It's not just the right to report that's under attack. It's also your right to be informed.
The Justice Department this afternoon announced an 18-charge indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, accusing him of violating U.S. espionage laws by releasing and publishing classified military reports he received from Chelsea Manning.
Assange had already been charged with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a prosecution which was already troubling, as it was based entirely on giving Manning a suggestion on how to crack a password. Assange himself is not accused of direct hacking.
This new superseding indictment is a huge deal because it treats the publication of classified information by a media outlet as a federal crime. This is almost unheard of—the Espionage Act is typically used to punish the leakers themselves, people like Edward Snowden, Reality Winner, and most recently Daniel Hale. No journalist has been successfully prosecuted by the federal government for the act of publishing classified information (See: The Pentagon Papers).
If there's any doubt that the federal government is trying to punish Assange for engaging in acts of journalism, here's a piece of the Justice Department's announcement (and there's a link to the indictment itself at the bottom of the linked page):.........http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/05.19/espionage.html
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