Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An OpEd "In Defense of Secrecy"

After using as an example a newspaper revelation of a satellite phone used by Osama bin Laden, the author takes the position that among the limitations on First Amendment rights, should be a requirement that classified information cannot be freely revealed.

Quoted from this article, is the rationale used by the author to support his contention that free speech limitation is justified:

The most common argument is that protecting information, and prosecuting offenders, is a violation of free speech. That is simply not true. The Supreme Court has never upheld First Amendment absolutism. There are legal and reasonable restrictions on what people are allowed to say, print, or broadcast. It is illegal to incite a mob to violence. It is illegal to libel others. It is illegal to make false claims in advertising about a product. It is illegal to utter profanity on broadcast television or radio. And it is, in fact, illegal to reveal information that would cause immediate harm to U.S. national security. This was uncontroversial during World War II, when sailors and their families were routinely trained that "loose lips sink ships."

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