Monday, August 30, 2004

The NYTimes > Campaign 2004 > Subpoena Seeks Records About Delegate Lists on Web

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Subpoena Seeks Records About Delegate Lists on Web:
"WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 - The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation and is demanding records regarding Internet postings by critics of the Bush administration that list the names of Republican delegates and urge protesters to give them an unwelcome reception in New York City."

Federal prosecutors said in a grand jury subpoena that the information was needed as part of an investigation into possible voter intimidation. Protesters and civil rights advocates argued that the Web postings were legitimate political dissent, not threats or intimidation.

The investigation, conducted by the Secret Service, comes at a time when federal officials have begun an aggressive effort to prevent what they say could be violence by demonstrators at the convention this week and at other major political events. Large-scale demonstrations in New York began over the weekend.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has questioned at least several dozen would-be protesters about whether they knew of any plans for violent demonstrations, and it has directed agents nationwide to identify possible criminal plots. Some Democrats in Congress and civil rights advocates have criticized the efforts, saying the inquiries have had a chilling effect on free speech.The accusations are likely to intensify with the disclosure of the subpoena regarding the Republican delegates.

"People have a right to be heard politically, and the names of a lot of these delegates are already public anyway," said Matt Toups, 22, a system administrator for the Web site under federal investigation. "This is just part of the government's campaign to intimidate people into not saying things."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/30/politics/campaign/30delegates.html?pagewanted=all&position=
con·cept: The NYTimes > Campaign 2004 > Subpoena Seeks Records About Delegate Lists on Web