Society Fights Restrictions

By Marquand, Ian | The Quill, August 1, 2003 | Go to article overview

Society Fights Restrictions


Marquand, Ian, The Quill


"It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."

- ancient Chinese proverb

There have been times in recent years when it seems as if lighting a single candle is all that SPJ and other advocates of open government have been able to do when faced with bad policies put forth by government. And when the policies come from the federal level, the darkness seems so vast and so smothering that one can lose hope.

Nonetheless, SPJ continues to speak up at the federal level when we see bad ideas, bad legislation and bad policy. We recently did so again.

This time, the issue was the federal government's treatment of critical infrastructure information (CII), a subject we first became involved with in the spring of 2002. At that time, Congress wanted to make it easier for private sector businesses to share problems they had with "critical infrastructure" - physical or electronic facilities - that might be vulnerable to terrorism.

Our concerns at the time were that existing CII legislation would throw a blanket over a wide variety of information submitted to the federal government by the private sector in the name of "homeland security." Put simply, the information would remain secret and the government could not punish the submitter for any violations of laws or regulations revealed by the information. We believed this was unacceptable and, with existing exemptions for business contained in the Freedom of Information Act, unnecessary.

SPJ closely monitored congressional discussions of that subject through the spring and summer of last year. Then, as Congress rushed to a pre-election adjournment last fall, the carefully-crafted CII legislation we had backed was junked, while a much more damaging version was incorporated into the mammoth Homeland Security Act. As the deadline for passage loomed, the House and Senate passed the H.S.A. and, in the process, drove a gaping hole through the Freedom of Information Act.

This spring, the new Department of Homeland Security published its proposed rules for handling critical infrastructure information, essentially codifying a bad law into operational regulations. The rules are important because they will guide federal agencies and employees as they handle CII information.

DHS asked for comments on the rules, and SPJ has responded through its Washington law firm of Baker & Hosteller. Put simply, SPJ has asked the DHS to put a narrow interpretation on what can be submitted as CII, to whom it may be submitted and how it will be handled. Specifically:

* CII submissions should be made only to the Department of Homeland Security and no other agency. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Society Fights Restrictions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.