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The Fight for the Freedom of Information

The Fight for the Freedom of Information

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Published by: Thavam on Jul 21, 2014
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07/21/2014

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 Jef Cohen discusses several reedom o inormation issues, including a new campaign encouraging whistleblowing, the case o journalist James Risen, and net neutrality -  July 21, 1
Object1
 
ANTON WORONCZUK, TRNN PRODUCER: Welome to The Real Ne!" Net!or#$ I%m Anton Woron&'# in (altimore$ And here to gi)e '" a re*ort on reent freedom of information and media i""'e" i" +e Cohen$ +e Cohen i" diretor of the Par# Center for Inde*endent -edia at Ithaa College, and he%" the ofo'nder of the online ati)i"m gro'* Root"Ation$org$ Than#" for .oining '", +e$ +EFF CO/EN, FOUNDER, FAIRNE00 1 ACCURAC2 IN REPORTIN3: Nie to 4e !ith 5o'$WORONCZUK: 0o !hat ha)e 5o' 4een follo!ing thi" !ee#6CO/EN: Well, one of the e7iting de)elo*ment" i" a 4'nh of glo""5 "i78foot
 
4ill4oard" ha)e gone '* aro'nd Wa"hington, D$C$, o't"ide the 0tate De*artment, o't"ide defen"e information, o't"ide Ca*itol /ill$ And the idea i"to eno'rage !hi"tle4lo!ing$We%)e got 9 million *eo*le !ho ha)e "e'rit5 learane" in the federal go)ernment$ It%" 'n*reedented$ And I remem4er !hen ;<< ha**ened, the terror atta#" in o'r o'ntr5, all the iti&enr5 !a" told, if 5o' "ee "omething, "a5 "omething= 5o' #no!, if 5o' "ee "omething "'"*iio'", "a5 "omething$ Well, thi" i" a am*aign, a freedom of information am*aign to eno'rage federal em*lo5ee", if the5 "ee "omething !rong or 'nethial or 'non"tit'tional in their o>e, "a5 "omething$ 3o to a .o'rnali"t and "a5 "omething$ Or go to the ne! gro'* that !a" .'"t fo'nded alled E7*o"eFat"$org and "a5 "omething anon5mo'"l5 or "end do'ment", 4ea'"e on that "i78foot 4ill4oard that%" aro'nd Wa"hington, D$C$, in )ario'" *lae" i" the *it're of one of the mo"t famo'" !hi"tle4lo!er" in Amerian hi"tor5, Daniel Ell"4erg, and it%" got a ?'ote of Ell"4erg on the 4ill4oard that "a5", @Don%t do it I did$@ Don%t !ait$ 0*ea# o't$ 0o it%" an e7iting thing to at'all588thi" i" the r"t mo)ement88E7*o"eFat"$org i" the ne! gro'*$ Root"Ation$org i" the gro'* that !ent o't and a"#ed *eo*le, "end in donation" "o !e an rent 4ill4oard "*ae all o)er Wa"hington, D$C$ And more than B "ent in donation" a)eraging a4o't $ 0o !e !ere a4le to *'t '* the"e 4ill4oard" all o)er Wa"hington, D$C$, and at the 4ottom of the 4ill4oard it "a5", @!hi"tle4lo!er" !elome@ here$WORONCZUK: 0o, +e, !hat !o'ld 5o' "a5 to tho"e !ho "a5 that eno'raging go)ernment em*lo5ee" to 4lo! the !hi"tle o't"ide of o>ial hannel" i" going to di"r'*t the a4ilit5 of the go)ernment to do thi" #ind of "'r)eillane that it need" to *rotet Amerian iti&en" again"t terrori"m6CO/EN: Well, !hat !e%)e learned from Ed!ard 0no!den and William (inne5 and Thoma" Dra#e and all the"e N0A !hi"tle4lo!er" i", if 5o' go thro'gh o>ial hannel" and .'"t om*lain to 5o'r "'*er)i"or", 5o' get re*rimanded, that the onl5 !a5 an5thing hange" i" if 5o' go o't"ide the "5"tem and go to  .o'rnali"t" and tell the Amerian *'4li$ Ed!ard 0no!den%" re)elation" ha)e led to a h'ge national de4ate$ /e tried to go !ithin hannel"$ Earlier N0A !hi"tle4lo!er" did$ 2o' #no!, !e li)e in a free "oiet5 "till, and .o'rnali"m i" a #e5 he# on *o!er$ And .o'rnali"m ha" al!a5" relied on ondential "o're" !ho "a! "omething !rong and !ent to a .o'rnali"t and "aid "omething$ We%re tr5ing to*rotet freedom of information, freedom of the *re"" !ith thi" am*aign to
 
