Chairman Joe and the threat of censorship

Chairman JoeJoe Lieberman is abusing his post as Senate committee leader on Homeland Security by demanding the censorship of materials posted by Wikileaks.

Wikileaks, as of this time, has not been charged with nor convicted of any crime. In fact, our country has long had laws that protect the publication of leaked documents like the Pentagon Papers. It can be criminal to be the leaker, but not the publisher of the leaks themselves.

So Lieberman, with the backing of no law, has managed to bully Amazon into kicking Wikileaks off their servers and get completely innocuous leak related charts kicked off the data visualization service called Tableau. You can read more on both scandals here and here.

Keep in mind that Lieberman has no jurisdiction over internet companies in other countries. He’s only able to block American hosting and consumption of this information. He wants to keep his own people in the dark, this isn’t about keeping information out the hands of bad guys. It’s about keeping you, the citizens, ignorant of our government’s actions.

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Lieberman is also trying to pass a bill making it illegal to “publish the name of a U.S. intelligence source.” As Wired notes,

“Lieberman’s proposed solution to WikiLeaks could have implications for journalists reporting on some of the more unsavory practices of the intelligence community. For example, former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was once a paid CIA asset. Would reporting that now be a crime?”