May 15 2006

News Media Clueless On Phones

Published by at 11:35 pm under All General Discussions,Leak Investigations

Mac Ranger posted on this post by ABC reporters who are finally getting the hint that leaking national security information to terrorists (which is where it goes when the media exposes it) will end.  What was so funny was the igorance of these people:

A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources.

“It’s time for you to get some new cell phones, quick,” the source told us in an in-person conversation.

ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.

Emphasis mine.  Have these two id-juts ever seen a phone bill?  You know, the government can request a log of all calls to and from their phones.  I mean, Duh!, they are their phones. On a serious note, the article does confirm the investigation into leaks continues apace:

Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.

One former official was asked to sign a document stating he was not a confidential source for New York Times reporter James Risen.

If people cannot act responsibly with the press passes they have been given, the government is not required to trust them, or tal to them.  Spilling secrets to our enemies should be career ending, and the market place is taking care of that.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “News Media Clueless On Phones”

  1. CatoRenasci says:

    I wonder if employees of our various intelligence agencies and military members agree, as a part of the terms of their employment/enlistment/appointment, or perhaps more directly when they apply for the security clearances they need to do their work, to investigations of their private lives that would include obtaining their telephone records. It’s been a long time since I held a clearance that required a full background investigation with periodic updating, but even some 30 years ago I remember hearing from friends, neighbors, former teachers, coaches and the like that the had been visited by the FBI or military investigators. It was rather thorough. I cannot imagine that an updated version would not include at least the right to obtain telephone records.

    If in fact that’s the case, I can see the government quite legitimately looking at who suspected leakers spoke with on government phones and on their private phones – simply by running reverse directory searches on the numbers and correlating them with numbers known to be associated with the various media outlets and/or reporters.

    I just don’t see that as an invasion of anyone’s privacy. Certainly, when the government entrusts a citizen with classified information, the citizen surrenders any expectation of privacy that might bear on whether he or she has violated the country’s trust by disclosing the information to unauthorized third parties. Similarly with the request for a certification that a former official was not a confidential source to a particular person – that’s only a specific instance of the generalized agreement not to disclose.

  2. crosspatch says:

    It’s funny. Now some of the leaks of telephone records being sent to NSA are turning out to be inaccurate. Bell South says they never gave records to NSA. It would be intresting if the other telcos follow suit and it turns out that the whole billing data “leak” is a fabrication.

  3. crosspatch says:

    Okay, so now Verizon is saying they didn’t give records to NSA either. So there’s Bell South and Verizon both saying the USA Today story is wrong. Now I am starting to get a little more upset. The media can simply trot out a story knowing the government will neither confirm nor deny. Basically, they can say anything they want and know that the corrections will be buried and have nowhere near the impact that the original story had.

    This story smells like a Pulitzer Prize winner to me!