It was very surprising to see how the justices voted in the case deciding 7-1 in favor of Wikileaks. Although their rational makes sense in how the case was presented which asked the question of whether Wikileaks was one a creditable news source and two whether they threatened national security. But the thing that is the most surprising is that only one justice thought that national security was violated when Wikileaks released highly classified government information. Information does not normally become highly classified without good reason so for the court to decide that an informed public is more important than possible national security is very progressive decision. Throughout the justices deliberations many of the justices said that the information Wikileaks released has caused no serious threat no national security and that might be true but the ruling of this case will now set the precedent for all future cases involving similar subject matter. So just because this case in particular didn’t compromise national security a future case might, and the releasing of that information will be justifiable due to the ruling of this case. Ultimately the ruling of this case will affect journalist in positive and negative ways, it will give journalist more freedom to inform the public of what is really going on behind the scenes of the government, but at the same time journalist now have an increased responsibility to filter what the public needs to know and what is just too dangerous to release because of its threat to national security.
The most serious legal ramification of NBC Universal Inc. v Broker’s Choice of America (Tyrone Clark) is the tactics the court allows in libel cases. NBC gathered their evidence in a manner that was less than ethical; they used fake permits to get them into a private seminar that they then illegally filmed. This case has the ability to set a precedent for how information can be obtained and whether this information is able to be used in court. Un-ethical gathering of information used to defame someone’s character is morally wrong and a dangerous precedent to allow for future cases.
Not only was the evidence obtained in a questionable manor NBC edited their findings down to only 112 words of a two day seminar to make a case against Clark that not only incriminated him but his business as well. If this case is decided without allowing the entire video from the two day seminar it will be impossible to truly know whether the context of Mr. Clark’s words (used in the special for dateline) were those of a man trying to con people into buying insurance or those of a man who has had his reputation defamed because libeled his name. and I think this will be another important ramification of this case.