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Dec 15 2013

New York Times reporters also questioned at airports

It turns out that it is not just journalists like David Miranda and Laura Poitras who are detained and questioned at length when they arrive at airports in the US and the UK. Now comes a report that even reporters from establishment media like the New York Times have suffered the same fate.

But when those reporters filed FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests asking for the documents that led to them being singled out by the authorities, the government claimed that it did not have any.

On Wednesday the reporters filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in Manhattan demanding that the Department of Homeland Security do a comprehensive search for the records and hand them over to them.

It is wrong for the government to harass journalists just for doing their jobs but when it happens to people like Poitras and Miranda, there is not enough of an outcry even from the establishment media. But when one of their own gets harassed, then it becomes an issue that is harder to ignore.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    wtfwhateverd00d

    > It is wrong for the government to harass journalists just for doing their jobs but when it happens to people like Poitras and Miranda, there is not enough of an outcry even from the establishment media. But when one of their own gets harassed, then it becomes an issue that is harder to ignore.

    Arguably it was not just wrong, but unconstitutional for the US Gov’t to have interfered with the press, the only job/occupation/industry seemingly mentioned in the Constitution.

    The UK? Who bloody wells knows what’s legal or illegal over there? Barristers still wear wigs over there and many times, it seems from reading Jonathan Turley and other blogs, there truly is no freedom of speech or freedom of the press.

  2. 2
    PeterG

    God I’d love to see a strengthening of the FOIA laws – that the supervisors of the civil servants who deny requests are held liable if a request denial is issued in error.

    Are there currently any consequences to denying a request? WNYC’s OnTheMedia piece about border interrogation indicated that there aren’t.

  3. 3
    unbound

    And the trend continues on. When will the sleeping giant (i.e. the public) wake up? What will the country look like once they finally do?

  4. 4
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @wtfwhateverd00d

    No. It’s not unconstitutional. The federal government can do nearly anything it wants to regulate the crossing of US borders.

    If this were done **after** the person had been cleared for entry into the US, and after the person stepped over the magic, invisible line that would indicate “passing” customs, **then** it would be unconstitutional.

    Here it’s just wrong.

  5. 5
    wtfwhateverd00d

    You could very well be right, I wonder if there are any constitutional cases that have tested that.

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