvements in process and education of the folks producing the secure content.

    Beyond "use better redaction", process improvements mean inserting a few steps between redaction and publishing.

    The redacted document should go through a Q

  • I know that not knowing a law does not protect from not being prosecuted under it, but isn't there some provision that if you cannot know that you break the law (e.g. because, say, you don't even know that distribution of the information is not allowed) you cannot be prosecuted? I know it applies to buying stolen merchandize in good faith, it also applies to distributing information that someone else broke an NDA for (say I'm under an NDA to not give out information, break it and tell it to you and you publ

  • Screw TSA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DustoneGT (969310) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:28PM (#30403026)
    I will not fly in a commercial flight until TSA is dismantled. The 9/11 attacks did not warrant federal intrusion into air security. You may disagree, but that's fine. I will continue to vote with my dollars as I see fit. I'd rather drive several days than go through airport security.
    • Re:Screw TSA (Score:5, Interesting)

      by the_fat_kid (1094399) on Friday December 11, 2009 @01:51PM (#30404384)

      Amen to that!
      I have sworn off airports.
      I love to fly. Airplanes are just cool. going from Chicago to Denver in 3 hours is great.
      I will not, however, put up with the bullshit that goes on in airports and with airlines.
      We are no safer than we were 10 years ago.
      That time and date printed on your ticket? Well it doesn't mean anything. you bought a ticket that said you would be in North Carolina thursday night? Well, not this thursday, the conecting flight has been delayed. Yeah, the plane isn't ready to fly. How long have we known? We found out 6 hours before you got on your first flight. We will TRY to get you out of here tomorrow. In the meantime here is a voucher for a "free" sandwich, now go sit down.
      The next year I drove. Less time, 10 hours vs. 16. Less money, $300 in gas vs. $700 in air fare. Less hassel, I can bring nail clippers and a bottle of water in the car.

  • Please, please mail to your representatives a copy of the United States Constitution.

    They clearly need one to refer to when this legislation ceoms before them for consideration.

  • The net effect of this affair will be to burnish the reputations of these particular Congresscritters in their districts as "patriots". (Does that word have any meaning anymore in this country?) Not much else.

    It's 100% grandstanding, and they know it. And anyone who observes US politics should know it.

    Someone will catch hell for the leak, if they haven't already. But otherwise, this will have the consequences of most other bullshit: None.

  • Messrs. Charles Dent (R-PA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Peter T. King (R-NY):

    Bite me.

    Of course I mean that in the nicest possible way, you being our duly elected representatives and all.

    Wait ... no, I don't. I mean that really meanly, viciously, pettily.

    Bite me.

    Yes, that's about it.

  • If Wikileaks is hosted outside of the US, then I suspect there is very little the US government can do about it, short of calling in an air strike. And while I'd expect GW might have considered that option, I'm pretty sure Obama isn't that stupid.
  • The pager data was released long after 9/11. Did the interceptor wait for the expiration of some statute of limitations?

  • Curiously nobody has suggested that they're acting correctly.

    "Secret" information has been leaked. Sources on the internet are hosting that leaked information. It's perfectly sensible and legitimate to ask how that information can be suppressed, and whether legal action is (or should be made) possible against those that disseminate it.

    The answer is obviously that it'll be extremely difficult (and for certain types of information, impossible), but I would expect people in their position to at least ask the q

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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