Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why?
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Military censorship designed to protect those in war zones or uphold an image?

SamuelD's insight:

Some argue that censorship of miltary affairs  protects  sensitive information, however throughout these conflicts, there has been a public debate over how much information about the fighting should be released to the press and public. Although there are some understandible ground rules for reprtorting that protect top secret opperations, the public is contsntly keep away from the grotesque reality of war which has affected their perception of americas actions abroad.  Many international organozations are outraged at the alleged crimes against humanity that have unfolded during the U.S. occupation of Iraq and gone unreported in the media. Some jorunalists beloveve americas censorship is an effort to sanitize war and keep the American public in the dark about its real nature. The New York Times published an article in 2008 titled "4,000 U.S. deaths, and a handful of images," about the case of a freelance photographer, Zoriah Miller, who was barred from covering the U.S. Marines in Iraq after he posted some graphic images online without military permission. Miller said, "It's absolutely censorship. Deciding what I can and cannot document, I don't see a clearer definition of censorship." Miller went on to say the fact that these photos were so new to people proved that censorship is really there. The American public has been kept away from the horrific reality of war and the government has claimed that it has been an effort to protect those serving. However, this simply cannot be the case because more and more americans die every year in combat but somehow very few of the images documenting these calamities make it past military review boards and into the public domain. 

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Internet Censorship at the Local Level

Internet Censorship at the Local Level | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it

The ACLU's vision of an uncensored Internet was clearly shared by the U.S. Supreme Court when it declared, in Reno v.

SamuelD's insight:

Despite Supreme Court rulings that support and protect the content on the internet, information still gets censored by local agencies. One of the most disturbing examples of this local level censorship is the website filters on schools' computers which block access to LGBT websites that offer support to LGBT students. There is no chance that these sites were blocked simply because of key word filters because anti-LGBT websites remained uncensored. The fact that school official go out of their way to censor these sites is very concerning because it bolsters preexisting stigmas around LGBT affairs. Despite supreme court rulings which protect these sites under the first amendment, there has been no other federal actions taken to reverse these web filters. The government is very good at creating a ruse which projects the image of freedom, yet does not act on such promises and the web filters on public school computers is just one example. I chose to write about this seemingly small scale issue because the greater problem of censorship in this country begins with the development of children and if they are unable to find information regarding LGBT issues, they are less likely to notice or care when large scale, transnational issues go unheard. If kids in my generation accept the reality of censorship then no progress and change can occur.

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Phone Records of Journalists of The Associated Press Seized by U.S.

Phone Records of Journalists of The Associated Press Seized by U.S. | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
The Associated Press reported that the Justice Department had secretly obtained the phone records of its offices and journalists, calling it a “massive and unprecedented intrusion.”
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The NSA debate is as much about journalism as surveillance

The NSA debate is as much about journalism as surveillance | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
Glenn Greenwald A 14-minute interview on BBC highlights the debate over the proper relationship between journalists and government
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Free Expression and Censorship with regards to National Security Information p157

Free Expression and Censorship with regards to National Security Information p157 | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
Despite the end of the Cold War, America's national security apparatus for controlling information has remained in place. However, sex and secularism are emerging as the major targets of censorship.
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Obama reverses his position on whistlblowers because that is how the game of politics is played

Obama reverses his position on whistlblowers because that is how the game of politics is played | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
In 2008, now President Obama ran with the following as a key plank in his campaign:

Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is
an existing government employee committed to public...
SamuelD's insight:

Before Obama became the president, he empowered federal employees to be watchdogs of wrongdoings and to speak up when they saw injustices. This would have been a very influential promise if he followed through with it. However, now that Obama is the president, he has convicted more people under the pretenses of the Espionage Act than president Bush did,  and he has not said a single praiseworthy comment about the whistleblowers who have surfaced in the media. How could this have happened? Well it has to do with how the government works and even if Obama is morally apposed to the wrongs committed within the government, he is utterly powerless to stop them because dishonesty is an integral part to the function of  many branches of the government (CIA, DHS, Congress [lobbyists], etc). If people spoke up about every wrong committed the government, the government would come to a stand still. Once Obama took office, money began to circulate in a more blatent manner, reality set in and he realized that he could no longer support whistlblowers. In fact, the way the Obama administration has dealt with whishblowers has only struck fear in federal employees and encouraged them to remain blind by choice to these wrongs. Informing the American public of misdeeds by the US government is considered aiding the enemy because it reveals just how avaricious the high ranking, influential members of the government are. As I mentioned in a previous scoopit post, war has become incentivized and many other harmful systems in play also benefit people in Washington. I don't blame Obama for this perpetuating game of dishonesty, but I do, however, blame him for compensating for some of his underachievement's, with regards to creating real, lasting change, although not by particlar fault of his own, by relentlessly attacking the patriotic men and women who have spoken out against predominately right-winged influenced agendas, due to pressure from conservatives and the military. 

