Skip to content

Category Archives: Secrecy: Leaks Prosecutions

Exclusive: NSA Program Can Target Thoughts of Millions of Targets, Thousands of Americans

By and
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM

The National Security Agency has developed the capability to mine the thought patterns of millions of people simultaneously, collection that may involve thousands of Americans, according to the latest disclosure from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. An NSA Powerpoint slide refers to the classified program, code-named “MINDPRISM,” as “The Ultimate in Upstream Collection.” A combination . . .
Read more »

Holding Leakers Accountable: Considering New Leaks Laws

By
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Those who leak classified information violate their contracts, the public’s trust, and the law. As for those who publish the leaked information – it’s “complicated,” according to FBI Director James Comey. He was responding recently to House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers’ question whether reporters are guilty of crimes in obtaining or publishing classified information. . . .
Read more »

General Keith Alexander on the NSA Scandals

By
Friday, October 25, 2013 at 7:19 PM

I haven’t watched this yet. Will publish thoughts on it after I have done so—if I have any. In the meantime, here are Josh Gerstein’s from Politico: The head of the embattled National Security Agency, Gen. Keith Alexander, is accusing journalists of “selling” his agency’s documents and is calling for an end to the steady stream of . . .
Read more »

Fourth Circuit: No Rehearing En Banc in U.S. v. Sterling

By
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Here’s the Fourth Circuit’s order denying two petitions for rehearing en banc—-one by New York Times reporter James Risen, the other by former CIA Officer Jeffrey Sterling.    This past summer, a panel held, in a 2-1 vote, that the journalist had no First Amendment privilege enabling him to refuse to testify in the leak prosecution against Sterling. . . .
Read more »

Critical Thoughts on New Report on Obama Leak Crackdown

By
Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Today the Committee to Protect Journalists published a very critical report on the Obama administration’s efforts to crack down on leakers and control the flow of secret information from government officials to the press.  “The administration’s war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration, . . .
Read more »

“Just Security” Launch Event Webcast

By
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM

The official launch event for the new site Just Security is taking place at this hour with an event entitled, “When Reporting is a Crime: National Security and the Press After Snowden and Sterling.” The event is being webcast live. You can watch it here: Video streaming by Ustream

Former FBI Agent to Plead Guilty in AP Leaks Case

By
Monday, September 23, 2013 at 5:55 PM

That’s the sum and substance of this Washington Post piece, which begins: A former FBI bomb technician who later worked as a contractor for the Bureau has agreed to plead guilty to disclosing national defense information about a disrupted terrorist plot to the Associated Press, according to the Justice Department. Donald John Sachtleben, 55, of Carmel, Ind., . . .
Read more »

A Critique of the Latest Snowden Disclosures

By
Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 5:04 PM

The world now has extraordinary access to the details of how the United States operates and funds its intelligence agencies, courtesy of Edward Showden and the Washington Post.  This will lead to no good.  It makes friendly countries nervous about what we can do, and unfriendly countries happy about what we can’t do.  This kind . . .
Read more »

This Has To Hurt — The IC Budget Revealed

By
Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 3:08 PM

For years, the Intelligence Community has fought hard against the disclosure of its budget.  Even the top line total was, for many decades, classified.  Now, thanks to Edward Snowden, the Washington Post has the 2013 budget proposal.  [Warning to readers with clearances -- the article is not classified, but links therein appear to be.] As . . .
Read more »

James Risen Petitions For Rehearing En Banc, Media File Amicus Brief in the Fourth Circuit

By
Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Here’s the New York Times reporter’s petition for rehearing en banc in the case of United States v. Sterling.   It was filed yesterday. Readers will recall that last month a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit concluded, in a 2-1 decision, that Mr. Risen had no First Amendment privilege against testifying in criminal case.  The panel thus compelled him to be a government . . .
Read more »

A Quick Primer on Military Justice and The Manning Verdict

By
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 4:42 PM

After hearing evidence in a contested bench trial, Army Colonel Denise Lind, a military trial judge, found Pfc. Bradley Manning guilty of most of the charges and specifications today in a military court room at Fort Meade, Maryland, in connection with his release of documents to Wikileaks.  Manning faces a maximum possible sentence of over 128 . . .
Read more »

Bradley Manning Verdict

By
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM

From The Guardian’s live blog: Manning has been found not guilty of the most serious charge of “aiding the enemy”. However the private has been found guilty on five counts of violating the espionage act. [Update] Here is Charlie Savage of the New York Times.

CA4 Opinion in U.S. v. Sterling: No 1st Am, Common Law Journalist’s Privilege for James Risen

By
Friday, July 19, 2013 at 3:01 PM

It’s a big news day in national security law for all kinds of reasons—one being today’s opinion from the Fourth Circuit in United States v. Sterling.   That, of course, is the prosecution against a former CIA officer under, among other things, Sections 793(d) and (3) of the Espionage Act.  In essence the government claims that . . .
Read more »

Justice Department Report on Review of News Media Policies

By
Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Available here. This report is Attorney General Eric Holder’s response to President Obama’s order of a review of departmental policies with respect to the media. It announces several changes in policy, the first two of which seem the most significant: Second,      

EPIC Files Petition in SCOTUS Regarding FISC Section 215 Order

By
Monday, July 8, 2013 at 7:15 PM

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”), an advocacy and litigation group, today petitioned for a writ of mandamus or prohibition, or a writ of certiorari, in the Supreme Court.  The filing’s subject is an April order, issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISC”) pursuant to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, and leaked to media, seemingly, by . . .
Read more »

Venezuela Has Offered Asylum to Edward Snowden

By
Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM

That’s the sum and substance of this Reuters piece (run here in the New York Times).  It begins as follows: CARACAS — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro offered asylum to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden on Friday in defiance of Washington, which is demanding his arrest for divulging details of secret U.S. spy programs. “In the name of . . .
Read more »

Senators’ Letter to DNI Clapper on NSA Surveillance

By
Friday, June 28, 2013 at 3:19 PM

A group of twenty-six senators yesterday wrote to DNI James Clapper, and inquired about the executive branch’s application of the USA PATRIOT ACT—chiefly, it seems, the “business records” provision set forth in Section 215 of the statute. The missive concludes with this volley of questions: How long has the NSA used PATRIOT Act authorities to engage . . .
Read more »

Is Rand Paul right about Edward Snowden’s “civil disobedience”?

By
Friday, June 14, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Senator Rand Paul has said he is “reserving judgment” about Edward Snowden, but nevertheless characterized Snowden’s conduct as “civil disobedience.”  Is that right? From Socrates through Thoreau, Gandhi, and King, the great theorists and practitioners of this form of resistance to law have told us in words and actions that civil disobedience requires the disobedient citizen . . .
Read more »

Data Mining and Edward Snowden

By
Monday, June 10, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Many, of course, will doubt the power of data mining, geolocation and other cyber techniques to resolve ambiguities.  One would have thought, however, that Edwards Snowden the (in)famous NSA leaker would not be unaware of the power of distributed network analytics.  Yet it seems he is.  According to this report analysis of Snowden’s Guardian video . . .
Read more »

The Guardian Reveals Its Source: NSA Contractor Edward Snowden, Currently in…China

By
Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 4:05 PM

You can’t make this stuff up.  The Guardian has revealed its source to be NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who (not surprisingly) appears to be a fierce advocate of online freedom and privacy and who (perhaps surprisingly) appears to be residing in China for the time being.   Seriously, China. What next?  There’s no doubt that criminal . . .
Read more »