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September 25, 2013

Should you have fewer rights than The New York Times?

ACTION ITEM

The Senate will soon vote on the “Free Flow of Information Act.” While it claims to “protect” journalists from being forced to reveal whistleblowers, it won't protect YOU.

Shouldn't you enjoy the same freedoms as The New York Times? Or does the First Amendment list exceptions?

To assert your freedoms, please send a letter to your Representative and Senators using DownsizeDC.org's campaign to Deny Consent to Government Criminality.

The hardwired message says…

I deny my consent to government criminality.

You are welcome to borrow from or copy these additional comments…

One really bad example of such criminality is when you deny me my Constitutional rights. And the current case of this comes from the “Free Flow of Information Act” (S. 987).

This bill is also an example of how you guys screw things up even when you're trying to do something good. The bill's purpose is to protect journalists from revealing sources. But does it really do that?

* It applies to “professional” journalists, meaning salaried employees of a legacy media institution
* Despite a recent compromise, others, such as amateur bloggers, are only protected by a judge's discretion
* And protections do NOT apply to “national security” cases

This means…

* Amateur bloggers who expose State crimes may or may not be protected from subpoenas and other court orders
* ANY journalist who exposes the gravest State crimes – those committed by the National Security State – isn't protected and cannot protect their sources

Even worse…

* It's easy to get around the law, as feds could come up with any excuse to seize and search a journalist's computer — a child pornography accusation comes to mind
* This law's a slippery slope that could lead to licensing journalists

That would turn freedom of the press from a human right protected by the Constitution into a “privilege.”

I DO NOT CONSENT TO THIS!

In reality, S. 987 sells a diluted benefit. It's likely that it's primary legacy, should it pass, is that I will lose another freedom — my First Amendment press rights. Defeat it, or confirm you have no legitimacy left.

— End Letter —

You can send your letter via DownsizeDC.org’s Educate the Powerful System.

You will receive a copy of your letter to Congress via email. Please share your letter with friends and ask them to take the same action. This especially important, because we’re one of the few national organizations opposing this bill.

Also, we’re nearing the end of the month. We’re $2,684 shy of our budget need. Your generous one-time contribution or monthly pledge will help us keep the pressure on Congress.

Thanks for your participation and support,

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org

P.S. The Downsize DC Foundation has long defended Freedom of the Press in the courts. Here are JUST three cases from recent years…

http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/your-brief-to-the-supreme-court-mccutcheon-v-fec

http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/you-win-another-court-ruling

http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/free-press-amicus-brief-in-citizens-united-case

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