Archive for: US Espionage Act

U.S. v. WikiLeaks: espionage and the First Amendment

If the United States seeks to put on trial WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, what are the implications for freedom of speech, for protection of government secrets and for news organizations on the Internet? Msnbc.com has convened a panel of legal specialists to explore questions raised by a prosecution. As one of the panelists put it, “The WikiLeaks events tee up the question of defining ‘media’ in the new,...

 
 

US House Judiciary Committee (Dec 2010): WikiLeaks, the Espionage Act, and the Constitution.

Constitutional law and national security scholars testified on the constitutionality of prosecuting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act. Among the topics addressed were the nature of journalism, the extent of constitutional protections of the press in protecting the divulgence of classified information, and the amount of information that is categorized as classified.

 
 

Former NSA Executive’s Advice to Fellow Whistleblowers: “You Better Lawyer Up”

In a January interview with Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange expressed concern that the First Amendment, as we know it, is under attack. “The U.S. government is trying to redefine what have been long-accepted journalistic methods,” he said, relaying to Hastings how he has been told that the Justice Department (DOJ) is preparing a case against him. “If the Pentagon is to have its way; it...

 
 

NSA whistle-blower Thomas Drake on life inside the National Security Agency and the price of truth telling

Thomas Drake, the whistle-blower whom the Obama administration tried and failed to prosecute for leaking information about waste, fraud and abuse at the National Security Agency, now works at an Apple store in Maryland. In an interview with Salon, Drake laughed about the time he confronted Attorney General Eric Holder at his store while Holder perused the gadgetry on display with his security detail around him. When Drake started asking...

 
 

Blurred Line Between Espionage and Truth

Last Wednesday in the White House briefing room, the administration’s press secretary, Jay Carney, opened on a somber note, citing the deaths of Marie Colvin and Anthony Shadid, two reporters who had died “in order to bring truth” while reporting in Syria. Jake Tapper, the White House correspondent for ABC News, pointed out that the administration had lauded brave reporting in distant lands more than once and then asked, “How...

 
 

John Kiriakou and the Real Story Behind Obama’s Latest Leak Crackdown

On Monday, the Justice Department charged former CIA officer and author John Kiriakou with repeatedly “disclosing classified information to journalists, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee in classified activities.” (Read the criminal complaint.) Kiriakou began making the media rounds in late 2007, when he went on the record about waterboarding techniques used in the War on Terror, particularly in connection...