Cryptome Gets a Visit From the FBI

FBI Visits Cryptome: Special Agent “Kelly said such visits are increasingly common as the FBI works to improve the reporting of information about threats to the US.

I wonder if visiting web site operators to ask them to report stuff to the FBI is really the best use of our federal police force: Two agents for this? Or even one?

Note that while I can't say I'm delighted by the FBI going to web site operators and asking them to be government informants (for the same reasons I wouldn't like the FBI to do this to other types of reporters), as far as I know it is legal. And so long as these meetings are not attempts to intimidate, and as long we don't get people being investigated merely for being uncooperative when asked to become FBI informants, they're certainly something we can live with.

I've long believed that journalists have the same basic duties as other citizens, just as other citizens have the same First Amendment rights as journalists. That means that reporters should sometimes feel morally obligated to share information with the cops, especially if it affects public safety. Nevertheless, I think that the FBI, in an exercise of good taste and resource prioritization, ought to be able to find something more useful to do.

Earlier post of mine about Cryptome is here.

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