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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper criticized the news media Saturday for what he called a “rush to publish” information based on “reckless” leaks about the government surveillance tool PRISM.
“Over the last week we have seen reckless disclosures of intelligence community measures used to keep Americans safe,” Clapper said in a statement.
(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwisemakes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—
(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
(b) As used in subsection (a) of this section—
The term “classified information” means information which, at the time of a violation of this section, is, for reasons of national security, specifically designated by a United States Government Agency for limited or restricted dissemination or distribution;
The terms “code,” “cipher,” and “cryptographic system” include in their meanings, in addition to their usual meanings, any method of secret writing and any mechanical or electrical device or method used for the purpose of disguising or concealing the contents, significance, or meanings of communications;

. . .
[b]The term “communication intelligence” means all procedures and methods used in the interception of communications and the obtaining of information from such communications by other than the intended recipients;[/b]

Recklessness is a legal term.  It is one step shy of knowing action.  Basically the DNI has just told the press that if they don't back off this story they might graduate to knowing action, and be subject to prosecution.

The guardian release another PRISM slide today.  This goes directly to the question of if the government

The US media is not reporting on the new slide.  Instead it is full of denials from tech companies.  Under the law any spokesman who admitted to what is going on would face prison time.

It seems like the government is trying to threaten the media into killing the story.

8:39 PM PT: On what recklessly means:

Since its publication in 1957, the formulation of mens rea set forth in the Model Penal Code has been highly influential throughout North America in clarifying the discussion of the different modes of culpability.

Strict liability: the actor engaged in conduct and his mental state is irrelevant. Under Model Penal Code Section 2.05, this mens rea may only be applied where the forbidden conduct is a mere violation, i.e. a civil infraction.

Negligently: a "reasonable person" would be aware of a "substantial and unjustifiable risk" that his conduct is of a prohibited nature, will lead to a prohibited result, and/or is under prohibited attendant circumstances, and the actor was not so aware but should have been.

Recklessly: the actor consciously disregards a "substantial and unjustifiable risk" that his conduct is of a prohibited nature, will lead to a prohibited result, and/or is of a prohibited nature.

Knowingly: the actor is practically certain that his conduct will lead to the result, or is aware to a high probability that his conduct is of a prohibited nature, or is aware to a high probability that the attendant circumstances exist.

Purposefully: the actor has the "conscious object" of engaging in conduct and believes or hopes that the attendant circumstances exist.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-) From Dictatorship to Democracy, Guide to Non Violent Protests.

    by sdelear on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 07:53:38 PM PDT

  •  In more ways than one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome, dream weaver

    MT @SCClemons: Dulles UAL lounge listening to 4 US intel officials saying loudly leaker/reporter on NSA stuff shld be disappeared // #opsec
  •  Are you looking for an issue? i see no (4+ / 0-)

    'threatening' of the press in that statement, unless you're a really big wuss.

  •  I See Govt vs Press As an Internal Family Squabble (0+ / 0-)

    The press is corporate and government is also corporate. When they fight it's over policy or representation, not about sunshine on behalf of the people.

    The press like all corporations wants a libertarian theocratic Republican government.

    This surveillance program was launched just after W Bush's inauguration, not 9/11, and not Obama's inauguration. It's being fed to the press now because we're in a midterm election cycle where the rightwing base needs energy to advance the rightwing press and libertarian agenda.

    There is nothing about the revelations or their coverage in this internal family fight that can lead to any kind of improvement for the people.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 08:30:59 PM PDT

  •  Don't think it will affect publishing (0+ / 0-)

    The Pentagon Papers case affirmed the First Amendment  right of journalists to publish classified information that  had been leaked to them.

    Of course, the person actually doing the leaking can be prosecuted, as happened in the Pentagon Papers case.  Luckily for him, the government's case kind of fell apart due to a large amount of illegal wiretapping and similar conduct the government had been doing, which tainted the prosecution.  

    Thankfully, after the Pentagon Papers case the government learned its lesson and stopped collecting information about innocent Americans without a search warrant.

  •  I'm not entirely sure I care... (0+ / 0-)

    I know, I know... freedom of the press and all, but if the media didn't suck so much, I might be more inclined to care.  AFAIC, let them listen to every phone call and read every email and twit that the twit woof blister ever twittered.  It's probably the best way to get them to stop.  They'll sleep forever.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 09:37:39 PM PDT

  •  We already knew two weeks ago. (0+ / 0-)

    Regardless of how much you hate Fox News, what they report on and what they as an organization stand for, the fact remains that this administration was attempting to criminalize reporting.  At the very least, it was an attempt to silence through intimidation.  

    Its no different than what the IRS did.  They've attempted to stifle the political voice of Americans.  I'm in awe how many here are either partisan blind or ignorant to how dangerous this is.  Our party won't be in power for ever.  Once these transgressions occur, they only get worse in the future.

    It reminds me of something that I read on President Obama's Facebook page during his reelection campaign.  It was a post, presumably by a Teabagger or RW nut job.  It stated that they already had plans in place, if Romney won, to seize the servers for all liberal activist websites, membership info and donors.  I have no idea if its actually true.  That's besides the point.  What matters is the idea is alive and the technology exists to gather this info.  That the govt is doing it is equally unacceptable.

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