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By Alex Johnson
The Charge Against Wikileaks Co-Founder Julian Assange Receiving and Publishing Classified Materials Represents a Serious Threat to the First Amendment Rights of All Americans so the proponents of the political spectrum on Thursday computer intervention which was revealed last month. In particular, Assange (47) is accused of illegally inducing Army Pfc. Chelsea Manning sent him classified information, some of which he published without changing the names of confidential sources that passed on information to US diplomats.
Lawyers and lawyers said the indictment was criminalizing the activities of journalists who publish daily news of vital interest, which they receive from someone who should not have given them.
"For the first time in the history of our country, the government has filed a lawsuit against a publisher for publishing truth-clarifying information." "This is an extraordinary escalation of the Trump administration's attacks on journalism and a direct attack on the First Amendment," Wizner said.
Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in New York, said the new charges are not unspoken It's not unexpected that the espionage law was cited last month in Assange's original hacking charges – not the editors their leaks.
"That's what the advocates of freedom of speech and press have been worried about," Jaffer said in an interview about MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes."
"That's really about crossing a new frontier," he said.
"They had started the Bush administration to spy leakages, and then you had the Obama administration prosecute more espionage cases than all the previous governments combined," he said. "But none of these prosecutions involved a publisher. Now we have a publisher."
Regardless of whether Assange is ever brought to justice, "the prosecution itself will send a very frightening message," he said. The analysis of the indictment on Thursday revealed that "the parallels between what a member of the news media does on a daily basis , obviously should be ".
"Reporters and sources regularly use encrypted communications requests for 'conspiracy' and information derivation (and they should)," it said.
John Demers, Deputy Prosecutor General for National Security told reporters Thursday that the Justice Department "takes the role of journalists in our democracy seriously", but Justice Department officials did not consider Assange a journalist.
"No Responsible Actor Journalists or otherwise would intentionally publish the names of individuals they knew were confidential human resources in a war zone and expose them to the most serious threats," Demers said.
But Bruce Brown, managing director of the reporters The Committee on Press Freedom stated in a statement: "Any state application of the espionage law to criminalize the reception and publication of classified information poses a serious threat to journalists attempting to use such information in the public interest to publicize the Ministry of Justice's assertion that Assange is not a journalist. "
(Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Relations Chief at NBC News, is a member of the steering committee of the organization.)
Criticism of the indictment crosses political boundaries. Several prominent conservative and libertarian commentators issued similar warnings.
Julian Sanchez, senior fellow at the charitable Cato Institute, a libertarian advocacy group, said the debate over whether Assange is a journalist is both "boring" and irrelevant. (The answer he had agreed to Twitter was "no" – Assange is not a journalist.)
The essence of the First Amendment, he said, "is to a considerable extent avoid it, certain In the meantime, Scott Horton, director of the nonprofit Libertarian Institute, bluntly called the indictment "garbage."
"It begins by citing Wikileaks' public inquiries for classified information from several governments," Horton wrote on Thursday in the Institute's blog, "as if this is something other than what an investigative reporter could do." [19659007LikewiseEliLakeaneo-conservativecolumnistforBloombergOpinionsaidtheprosecution"posesamajorthreattoanyreporterwhohaspublishedstatesecrets"
While discussing whether Assange is a journalist and whether Wikileaks is a news organization, "is this debate irrelevant," Lake has long denounced the leaky "Assange is not committed to upholding the secrets of the US government," he wrote , "If Assange can be accused of receiving classified information, what should stop the government from making similar charges against the New York Times or Bloomberg News?" aggressive attack still on the practice of journalism. When journalists of all kinds do not defend him, whatever they personally think of him, they help the enemies of journalism. This is a crucial moment.
– Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) May 23, 2019
The lawyers' criticism also found support among current and former government officials.
David A. Kaye, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Freedom stated on Twitter: "Regardless of what you think of Wikileaks or Julian Assange, prosecution of the espionage law can only be bad for
And MSNBC's legal analyst Matthew Miller pointed out that the Department of Justice refused to assassin Assange for exactly this reason during the administration of former President Barack Obama, as its main spokesman to accuse.
"This is nonsense", Miller said on Twitter arguing that there is a "pretty clear difference between the indictment of government employees who have vowed to protect classified information, and persons outside the government who they publish. "  "As I have said for several years, there are very good reasons why we did not take this theory into account" he said . "And it's not like we have a record reporter loved by these subjects."