Associated Press Sues FBI Over Fake News Story

HardOCP News

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I could understand suing the FBI if they were publicly posting fake news stories, but this was a sting using one fabricated news story e-mailed to one person. What do you think?

The Associated Press filed a lawsuit this morning, demanding the FBI hand over information about its use of fake news stories. The case stems from a 2007 incident regarding a bomb threat at a school. The FBI created a fake news story with an Associated Press byline, then e-mailed it to a suspect to plant malware on his computer.
 

Gweenz

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The FBI's response to this is, almost literally, "nothing to see here".
 

Cerulean

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Well I'm going to sue the Associated Press for manipulative "journalism"

:rolleyes:
 
D

Deleted member 93354

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If the FBI starts using this as a regular tactic, then the click through rate of AP stories could start to drop as people catch on, fearing they could be the target of an attack by their own government.

For this case to be successful, the AP has to prove potential damage and losses due to misuse of their "brand name". That is a sticker.
 
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There are dozens of laws that will make this civil action non-viable. This is going nowhere fast.
 

nessus

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If the FBI did it without prior consent, its pretty scary.

The government using the 4th estate to plant false information is nothing new, at least with their consent. Impersonation of news media individuals/entities by law enforcement without prior consent from said entity should be a whole other ball of wax.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Next up.

Drug and arms dealers sue FBI for their use of fake drug and arms dealers as part of stings.

A person close to the source was quoted as saying "If the FBI keeps this up, you won't even be able to trust your drug and arms dealers anymore. What is this world coming to!?"
 

damicatz

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If the FBI starts using this as a regular tactic, then the click through rate of AP stories could start to drop as people catch on, fearing they could be the target of an attack by their own government.

For this case to be successful, the AP has to prove potential damage and losses due to misuse of their "brand name". That is a sticker.

How about "trademark infringement"?

Of course, laws only apply to us peasants, not to government oligarchs.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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The AP can just shut up. The FBI was doing that to ensure society was kept safe from itself. They're a government agency that works to stop harmful, defective people so they need the ability to operate as freely as possible to stop crime.
 

MrCaffeineX

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Where does distributing malware to potential suspects fall with respect to the Bill of Rights? I can see where the AP could attempt to claim damages to their brand image, but shouldn't the bigger question be whether or not certain actions should be allowable on the part of law enforcement with respect to the investigation of alleged criminal activities?
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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Where does distributing malware to potential suspects fall with respect to the Bill of Rights? I can see where the AP could attempt to claim damages to their brand image, but shouldn't the bigger question be whether or not certain actions should be allowable on the part of law enforcement with respect to the investigation of alleged criminal activities?

News outlets are like using the term malware because it sparks more outrage. It's legitimately created software designed to assist law enforcement in performing the duties that society expects of it. Naming it malware is just a way to stir up people who are easy to suck into like debates.
 

AndrewK78

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Does set a bad precedence.
I could see if this got used a lot in the future and someone was falsely arrested said person suing the AP.
 

Quix

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It's not like anyone believes the Associated Press anymore anyway.
 

lcpiper

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How about "trademark infringement"?

Of course, laws only apply to us peasants, not to government oligarchs.

Umm, usually this would involve a comercial enterprise doing the enfringing. If someone uses the trademark in order to make money yes. Using it for non-commercial means, well it makes it hard to show damages from the infringment.

I'm could sue you, but since you didn't cost me any money and you didn't make any money, ..... but I'd win.
 

alxlwson

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I was waiting to see what CUG had to say. Yet again, I'm even more surprised.
Police need more powerz to protect me from myself!
Why do some people insist and desire that they be ruled with an iron fist and so freely give up privacy, self defense, and personal responsibility and self reliance?
 

lcpiper

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Where does distributing malware to potential suspects fall with respect to the Bill of Rights? I can see where the AP could attempt to claim damages to their brand image, but shouldn't the bigger question be whether or not certain actions should be allowable on the part of law enforcement with respect to the investigation of alleged criminal activities?

Sting, Honeypot, Fake Hookers (they're really on the line with this one). Plenty enough preceedent going on.
 

lcpiper

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I was waiting to see what CUG had to say. Yet again, I'm even more surprised.
Police need more powerz to protect me from myself!
Why do some people insist and desire that they be ruled with an iron fist and so freely give up privacy, self defense, and personal responsibility and self reliance?

Because CUG is a troll and it looks like he got you :p
 

lcpiper

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I'm sorry CUG. I will try and refrain from interfering in your discourse in the future. I shouldn't spoil your fun, besides, it could get better with time :D
 

sfsuphysics

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AP is just pissed because they get egg on their face when they post stories without any sort of umm journalism to see if they are in fact true, and this lowers their overall value when they mass sell these stories to news outlets the world round.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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I'm sorry CUG. I will try and refrain from interfering in your discourse in the future. I shouldn't spoil your fun, besides, it could get better with time :D

Yup, it's like aged wine or a violin (those do get better with age right?), but you just had to ruin my clever plan again. *pout*
 

westrock2000

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Umm, usually this would involve a comercial enterprise doing the enfringing. If someone uses the trademark in order to make money yes. Using it for non-commercial means, well it makes it hard to show damages from the infringment.

