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[] Too Much Information?,


In dieselbe Kerbe wie Dan Vertons journalistischer Höhepunkt in der  
Computer World schlägt auch dieser Artikel von ABC News. Diesmal erwischt  
es Cryptome.

Too Much Information?
Web Site Raises Questions About Public Access to Sensitive Government Info
By JakeTapper

Aug. 12, 2004— John Young, a 69-year-old architect, was contacted a few  
weeks ago by Department of Homeland Security officials, who expressed  
concern about what he was posting on his Web site.

Officials questioned Young about information he had posted about the 2004  
Democratic National Convention, including satellite photos of the  
convention site and the location of specific police barricades referred to  
on the site as "a complete joke."

In response to a complaint, two special agents from the FBI's  
counterterrorism office in New York City interviewed Young in November  

"They said, 'Why didn't you call us about this? Why are you telling the  
public?' And we said, 'Because it's out there and you can see it. You  
folks weren't doing anything,' " Young told ABC News.

The agents, according to Young, stressed they knew that nothing on the  
site was illegal. Young added: "They said, 'What we'd like you to do, if  
you're approached by anyone that you think intends to harm the United  
States, we're asking you to let us know that.' "

"I know there are a lot of people in the government who find him  
troublesome," said former White House terrorism adviser Richard Clarke,  
now an ABC News consultant. "There is a real tension here between the  
public's right to know and civil liberties, on the one hand, and security  
on the other."

But Young argues his actions enhance national security, since he points  
out to the public vulnerabilities the government does not want to  

Like others who run similar Web sites, Young does so by using information  
 from the public domain, such as:

• Photographs of preparations for the upcoming Republican National  
Convention at New York City's Madison Square Garden

• Detailed maps of bridges and tunnels leading in and out of Manhattan

• Maps of New York City's single natural gas pipeline

• The location of an underground nuclear weapons storage complex in New  

Enabling the Enemy?

"I think it's very, very bad for the country to have anyone putting  
together information that makes it easier for anyone that wants to injure  
Americans to do so," said Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., chair of the House  
Homeland Security Committee.

Law enforcement officials were particularly upset that Young posted the  
satellite photos and addresses for the homes of top Bush administration  

"We think public officials should be totally transparent. There should be  
no secrecy," said Young. "We are opposed to government secrecy in all of  
its forms."

Officials call that argument outrageous and argue some secrecy is  

"The Department of Homeland Security has taken aggressive measures to  
protect critical infrastructure across the country," said a Department of  
Homeland Security spokeswoman. "We discourage Web posting of detailed  
information about critical infrastructure. This information is not helpful  
to our ongoing efforts to protect the American people and our nation's  

When asked how he would respond to those who consider his Web site  
unpatriotic since it could provide useful information for those who seek  
to harm the United States, Young said, "If this is not done, more  
Americans are going to die. More harm is going to come to the United  
States. It is more patriotic to get information out than to withhold it."

Officials acknowledge there is not much they can do; Young has not broken  
any laws.

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