US lawmaker aims to protect tipsters on extremists in the event that they turn out to finger innocents

(AFP) – 1 day ago

WASHINGTON — A top US lawmaker unveiled legislation on Wednesday to protect individuals who tip off authorities to potential extremist threats from lawsuits, in the event that they turn out to finger innocents.

House Homeland Security Chairman Pete King introduced the "See Something, Say Something Act" as a shield for those "acting in good faith" and with "objectively reasonable suspicion" that a plot may be unfolding.

"Good citizens who report suspicious activity in good faith, should not have to worry about being sued," King, a Republican, said in a statement released by his office, citing "frivolous lawsuits" in 2007.

He did not elaborate, but that appeared to be a reference to a lawsuit brought by six imams removed from a domestic US flight that year after fellow passengers reported what they considered suspicious behavior.

US media at the time reported the imams paid cash for their fares, did not purchase return tickets, and chanted "Allah" as they were escorted from the flight.

The imams denied the reports and all accusations, saying they were guilty only of performing "normal evening prayers."

By the time security officials had questioned them and released them, their plane had left.

King said his bill would extend protections from individuals "who report suspicious activity anywhere."

The measure would build on the US Department of Homeland Security's "See Something, Say Something" campaign that aims to enlist US citizens in efforts to detect and thwart suspected extremist attacks.

Such efforts are relatively common: on the Washington Metro, for instance, riders are sometimes pressed in public recorded messages to notify authorities of any abandoned bags.

 

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hrFCmGKvMw4CAAim...

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Comment by Petalrose on January 28, 2011 at 11:48pm

There TheMan in the Sharp Dressed Suit-thats how you'll know a high profile sheeple. So unpack your pack, haha

Comment by Nikki on January 28, 2011 at 9:09pm
Peter King is also introducing a bill that would make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within a thousand feet of "certain high-profile" government officials.  This is crazy too because there's no way to enforce it. 
Comment by Tara on January 28, 2011 at 11:31am

This is crazy! What this piece of legislation really means is that tattle tales get a free pass to tattle away without consequences, even if their tattles turn out to be totally false and the victims of these false accusations have no way of seeking justice after the fact. This is ridiculous. Hopefully this law will never see the light of day.

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