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GLOBAL-L  August 2011

GLOBAL-L August 2011

Subject:

Re: Facing imprisonment for investigative journalism

From:

Tamas Bodoky <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Tue, 2 Aug 2011 11:59:08 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (146 lines)

The new hungarian media law restricted the protection of the sources,
and that is exactly what police referred to in my case.

http://www.seemo.org/hungary/files/Bayer_Media%20Law_IFEX_ENfinal220311.pdf

Protection of journalistic sources

The scope of protection of journalistic sources has been restricted by
the new laws. Previously, the
Act on Criminal Procedure allowed the denial of testimony for persons
whose professional rules
oblige them to keep a secret [Act XIX. of 1998, Section 81. § (1) c)].
This obligation was formulated by the Press Act [II. of 1986., Section
11. § (1) b)]. (The Press Act has been replaced by the new law.)  Now,
Section 6 of Smtv. says that any court or authority may oblige the
journalist to reveal his or her sources, in the interest of “national
security, public order, or the investigation or prevention of
crimes”. These interests are vague categories, especially “prevention
of crimes”; they do not provide  any guarantee for the protection of
journalistic sources. Any crime, even defamation or libel may count
here which may arise in most investigative journalistic stories.

Under the interpretation of the Media Council, “authority” does not
include the Council, because its
tasks are listed in the law and there is no such task as “oblige
journalists to reveal their sources”.
However, in the view of the critiques, the word “authority” includes
any authority, and if not the
Council, then the (Media and Telecommunication) Authority. In
addition, the Authority and the Council have wide powers of
investigation and are entitled to know any information or data, even
secrets protected by law, and if hindered in that, it may impose a
procedural fine or a data-providing
fine (Section 175 Mttv.). The Authority is allowed to oblige not only
the medium under examination,
but any other person or organisation drawn into the case, to disclose
such data.

Simply by entering premises and examining a journalist’s notes or
files, the identity of an source may  be discovered, the possibility
of which is enough to prevent holders of important information from
sharing any with journalists.  The Act on Criminal Procedure has not
been changed, but from now on its exception has become  operative:
“except, if … according to a specific law, someone who is entitled to
release [the other  person from keeping the secret] is obliged to
share the information upon the notice of court, public  attorney or
investigative authority.”



On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 10:50 AM, HUNTER Mark <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Tamas, what is the status of law on protection of sources in Hungary following the "reform" of press laws?
>
> Mark Lee Hunter
> Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Fellow, INSEAD
> Docteur en Sciences de l'Information de l'Université de Paris 2
> Portable: (+33) [0]6 27 81 00 87
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tamas Bodoky [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Tue 02/08/2011 09:57
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [GLOBAL-L] Facing imprisonment for investigative journalism
>
> Dear Colleagues,
>
> I am in a somewhat similar situation in Hungary, because I denied to
> uncover my sources on a hacker story to the Hungarian Police:
>
> http://atlatszo.hu/2011/07/27/confidentality-of-sources-denied-by-hungarian-police/
>
> http://atlatszo.hu/2011/07/12/we-did-not-reveal-our-sources-a-hard-disk-was-seized/
>
> best,
>
> tamás bodoky
>
>
>
> On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 9:08 AM, Brenno J.S.A.A.F. de Winter
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hello,
>>
>> For investigative journalism I'm currently at risk of prosecution and
>> imprisonment:
>> http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20086613-245/journalist-faces-charges-over-transit-card-flaw-reports/
>>
>> The card involved here is the same as used in London and Boston. As you can
>> imagine this has a stiffeling effect on my work. Remarkeable is that dozens
>> of journalists did the same, but I (freelancer) am the only one being
>> hindered.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Brenno de Winter
>> +31653536508
>>
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