tell !hi"tle4lo!er"88$ I mean, to me, if 5o'%re an ati)e iti&en, it%" not eno'ghto )ote, it%" not eno'gh to 4a# andidate", it%" not eno'gh to ma54e organi&e a *rote"t$ Part of 4eing an ati)e iti&en toda5 in an era of "ere5, "'r)eillane, on"tant !ar, *art of 4eing an ati)e iti&en i" getting *eo*le in"ide go)ernment, in"ide 4ig or*oration", !ho "ee "omething 'nethial, "ee "omething !rong, "ee "omething riminal, to go to a .o'rnali"t and "a5 "omething$And remem4er, thi" the am*aign of 4ill4oard" in Wa"hington, D$C$, thi" i"  .'"t the 4eginning$ Ultimatel5 there%ll 4e 4ill4oard" o't"ide of Wall 0treet$  There !ill 4e 4ill4oard" in 0ilion alle5$ O'r ho*e one da5 i" there%ll 4e 4ill4oard" in "tate a*ital"$ The onl5 he# on or*orate *o!er and go)ernment *o!er i" a free *re"" and a free iti&enr5 getting the informationthe5 need$WORONCZUK: O#a5$ And ho! do 5o' "ee thi"88do 5o' "ee thi" a" lin#ed to thea"e of
New York Times
 re*orter +ame" Ri"en6CO/EN: No do'4t, 4ea'"e +ame" Ri"en%" a )er5 e7e*tional in)e"tigati)e re*orter ten 't" a4o)e the a)erage main"tream re*orter$ The CIA hate" him$/e%" on"tantl5 de)elo*ing "o're" in"ide the intelligene agenie" !ho #no! there%" !rong thing" going on$ Ri"en%" lled '* artile" and 4oo#" !ith thi" information$ And the federal +'"tie De*artment88it "tarted 'nder ('"h, ontin'ed 'nder Pre"ident O4ama88the5%re tr5ing to *'t +ame" Ri"en 4ehind 4ar" 'nle"" he gi)e" '* the name of a ondential "o're !ho told him of a 4othed CIA o*eration that ha**ened a deade ago$ Thi" i" information the Amerian *'4li need" to #no!$ It didn%t hel* an5 foreign enem5 or foreign *o!er$ It%" information that the U$0$ *eo*le, the U$0$ *'4li need" to #no!$ And +ame" Ri"en i" 4eing *'ni"hed$0o Root"Ation$org, the ati)i"m gro'* that I ofo'nded, ha" "et '* a am*aign88and it%" 4een .oined 45 all the"e other .o'rnali"m gro'*" and freedom of information gro'*"$ The am*aign i" alled @We 0'**ort +ame" Ri"en 4ea'"e We 0'**ort a Free Pre""@$ And *rett5 "oon !e%ll ha)e <, *eo*le !ho !ill ha)e "igned o'r *etition that%" going to Attorne5 3eneral /older and Pre"ident O4ama a"#ing the attorne5 general to dro* all eort" to *'t the .o'rnali"t +ame" Ri"en 4ehind 4ar" 4ea'"e he !on%t re)eal the name, the "o're !ho ame to him ondentiall5 and ga)e him im*ortant information that a**eared in a B 4oo#$ Again, the"e !ere elementar5 i""'e" of freedom of the *re"", freedom

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