Cryptome is a web site dedicated to investigating and publishing accounts of government improprieties, particularly as they relate to secrecy and First Amendment violations. On November 4, FBI agents visited the website’s New York City office and met with site owner John Young.
Both agents, who are identified on the site and who left their official cards, said that they had information that Cryptome was a source of information that could be used to “harm the United States.” Prior investigations by the FBI, the agent admitted, had not found any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, but the FBI was fearful that information on the site would end up in the “wrong” hands. Cryptome was asked to report to the FBI any “gut feeling” they had that its information would be a “threat” to the U.S.
One agent said that visits like these are increasingly common as the government seeks out information on threats to the U.S. The agents said they would “write up” a report on their visit. The agents asked that their names not be published, but Cryptome refused to honor that request. One reason for their request of anonymity is so that information about them cannot be pulled from one of many databases available online. (Funny how government agents don’t want to be the source of data mining, but they certainly want to use it against us.)
Cryptome has a host of documents on its website, most government documents obtained from various sources. The site says it will not remove any document without a valid court order and no order has ever been served on them.
Young is no doubt aware that the FBI has probably already given his name to NYPD and that they will keep their eye out on him, pursuant to new regulations in which the feds ask local cops to help them rein in “suspicious” persons. Lucky for us that Young is watching the FBI.
ELAINE CASSEL practices law in Virginia and the District of Columbia, teachers law and psychology, and follows the Bush regime’s dismantling of the Constitution at Civil Liberties Watch. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org