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US Military Manipulates Conversations on Social Media Sites

US Military Manipulates Conversations on Social Media Sites | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
The US military is developing software that will allow it to secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet con
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Mike Kamber, wartime photographer, unable to post his photos because they were "too graphic" for the media.

BagNewsSalon is pleased to offer this exclusive audio slideshow featuring an interview with Michael Kamber, contract war photographer for the New York Times, and a focused look at the issue of military censorship, including photos he's insisted on...
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The Effects Of The Snowden Leaks Aren't What He Intended

The Effects Of The Snowden Leaks Aren't What He Intended | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
One of the most noticeable results has been the diversion of resources from intelligence gathering.
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The Origins of Perpetual War

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I found this book on jstor that deals with how the US government issues weapons contracts to private corporations and how this whole system of non stop buying and producing of weapons came about. Under JFKs presidency, many changes were made regarding how the Department of Defense issued weapons contracts; in short there became incentive for companies to produce the most effective weapons possible. I chose this article because is was written at the time when such changes in government attitudes first started to come about. Before I read this article I already knew that in order to reduce cost and development time, the government sourced weapons from private corporations. I'm always skeptical of where corporate and federal priorities intersect. I learned from the article that this change in attitude by the gov't resulted in a steadfast relationship between weapons makers and the government. All of a sudden there was big money to be made and fierce competition in the gun instustry. However, I would like to know more about how the relationship between arms manufactures and the government has faired since this article was written. I would assume that the ties have only grown stronger but I am not certain. 

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The Banality of Systemic Evil

The Banality of Systemic Evil | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
A recent poll showed that 70 percent of people aged 18 to 34 thought Edward Snowden “did a good thing.” Has the younger generation lost its moral compass?
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The Philosophy of Liberty

When you hear Ron Paul say that he stands for the Philosophy of Liberty, this is what he means. The philosophy of liberty is based on self-ownership. This si...
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Anybody can be added to gov't hotlist simply by viewing a web page

Anybody can be added to gov't hotlist simply by viewing a web page | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
Let’s be clear: Everything journalists do in the digital world is open to scrutiny by suspicious minds because that’s the way intelligence agencies work.
SamuelD's insight:

All it takes for the government to turn its attention on you is to research a sensitive topic. The NSA has a list of hot keys and hot phrases that, once searched for, could cause you to be subject to intense surveillance. Why does the government care what we're researching on the net? Is there something they don't want us to see or known? The snowden leaks of recent revealed to the public that privacy is a myth and simple personal liberties have been jeopardized by government actions. Although the supposed intent of the NSA's surveillance program may be legitimate, to catch would be terrorists, this, however, has not been the outcome. Instead, journalists have been the primary targets of this surveillance, which has force many journalists to censor their reports, not only on their own accord, but also due to government pressure and threats of procession. It is absolutely ridiculous that we should be fearful of what websites we access and, more importantly, what information we share. When journalist spread raw information about sensitive topics the government flips out in the sense that they threaten journalist, which leads to public ignorance, and ultimately perpetuates the unjust agendas of the government. 

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Journalist banned from US due to views on surveillence

Journalist banned from US due to views on surveillence | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
Reporters Without Borders demands an explanation from the American border control as to why Ilja Trojanow was denied access to the United States.
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Email surveillance could reveal journalists' sources

Email surveillance could reveal journalists' sources | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
Phil Zimmermann, inventor of PGP encryption, urges shift away from consumer email. By Alex Hern
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LYING ABOUT WAR: DELIBERATE PROPAGANDA AND SPIN BY THE PENTAGON - Investigative Research

LYING ABOUT WAR: DELIBERATE PROPAGANDA AND SPIN BY THE PENTAGON - Investigative Research | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
By Diane Farsetta, Sheldon Rampton, Daniel Haack, and John Stauber of the Center for Media and Democracy Public diplomacy is a catchall term for the variou
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Truth seeking journalists fear government's abuse of surveillance laws

Truth seeking journalists fear government's abuse of surveillance laws | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
Obama’s war on leaks has journalists and their sources on edge.
SamuelD's insight:

In light of media coverage surrounding whistleblowers, many journalists fear the repercussions of exposing the truth to the public. There are many "rouge" journalists who only wish to see the government be held accountable for its actions, but the recent prosecution of whistleblowers has made it nearly impossible for honest journalism to take place. The whistleblowers that have surfaced in the media have be slapped with grave charges in hopes to strike fear in journalist. The snowden leaks also made the public and journalists alike aware of the danger of digital communication. The NSA has prosecuted several high ranking federal employees on the basis that text message and email archives revealed said employees' disgruntlement around the diplomatic relations and national security policies. How are we, the people of america, ever supposed to make change if the federal government delivery hides alarming information that would greatly upset most sane, moral people? It is a sad truth that our right to free speech is actually very limited. This right does not extent to issues that really matter, the issues that raise red flags due to the  severity of the wrongs committed. Foreign policy is not just a foreign issue because the way the US imposes itself on other countries directly affects the safety of all Americans. Journalists in the 21st century must now risk severe punishment in their pursuit for justice because the feds (NSA, CIA, etc) are monitoring their computers and phones. What doe that mean for the rest of us who simply want to know what is actually going on abroad and in Washington? Who are the criminals here, the journalists who "jeopardize" national security or the feds who jeopardize our basic freedoms? 