I'm could sue you, but since you didn't cost me any money and you didn't make any money, ..... but I'd win.

File sharing is non-commercial, there is no intent to make money.
 

lcpiper

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File sharing is non-commercial, there is no intent to make money.

Hmmm, you sure?

You don't go to a website to download an app that allows you to search for or profids easy access to torrents, and there are no adverts on those sites?
 
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The AP can just shut up. The FBI was doing that to ensure society was kept safe from itself. They're a government agency that works to stop harmful, defective people so they need the ability to operate as freely as possible to stop crime.


The problem here is not whether or not they impersonated a journalist, or planted a fake news story, its that they got caught doing so, and were dumb enough to admit it.

18 U.S. Code § 912 - Officer or employee of the United States
Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

So thats the law for impersonating a member of the FBI. Now here is an interesting law that is on the books in washington state however that may make a case for the associated press, however there is some exemptions within it for law enforcement.

RCW 4.24.790
Electronic impersonation — Action for invasion of privacy.
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=4.24.790

its a bit long, but under section 3 is the exemption. However, the reason we have court cases is to set precedents as to their legality, and this law would make it a good test case. So it could go either way in this one depending upon the judge and other cases.

While i agree that freedom of the press is misused by the press on a daily basis with regards to stating actual facts instead of opinion, this should not be abused by law enforcement who are inept at doing their job to begin with. ALL Law enforcement must adhere to the law, even things that are questionable could easily be dismissed by a judge in a court case. This will be interesting to see what happens, they do have a legal right to bring the case to a judge to find out its constitutionality, which is the entire purpose our of court system. The EFF in particular, are fucking awesome, and i wouldnt mind seeing them overturn this law. The FBi and the Associated Press are also a bunch of lying pieces of shit on an almost daily basis. So win or lose, this will be interesting.
 

nilepez

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RCW 4.24.790
Electronic impersonation — Action for invasion of privacy.
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=4.24.790

its a bit long, but under section 3 is the exemption. However, the reason we have court cases is to set precedents as to their legality, and this law would make it a good test case. So it could go either way in this one depending upon the judge and other cases.

While i agree that freedom of the press is misused by the press on a daily basis with regards to stating actual facts instead of opinion, this should not be abused by law enforcement who are inept at doing their job to begin with. ALL Law enforcement must adhere to the law, even things that are questionable could easily be dismissed by a judge in a court case. This will be interesting to see what happens, they do have a legal right to bring the case to a judge to find out its constitutionality, which is the entire purpose our of court system. The EFF in particular, are fucking awesome, and i wouldnt mind seeing them overturn this law. The FBi and the Associated Press are also a bunch of lying pieces of shit on an almost daily basis. So win or lose, this will be interesting.

Nice find on the WA law.

Question on the last graph:
Are you saying that the press abuses the first amendment by expressing opinions in print or by printing facts? Either way, how is it an abuse?
 

damicatz

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Umm, usually this would involve a comercial enterprise doing the enfringing. If someone uses the trademark in order to make money yes. Using it for non-commercial means, well it makes it hard to show damages from the infringment.

I'm could sue you, but since you didn't cost me any money and you didn't make any money, ..... but I'd win.

It is still infringement if it dilutes the value of a product, regardless of whether it is commercial or not.

If people start thinking AP articles are all virus-ridden, that is a dilution of value.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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The problem here is not whether or not they impersonated a journalist, or planted a fake news story, its that they got caught doing so, and were dumb enough to admit it.

18 U.S. Code § 912 - Officer or employee of the United States
Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

So thats the law for impersonating a member of the FBI. Now here is an interesting law that is on the books in washington state however that may make a case for the associated press, however there is some exemptions within it for law enforcement.

RCW 4.24.790
Electronic impersonation — Action for invasion of privacy.
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=4.24.790

its a bit long, but under section 3 is the exemption. However, the reason we have court cases is to set precedents as to their legality, and this law would make it a good test case. So it could go either way in this one depending upon the judge and other cases.

While i agree that freedom of the press is misused by the press on a daily basis with regards to stating actual facts instead of opinion, this should not be abused by law enforcement who are inept at doing their job to begin with. ALL Law enforcement must adhere to the law, even things that are questionable could easily be dismissed by a judge in a court case. This will be interesting to see what happens, they do have a legal right to bring the case to a judge to find out its constitutionality, which is the entire purpose our of court system. The EFF in particular, are fucking awesome, and i wouldnt mind seeing them overturn this law. The FBi and the Associated Press are also a bunch of lying pieces of shit on an almost daily basis. So win or lose, this will be interesting.

Agreed wit Pezzykins that its a good find and a nice, smart thought. Except that the FBI isn't incompetent and in only like a few situations do they ever make mistakes. Those mistakes get a lot of attention, but compared to the work that law enforcement in general does, they do a pretty good job protecting society from its own stupidity.

