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Category Archives: Secrecy: Leaks Prosecutions

This Has To Hurt — The IC Budget Revealed

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

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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 . . .
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A Quick Primer on Military Justice and The Manning Verdict

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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 . . .
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Bradley Manning Verdict

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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

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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 . . .
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Justice Department Report on Review of News Media Policies

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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

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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 . . .
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Venezuela Has Offered Asylum to Edward Snowden

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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 . . .
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Senators’ Letter to DNI Clapper on NSA Surveillance

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

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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 . . .
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Data Mining and Edward Snowden

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

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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 . . .
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Why These Leaks Hurt

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Friday, June 7, 2013 at 2:47 PM

[Editor’s Note: Carrie Cordero is a frequent Lawfare guest poster, a former Justice Department official, and currently Director of National Security Studies at Georgetown University Law Center]  As someone who previously practiced before the FISA Court, my first reaction to seeing what appeared to be a leaked Top Secret FISA Court order containing the name of a telecommunications . . .
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Can You Understand These Data Collection Stories Without Understanding the Minimization Procedures?

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Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Four comments on today‘s Washington Post story (and the Verizon story on domestic and foreign data collection): First, today’s Post story reminded me of this very interesting 2008 post from David Kris.  It is worth re-reading now. A key passage: As far as I can determine, the government seems to have persuaded the FISA Court . . .
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An Explainer on the Espionage Act and the Third-Party Leak Prosecutions

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 1:00 PM

The press scandals keep on coming for the Obama Administration. Hot on the heels of revelations that the administration subpoenaed the Associated Press’s phone records as part of a leak investigation, the Washington Post reported on Monday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) targeted James Rosen, a Fox News reporter, in the Espionage Act investigation . . .
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Administration Thoughts on the James Rosen Furor

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 4:46 PM

An administration national security official writes in with the following thoughts on the furor over the warrant application against James Rosen of Fox News: There is a great deal of hyperventilation—much of it self-interested on the part of the press—about the Administration’s “assault on the First Amendment.” In particular, the Administration has been roundly [criticized] . . .
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DOJ Crosses New Line in Leak Investigation of Fox News Correspondent James Rosen

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Monday, May 20, 2013 at 2:53 PM

A few years ago I wrote an op-ed that gave these reasons (among others) why the USG should not prosecute Julian Assange for the WikiLeaks disclosures of State Department cables: A conviction [of Assange] would also cause collateral damage to American media freedoms.  It is difficult to distinguish Assange or WikiLeaks from The Washington Post.  National security . . .
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Carrie Cordero on AP Subpoenas

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Friday, May 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Carrie Cordero, Georgetown’s Director of National Security Studies and a former Justice Department official, writes in with these thoughts on the AP subpoenas controversy and background law: In light of the hysteria over reports that the Department of Justice subpoenaed AP records during the course of a leak investigation, it might be useful to step . . .
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Explainer on the AP Subpoenas Controversy

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Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM

It’s been a rough week for the Obama Administration. In addition to outrage over IRS targeting of conservative groups and continued conspiratorial rumblings about the Administration’s response to the Benghazi attack, the Department of Justice (DOJ) faces blowback over subpoenas it issued for Associated Press (AP) reporters’ telephone records. The subpoenas were part of an . . .
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AP: DOJ Secretly Obtained AP Reporters’ Phone Call Records

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Monday, May 13, 2013 at 9:30 PM

So we learn from this Associated Press story.  It hints that the records’ acquisition may stem from a DOJ inquiry into the disclosure, last year, of classified material to the AP—regarding the CIA’s disruption of an AQAP effort to blow up a bomb on an airplane traveling to the United States.   (The AP broke the AQAP . . .
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