The government has the legal authority to prosecute journalists for publishing classified information, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said yesterday.
“There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility,” Mr. Gonzales said on the ABC News program “This Week.”
“That’s a policy judgment by the Congress in passing that kind of legislation,” he continued. “We have an obligation to enforce those laws. We have an obligation to ensure that our national security is protected.”
Asked whether he was open to the possibility that The New York Times should be prosecuted for its disclosures in December concerning a National Security Agency surveillance program, Mr. Gonzales said his department was trying to determine “the appropriate course of action in that particular case.”
Some legal scholars say that even if the plain language of the laws could be read to reach journalists, the laws were never intended to apply to the press. In any event, these scholars say, prosecuting reporters under the laws might violate the First Amendment.
Mr. Gonzales said that the administration promoted and respected the right of the press that is protected under the First Amendment.
“But it can’t be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity,” he said. “And so those two principles have to be accommodated.”
If it’s possible to suspend the first amendment because the feds need to go after criminal activity, how long until, say, the fifth is gone as well?
The Copyright Act permits a copyright owner to claim $150,000 per infringement, and the RIAA has been using that figure when they’ve sued individuals. However, they claim that they only lose 300 million per year due to piracy, which would equate to only 2000 songs downloaded per year. Clearly something is wrong – to find out the real cost of piracy, I went to http://www.thepiratebay.org to find out how many songs are downloaded in a month, in order to make a more accurate estimate of the losses to the music industry.
First, I used the “Browse Torrents” link to view only music torrents. By browsing through the torrents, I found that (as of the time of writing) the torrents on pages 330 through 409 were all posted in January 2006. Then I wrote a quick Java program to download all those pages, parse it for the size of the torrent and the number of people who downloaded it, and made an educated guess as to how many infringements there were. If you want, you can see the raw output of my program. Here are the results:
In January 2006, there were approximately 2370 music torrents posted. By estimating that each music file is 5 megs, we can estimate the number of infringements as the number of downloads multiplied by the estimated number of songs. I ran my program, and when I saw the results I was shocked! Using those figures, there were approximately 76,272,931 infringements caused by the torrents posted in January! Using the RIAA’s value of $150,000 per infringement, the total cost to the music industry was $11,440,939,650,000!
Now, it may be hard to grasp just how large a value that is, so I have provided a friendly chart which compares the net worth of Bill Gates, the 2005 Gross Domestic Product of France, and the cost of one month of torrents from one site:
Baltimore City police arrested a Virginia couple over the weekend after they asked an officer for directions.
He said the couple went to a company picnic and watched the Orioles beat Kansas City. It was their first trip to Camden Yards and asked two people for directions to Interstate 95 South when they left.
Collins said somehow they ended up in the Cherry Hill section of south Baltimore. Hopelessly lost, relief melted away concerns after they spotted a police vehicle.
“I said, ‘Thank goodness, could you please get us to 95?” Kelly said.
“The first thing that she said to us was no — you just ran that stop sign, pull over,” Brook said. “It wasn’t a big deal. We’ll pay the stop sign violation, but can we have directions?”
“What she said was ‘You found your own way in here, you can find your own way out.’” Kelly said.
Collins said the couple spotted another police vehicle and flagged that officer down for directions. But Officer Natalie Preston, a six-year veteran of the force, intervened.
“That really threw us for a loop when she stepped in between our cars,” Kelly said. “(She) said my partner is not going to step in front of me and tell you directions if I’m not.”
Collins reported the circumstances got worse. Kelly pulled 40 feet forward parking next to a curb and put his flashers on while Brook was on the phone to her father hoping he could help her with directions. Both her parents are police officers in the Harrisburg, Pa., area.
“(Brook’s father) was in the middle of giving us directions when the officer screeched up behind us and got out of the car and asked me to step out. I obeyed,” Kelly said. “I obeyed everything — stepped out of the car, put my hands behind my back, and the next thing I know, I was getting arrested for trespassing.”
“By this time, I was completely in tears,” Brook said. “I said, ‘Ma’am, you know, we just need your help. We are not trying to cause you any trouble. I’m not leaving him here.’ What she did was walk over to my side of the car and said, ‘Ok, we are taking you downtown, too.’”
Collins said police left Kelly’s car unlocked and the windows down at the impound lot. He reported a cell phone charger, pair of sunglasses and 20 CDs were stolen.
Will this little guy get across the gap? Check the rest of the picture set
Ever wondered what happens when you play a film backwards? You get an entirely new film. For example:
A rather large moon-sized spaceship suddenly appears in the vast depths of space and, to prevent it from disappearing again, a nice young man called Luke extracts a bomb from its central chambers. The space station re-assembles a disintegrated planet, saving its occupants, and slowly begins to dismantle itself as a group of rebels become more and more disorganised. The young man goes home to his farm.
An enormous iron ship surges up from the vast depths of the ocean in order to save a large number of people who are inexplicably, and somewhat foolishly, floundering in the water near an iceburg. It then kindly takes them back to Southampton.
The Lord of the Rings
A mentally challenged Hobbit overcomes his disability by retrieving his finger – and a golden ring – from the depths of a sinister volcano. They then travel through the countryside as we observe the journey of a band of adventurers who go around saving people by pulling swords out of them. The Hobbits spend the rest of their days in the peaceful idylls of the countryside.
Bruce Wayne, playboy millionaire and defender of the people, shuns his role as the masked crusader “Batman” in favour of international travel after cleaning the city of a mysterious fog and receiving no thanks in the process.
Carry On Camping
A disparate group of people slowly dress themselves on a 1970s campsite.
Jefferson was already under federal investigation pre-Katrina and his house had been raided once for evidence. Jefferson’s offices were raided again yesterday where the FBI found another 90k in cash in the freezer.
Talk about cold hard cash… I guess he just didn’t want anyone else freezing his assets…
Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer.
The report by the Justice Department agency found that 62 percent of people in jails have not been convicted, meaning many of them are awaiting trial.
America, land of the.. ehm… free?