Personally, I think there's no reason why they should have to operate under restraints of laws designed to deal with people in the rest of society who are really the ones who need legal stuff like this anyhow (think drunk rednecks or hillbillies who shoot their old TV in a national park just because they think its funny). They're the reason why we have laws. The government sometimes rightfully should operate wthout worrying about laws so they can be more effective at policing stupid civilization. Those people work really hard to keep the better parts of society safe from the ugly parts of it and they deserve the freedom to act without dumb anarchists or gullible libertarians shrieking Koch brother hypocrritical nonsense while they're at the office or whatever.
 

Jim Kim

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The AP can just shut up. The FBI was doing that to ensure society was kept safe from itself. They're a government agency that works to stop harmful, defective people so they need the ability to operate as freely as possible to stop crime.

I found myself agreeing today with CreepyUncleGoogle, should I seek medical attention? :confused:

With software and deception, the FBI was able to catch a juvenile delinquent that was sending bomb threats to schools.

It was targeted and it worked.

Now if they could only figure out swatting.
It would be great if LEOs were dispatched to the callers house, instead of the losers intended recipient.
 

Red Squirrel

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lol @ trying to sue one of the most powerful armed agencies in the world. I'm sure this is going to get very far. :p Some key people at AP will disappear overnight and we'll never hear about this again.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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I found myself agreeing today with CreepyUncleGoogle, should I seek medical attention? :confused:

Yes, right away before it happens again. :D

Some key people at AP will disappear overnight and we'll never hear about this again.

Yeah, this is reality calling. People don't get "disappeared" by the FBI so while lots of silly action flicks with revoltingly steroid pumped meat heads in starring roles might present stuff that would suspend disbelief, I think it's time to come back to Earth.
 

GaryJohnson

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The AP can just shut up. The FBI was doing that to ensure society was kept safe from itself. They're a government agency that works to stop harmful, defective people so they need the ability to operate as freely as possible to stop crime.

That sounds like just the kind of thing a harmful, defective person would say. Somebody get the FBI on the line.
 

Terpfen

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The Associated Press prints fake news just fine on their own. They don't need help.
 

DarkStar_WNY

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Yeah, my first thought was that they should worry about the fake news they send out, not weekday the FBI is doing
 

nilepez

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Agreed wit Pezzykins that its a good find and a nice, smart thought. Except that the FBI isn't incompetent and in only like a few situations do they ever make mistakes. Those mistakes get a lot of attention, but compared to the work that law enforcement in general does, they do a pretty good job protecting society from its own stupidity.

Personally, I think there's no reason why they should have to operate under restraints of laws designed to deal with people in the rest of society who are really the ones who need legal stuff like this anyhow (think drunk rednecks or hillbillies who shoot their old TV in a national park just because they think its funny). They're the reason why we have laws. The government sometimes rightfully should operate wthout worrying about laws so they can be more effective at policing stupid civilization. Those people work really hard to keep the better parts of society safe from the ugly parts of it and they deserve the freedom to act without dumb anarchists or gullible libertarians shrieking Koch brother hypocrritical nonsense while they're at the office or whatever.

Says the Uncle who apparently never read about the egregious abuses committed by the FBI over the years.... I'm no libertarian, anarchist (somewhat redundant) or a Koch brother follower and I'm not sure they did anything wrong, but if they infringed on the AP's trademark, it's gotta be actionable from a civil perspective, if nothing else.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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Says the Uncle who apparently never read about the egregious abuses committed by the FBI over the years.... I'm no libertarian, anarchist (somewhat redundant) or a Koch brother follower and I'm not sure they did anything wrong, but if they infringed on the AP's trademark, it's gotta be actionable from a civil perspective, if nothing else.

Hey, I included that they're not perfect and make mistakes in the first part of my post that you quote Mister Pezzy so don't like intentionally miss that part. :D And anyhow, I personally don't care if they make mistakes or abuse stuff once in a while. Everyone makes mistakes and corporations or individuals (like ever watch someone drive someplace...laws always broken) do too. I think they should be given a whole lot more leeway to make mistakes and the laws that we make shouldn't have to apply to them. It's that stupid, reactionary Bill or Rights junk that got made up like 200 years ago that needs to be revised at this point to prevent people from flapping around printed copies of it as an excuse to keep guns of for their communications not to be monitored 24/7 by the government that we really need to do away with at this point.
 

nilepez

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Hey, I included that they're not perfect and make mistakes in the first part of my post that you quote Mister Pezzy so don't like intentionally miss that part. :D And anyhow, I personally don't care if they make mistakes or abuse stuff once in a while. Everyone makes mistakes and corporations or individuals (like ever watch someone drive someplace...laws always broken) do too. I think they should be given a whole lot more leeway to make mistakes and the laws that we make shouldn't have to apply to them. It's that stupid, reactionary Bill or Rights junk that got made up like 200 years ago that needs to be revised at this point to prevent people from flapping around printed copies of it as an excuse to keep guns of for their communications not to be monitored 24/7 by the government that we really need to do away with at this point.

And you wonder why people say you're a troll. Sorry, I'm out of food.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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And you wonder why people say you're a troll. Sorry, I'm out of food.

Nope, never wondered that at all. :D Though, aside from the Bill of Rights thing which I'm only semi-serious about, everything else is pretty much spot on factual which I think is why people always are afraid of discussing things with me.
 
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