I have watched the development of the Intelligence Authorization Act for 2013 with growing concern. I recognize the need to maintain the security of properly classified information. At the same time, I recognize the need to protect whistle blowers and those who report their discoveries of information that is improperly classified to cover up embarrassing and/or criminal acts. The provisions in this act were so one sided as to effectively muzzle the 4th estate. Sadly, too many Democrats, especially Diane Feinstein (D-CA), supported this measure, without considering the ramifications of putting such capacity to abuse power into the hands of future Republicans. I am proud to report that my Senator has killed the bill.
Once again, Senator Ron Wyden seems like one of a very small number of people in Congress actually willing to stand up against bad bills that are pushed forward with fear mongering. Earlier this year, we noted just how absolutely ridiculous it was that Senator Dianne Feinstein seemed a hell of a lot more concerned about punishing whoever blew the whistle on questionable US activities like Stuxnet, then about the questionable activities themselves. In response, she put forth some legislation that was designed to punish government whistleblowers, rather than understand why they were blowing the whistle. This bill got dumped into a key appropriations bill, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. In other words, Feinstein basically said that if we are to fund intelligence activities we have to crack down on whistleblowers. Shameful stuff.
Thankfully, Senator Wyden has now put a hold on the bill, noting his concern about how it would impact free speech issues, especially as it pertained to the media reporting on national security:
"I think Congress should be extremely skeptical of any anti-leaks bills that threaten to encroach upon the freedom of the press, or that would reduce access to information that the public has a right to know," Wyden said in a floor statement publicly announcing his hold. "Without transparent and informed public debate on foreign policy and national security topics, American voters would be ill-equipped to elect the policymakers who make important decisions in these areas."
… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Tech Dirt>
Photo credit: Firedog Lake
I could not be more pleased to see Oregon leading the way once again.