Tag Archives: First Amendment

WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange

Reading the New Yorker’s piece on WikiLeaks, it’s hard to decide whether I’m reading about freedom fighters, skilled propagandists, or as is often the case, both. Without looking too deeply, I believe in what WikiLeaks is trying to do, but I’m profoundly worried to see here, for example, Tor server traffic mined for data. That’s the sort of behavior Tor is designed to protect people from, not subject them to.

WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange

Raising an eyebrow in Arizona

The Phoenix New Times is facing grand jury subpoenas of all sorts of crazy crap after publishing a county sheriff’s home address.

Read the whole story (warning – your IP address might end up part of these legal proceedings) in the New Times for all the sordid details, but the rather absurd money quote is the following:

“The subpoena demands: ‘Any and all documents containing a compilation of aggregate information about the Phoenix New Times Web site created or prepared from January 1, 2004 to the present, including but not limited to:
A) which pages visitors access or visit on the Phoenix New Times website;
B) the total number of visitors to the Phoenix New Times website;
C) information obtained from ‘cookies,’ including, but not limited to, authentication, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users (site preferences, contents of electronic shopping carts, etc.);
D) the Internet Protocol address of anyone that accesses the Phoenix New Times website from January 1, 2004 to the present;
E) the domain name of anyone that has accessed the Phoenix New Times website from January 1, 2004 to the present;
F) the website a user visited prior to coming to the Phoenix New Times website;
G) the date and time of a visit by a user to the Phoenix New Times website;
H) the type of browser used by each visitor (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Netscape Navigator, Firefox, etc.) to the Phoenix New Times website; and
I) the type of operating system used by each visitor to the Phoenix New Times website.’
Special prosecutor Wilenchik wants this information on each and every New Times reader online since 2004.”

Without touching on the wild angles that are in play in this story (Minutemen, alleged assassination plots, Mexican drug dealers), it’s clearly a crazy notion that a grand jury could subpoena 3.5 years of user data from a news organization, right? Right?

I figure this is worth bringing to light and throwing some attention at.

via the Online News e-mail list.

[UPDATE: Two Village Voice Media execs spent the night in jail, arrested for publishing the subpoena. By the time I get to Arizona...]

[UPDATE: Charges dropped, special prosecutor fired, all is well, reason prevails, nothing to see here, YMMV...]

A couple of moments with the president | Rhode Island news | Rhode Island news | projo.com | The Providence Journal

“WPRI-TV, Channel 12 reporter Jarrod Holbrook had his White House press pass snatched after he shouted “Mr. President!” twice as President Bush greeted Air and Army National Guardsmen gathered on the tarmac at the Air National Guard base in Quonset.”

A couple of moments with the president | Rhode Island news | Rhode Island news | projo.com | The Providence Journal

Scary stuff for journalists: the Feds are tracking your calls, too

ABC News blog The Blotter is reporting that a “senior federal law enforcement official” told them the federal government is running the whole caller-ID data mining trip on journalists in an effort to track down their confidential sources.

Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.

Well now isn’t that just as much fun as a barrel of scary Orwellian monkeys.

Amazing how smoothly federal agencies can work together when knocking the free press down a few rungs is on the agenda.