DNI’s media policy is a new gag order that cuts the flow of news

The Sunshine in Government Initiative strongly objects to Intelligence Community Directive 119 (ICD 119), which bans all but pre-approved contacts between the intelligence community and journalists and others who disseminate news and analysis. The Directive has the practical effect of discouraging interactions with the media about unclassified issues that have nothing to do with national security and are the basis for the daily news about what is happening around the globe. Such conversations routinely take [More]

SGI Statement on the Justice Department obtaining AP phone records

The action of the U.S. Department of Justice is an affront to the relationship between the government and news media that our nation’s founders established over two centuries ago.  Journalists experienced in reporting on global affairs and national security respect the government’s need to keep information confidential to protect national security and carefully consider the government’s concerns when reporting on such matters. Last year Congress rejected a package of changes from the Senate Intelligence Committee [More]

Senate panel reviews espionage laws: uh-oh for the media?

Here’s a quick advisory for anyone interested in government-media tensions:  A  Senate panel will take a look at the Espionage Act this morning.  This hearing should be closely watched by media groups for any signs that the simmering tensions between the press over leaks will once again boil into direct conflict. In 2006, the government grew increasingly hostile to press reporting based on unauthorized disclosures.  This year has not seen the kinds of revelations similar [More]