Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

After four months home confinement, reporter has no regrets

Filed under
Legal

The boredom was worse than reporter Jim Taricani expected during his four month home confinement sentence for protecting a source. Too much TV watching, house cleaning and reading left him looking for ways to kill time, and appreciating the freedom he'd taken for granted.

''It was certainly much better than prison,'' he said. ''But it gets to you after a while. When you lose your freedom, it's a big deal.''

On Saturday, Taricani's ankle bracelet was broken off, he bid his probation officer good bye and he planned a trip to New York City to enjoy museums, shopping and time outside with his wife. Though his confinement was tougher than anticipated, Taricani, 55, said he doesn't regret his decision to stay quiet about who gave him an FBI surveillance video that exposed government corruption.

''We had a real good reason to inform the public of what public corruption really looked like,'' Taricani told The Associated Press. ''Rarely do they see a high ranking public official taking a $1,000 cash bribe on video.''

Taricani broke no law by airing in 2001 the secret FBI tape, which was part of an investigation that ultimately sent former Providence Mayor Vincent ''Buddy'' Cianci and other officials to prison. The newsman was sentenced in December after being found in criminal contempt for refusing to give up his source.

Taricani completed his home confinement Saturday, two months earlier than his original release date. He was granted early release after a federal judge found that he had complied with all the conditions of the home confinement, which included a ban on working, giving media interviews or using the Internet.

He described the experiences as psychologically draining.

''You're just not free,'' he said. ''You have an ankle bracelet on, you're monitored, your probation officer shows up unannounced. It's taxing.''

During the four months, Taricani read books and newspapers, watched cable news, cleaned his house and worked on a mystery novel he had started over the summer.

''I found myself just doing things to make the time go by,'' he said.
Taricani, who works for the NBC affiliate WJAR-TV, was given home confinement because of his health: he had a heart transplant in 1996 and takes medication daily to prevent organ rejection.

Taricani is one of several journalists nationwide who have become locked in First Amendment battles with the government over confidential sources. Reporters for Time and The New York Times have recently been threatened with jail as part of an investigation into the disclosure of an undercover CIA officer's identity.

Taricani said he expects to go back to work on Wednesday.

After Taricani was convicted, Providence defense attorney Joseph Bevilacqua Jr. came forward and admitted he leaked the tape.

When he sentenced Taricani in December, U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres said the newsman had no First Amendment right to protect a source who broke the law by providing him with information. Attorneys, investigators and defendants were under court order not to release any tapes connected to the City Hall corruption probe, and a special prosecutor had been appointed to find out who leaked the tape.

Taricani said Saturday that he'd promised to protect his source's identity and was acting on principle.

''If reporters can't have the opportunity to use confidential sources when they need to, we no longer have a free press,'' he said.

Bevilacqua told prosecutors that he never required Taricani to withhold his identity, and said he signed a waiver of confidentiality.

But Taricani said Bevilacqua insisted that his identity be kept confidential, and suggested the waiver was forced.

''I knew that he was in a position where he had to do that otherwise he would've been highly suspect,'' Taricani said. ''I knew as soon as I saw it that he had no intention of really wanting me to give his name up.''

Prosecutors have not decided whether to criminally charge Bevilacqua for leaking the tape.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • Comment: Many happy returns to open source
    Twenty years ago the phrase “open source” was first used and the development of software – and hardware – was changed forever. Very few designers today will not use some element of open source software in their development projects.
  • Percona Unveils Full Conference Session Schedule for the Annual Percona Live Open Source Database Conference 2018
  • Worth seeing in Barcelona: Open source for white box vRAN solutions
    News this week from cloud and carrier infrastructure platform company Kontron builds on our earlier coverage of the emerging virtual radio access network (vRAN); a promising technology that could help the evolution to 5G by maximising available bandwidth while lowering costs. The market for open vRAN solutions is gaining wider acceptance as operators seek more cost-effective approaches to network architectures and deployment. According to analyst firm Research and Markets, the growth of the vRAN market is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 125 per cent during the next three years.
  • Barcelona is the first city council to join the FSFE's "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign
  • Earlham Institute releases open source software to help identify gene families
    Researchers at Earlham Institute (EI) have released ‘GeneSeqToFamily’, an open-source Galaxy workflow that helps scientists to find gene families based on the ‘EnsemblCompara GeneTrees’ pipeline. Published in Gigascience, the open source Galaxy workflow aims to make researchers job of finding find gene families much easier.
  • 3 reasons to say 'no' in DevOps
    DevOps, it has often been pointed out, is a culture that emphasizes mutual respect, cooperation, continual improvement, and aligning responsibility with authority. Instead of saying no, it may be helpful to take a hint from improv comedy and say, "Yes, and..." or "Yes, but...". This opens the request from the binary nature of "yes" and "no" toward having a nuanced discussion around priority, capacity, and responsibility.
  • 5 rules for having genuine community relationships
    As I wrote in the first article of this three-part series on the power and importance of communities, building a community of passionate and committed members is difficult. When we launched the NethServer community, we realized early that to play the open source game, we needed to follow the open source rules. No shortcuts. We realized we had to convert the company in an open organization and start to work out in the open.
  •  
  • Rust Typestates
    A long time ago, the Rust language was a language with typestate. Officially, typestates were dropped long before Rust 1.0. In this entry, I’ll get you in on the worst kept secret of the Rust community: Rust still has typestates.
  • It's Time To Do CMake Right
    Not so long ago I got the task of rethinking our build system. The idea was to evaluate existing components, dependencies, but most importantly, to establish a superior design by making use of modern CMake features and paradigms. Most people I know would have avoided such enterprise at all costs, but there is something about writing find modules that makes my brain release endorphins. I thought I was up for an amusing ride. Boy was I wrong.

OpenBSD Gets Mitigated For Meltdown CPU Vulnerability

  • OpenBSD Gets Mitigated For Meltdown CPU Vulnerability
    A few days back FreeBSD 11 stable was mitigated for Meltdown (and Spectre vulnerabilities), which came more than one month after these nasty CPU vulnerabilities were disclosed while DragonFlyBSD was quickly mitigated and the first of the BSDs to do so. While OpenBSD is known for its security features and focus, only today did it land its initial Meltdown mitigation.
  • Meltdown fix committed by guenther@

    Meltdown mitigation is coming to OpenBSD. Philip Guenther (guenther@) has just committed a diff that implements a new mitigation technique to OpenBSD: Separation of page tables for kernel and userland. This fixes the Meltdown problems that affect most CPUs from Intel. Both Philip and Mike Larkin (mlarkin@) spent a lot of time implementing this solution, talking to various people from other projects on best approaches.

    In the commit message, Philip briefly describes the implementation [...]

France Proposes Software Security Liability For Manufacturers, Open Source As Support Ends

It sometimes seems as though barely a week can go by without yet another major software-related hardware vulnerability story. As manufacturers grapple with the demands of no longer building simple appliances but instead supplying them containing software that may expose itself to the world over the Internet, we see devices shipped with insecure firmware and little care for its support or updating after the sale. The French government have a proposal to address this problem that may be of interest to our community, to make manufacturers liable for the security of a product while it is on the market, and with the possibility of requiring its software to be made open-source at end-of-life. In the first instance it can only be a good thing for device security to be put at the top of a manufacturer’s agenda, and in the second the ready availability of source code would present reverse engineers with a bonanza. Read more

today's howtos