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The Inevitable End of Surveillance Is Self-Censorship

The Inevitable End of Surveillance Is Self-Censorship | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
The NSA's state-surveillance programs are anti-democratic and unconstitutional. They could be the most serious attacks on free speech we’ve ever seen.
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Military censors information that reveals wrongs committed on their part.

Military censors information that reveals wrongs committed on their part. | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
SamuelD's insight:

Military officials ordered an AP journalist to erase footage he captured in Afghanistan which shows a suicide bomber attack, as well as the immediate aftermath and reaction by military forces. The military stated that the release of such footage would have compromised a military investigation and led to false public conclusions. However, the AP journalist said that the truth was much grimmer than that; in the aftermath, as people scrambled for their lives, soldiers opened fire on civilians, which resulted in the deaths of many innocent people. Case in point, there was no ongoing investigation and the military abused its censorship powers to escape responsibility. This is not an unusual occurrence; when the military screws up, journalists who capture the events are threatened with charges such as aiding the enemy and compromising military operations, which, in turn, prevents the military from receiving any heat for their wrongs. More importantly, the military is out jeopardizing the US's international reputation, which, in fact, threatens national security, and the population here at home is unable to see the truth and think for ourselves and begin to craft petitions of change. 

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Official Military Newspaper, Stars and Stripes, calls out U.S. military for censoring the voices of Iraqi Citizens

Official Military Newspaper, Stars and Stripes, calls out U.S. military for censoring the voices of Iraqi Citizens | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
Stars and Stripes, the newspaper that receives U.S. military funding to help it cover and get distributed free to American forces in war zones, complained Tuesday of censorship by military authorities in Iraq.
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Can Congress make it a crime for journalists to publish classified information? Yes... Espionage Act of 1917

SamuelD's insight:

This article is about how WikiLeaks and the content posted on the website directly violate the Espionage Act that was passed by congress almost 100 years ago. This article does not defend the government, rather its discusses the relationship between the publication of classified information and the law. As it is currently written, the Espionage Act of 1917 makes it a crime to threaten the United States or benefit a foreign country by collecting or communicating information that would jeopardize national defense.The Espionage Act is so vague and poorly defined in its terms, that it's hard to say exactly what it does and does not cover. This is dangerous to the public because it allows the government to decide on its own accord who is to be prosecuted and is legally allowed to make up a reason due to the ill defined terms of the law. Its all a matter of interpretation and unfortunately is difficult to argue with the governments interpretation. In 2001 the Supreme Court ruled that it would be unconstitutional to punish journalists for publishing information that someone else gathered illegally, however this did not extend to information that was considered classified. This is very important distinction because classified documents usually pertain to military affairs which directly effects national security. National security is jeopardized when the public is made ignorant of the bombs we detonate and the drones we fly. If the public knew the complete truth I highly doubt we would engage in so much military conflict, so in a sense, the government, and its diplomatic actions abroad are the greatest threats to national security. 

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The Feds Can Order Any Site in the World to Censor its Content

The Feds Can Order Any Site in the World to Censor its Content | Censorship of Information by the Federal Government in the USA- What is censored and why? | Scoop.it
The US government has decided that it has the right to take down content on any website in the world if a movie or recording studio complains about it.
SamuelD's insight:

Politicians are about to pass the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act which would allow the feds to mandate that any site in the world block content that is deemed stolen or unrightfully used. Although this may seem legitimate at first seeing that it would protect intellectual property, such as music or movies, from being pirated, in actuality, this law would result in massive censorship of publicly available information. The feds have been prosecuting people for years for stealing music and movies so what's the big deal about this law? Well this law would force websites to censor information that should be available to everyone, such as textbooks and academic papers. Because large corporations have such a massive stake in the federal government, they have the power to influence laws like this one. The government has control over the domain registry in the US so every site that had "stolen" information on its site would receive a 404 domain error every time someone tried to access this information. This law is about keeping money in corporations' pockets, but an unfortunate and foreseen consequence of this law would be that it would perpetuate the cycle of ineducation because places were people have access to educational books, such The Pirate Bay, would be be censored. The only way one could access this information would be to buy it, which is unfair and limits the usefulness of such infmoration. Another important reason why is oppressive and unjust is becuase it infringes on our right to know the truth. Websites like Wikileaks, were military information is made public, would be censored as the government would deem such content to be stolen from military archives. So now the government can legally pick and choose what is posted on the internet and who can access it and how. How are we supposed to make educated decisions if the majority of people cannot access educational information? This sinister law would store all of the academic information that is available on the internet now in a safe where only a select few would be able to access it and would remove all documents regarding military affairs. A major reason that this internet is so powerful is that it is a limitless bay of knowledge and information. It a compendium of all of humanity's knowledge and now the feds want to limit our access to this information because apparently somebody owns said information.  

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