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DOJ Secretly Obtains Months Of AP Phone Records; AP Surveillance: ‘Govts taking our rights away, not Al-Qaeda’

Freedom of the Press Under Duress?

I saw the headline for this article the other day. At first I skimmed right past it. After a moment or two I thought about what I had passed, wondering whether it really did say what I thought it said. So I went up and found the headline again. It read, “Michigan Considers Law to License Journalists.” OK, it really did say what I thought that it said. I then read the article and found that it was exactly as bad as I had feared. It seems that simply going after the 2nd Amendment rights are not quite enough for those in power. They now appear to believe that they have the right to begin regulating the use of rights singled out in the 1st Amendment as well. While the proposed legislation does not stop anyone from writing whatever they like, I see it as a step in that direction. Further I see it as a result, and not an unexpected one, of the politicians in the US finding that they no longer can control the message to the people.
The bill, as proposed, would provide a licensing process for anyone who fancies themself as a reporter. The licensing program would be a situation where in order to become licensed, the prospective writer would be required to first submit proof of the following:
  • “Good moral character” and demonstrate they have industry “ethics standards acceptable to the board.” (as a side note, is there a single member of Congress who could meet this particular standard? There is not a single ethical member of Congress that I can think of)
  • Possession of a degree in journalism or other degree substantially equivalent. (Sure, as soon as you require possession of a degree in political ethics and a masters in representative republic administration in order to qualify for national office)
  • Not less than 3 years experience as a reporter or any other relevant background information. (and not less than 10 years of running a successful private business prior to federal office where you are responsible for a couple of trillion dollar budget)
  • Awards or recognition related to being a reporter.
  • Three or more writing samples.  >>>more<<<

DOJ Secretly Obtains Months Of AP Phone Records;

AP Condemns ‘Unprecedented Intrusion’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.
In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown, but more than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies. >>>more<<<
thank you Morbid Hate88

AP Surveillance: ‘Govts taking our rights away, not Al-Qaeda’

The White House has denied having any prior knowledge of the Justice Department’s criminal probe of the Associated Press, but lawmakers appalled by the revelation are nonetheless lashing out at United States President Barack Obama.
Just hours after the AP reported on Monday that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors employed by the news agency, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP.”
“We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department,” said Carney. “Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice.”
Meanwhile, US Attorney General Eric Holder defended the probe during a Tuesday afternoon press conference, but said he recused himself from the investigation because he was interviewed earlier by the FBI on the matter and didn’t want to provoke a conflict of interest.
“I don’t know all that went into the formulation of the subpoena,” Holder said, adding that actions were taken after a leak was of great severity was discovered that “put the American people at risk.” >>>more<<<

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