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Tag Archive: Espionage Act


The Government’s War On Freedom Of The Press

 

   Ed. Note: The US is so far down the list that we had to shrink the screen down to 25% to get this screen shot and even then we were unable to capture the top seven nations . They are Finland , Norway , Denmark , Netherlands , Sweden , New Zealand and Austria . Click the image for all of the details.

 

Press Freedom

 

 

” The U.S. plummeted to a dismal 49th place on the Reporters Without Borders annual Press Freedom Index, marking the country’s second lowest ranking since the list was created in 2002 and its lowest since 2006. Other countries ranked in the 40s and 50s include Haiti, Mongolia, and Chile.

  The index cited “judicial harassment” of New York Times reporter James Risen, the arbitrary arrest of at least 15 journalists during the Ferguson, Missouri clashes, and the fact that U.S. journalists are still not legally entitled to protect sources who reveal confidential information about their work.

  The U.S.’s slip in press freedom rankings mirrors its seven-place drop in Freedom House’s Global Press Freedom Index from 2013-2014, though the country still ranks among the 14 percent of countries whose press is classified as “free” in the latter scale.

  Reality may be even worse than the rankings suggest. Legal protections for the press have only eroded since the 2006 trough year when the Bush Administration threatened to prosecute Risen for publishing stories chronicling warrantless wiretapping of citizens’ phone calls.

  Since the Obama Administration took power, it has used the Espionage Act to prosecute data leakers a record seven times—more than every other president combined in the law’s nearly 100-year history—a Fox News journalist has been spied on by the Justice Department under the justification that he’s a criminal conspirator, Wikileaks creator Julian Assange has been declared “a hi-tech terrorist,” and the Supreme Court refused to overturn a lower court ruling against Risen stating that the First Amendment doesn’t protect him from refusing to testify about a whistleblower that allegedly leaked classified information about the CIA’s efforts to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

  Reports from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald even suggest that media outlets routinely vet their articles with government officials before publishing them.”

 

 

 By way of comparison , in 2009 when Obama took office the US was ranked in a tie with the UK for 21st place by Reporters Without Borders (again , click the image for the details) :

 

 

Press Freedom 2009

Reason has more on this “Change” we can believe in …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Google Surrendered Private Data Of WikiLeaks Journalists To US Government

 

 

 

 

Google handed over confidential data of WikiLeaks’ staff to the U.S. government, prompting the whistleblower organization to send a letter to both the search engine giant and the U.S. Department of Justice seeking an explanation.

  WikiLeaks announced on its website on Monday that its investigations editor Sarah Harrison, section editor Joseph Farrell, and senior journalist and spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson have received a notice that Google had handed over all their emails and metadata to the U.S. government, which has issued warrants alleging “conspiracy” and “espionage” against the journalists. The charges carry a prison sentence of up to 45 years.

“ The US government is claiming universal jurisdiction to apply the Espionage Act, general Conspiracy statute and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to journalists and publishers – a horrifying precedent for press freedoms around the world,” WikiLeaks said on its website.”

 

Read more at IBT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloggers, Surveillance And Obama’s Orwellian State

 

 

 

 

 

 After resigning as the press secretary for President Obama on June 20, Carney gave insight into the Obama administration’s handling of classified documents, and responded to criticism that this administration has been the most Orwellian in recent history.

“ I know — because I covered them — that this was said of Clinton and Bush, and it will probably be said of the next White House,” said Carney in a recent New York Times Magazine interview. “I think a little perspective is useful…It is a serious, serious matter to leak classified information. Some of the debate around this kind of forgets how serious that is.”

 

 

Even in retiring Carney can’t help but pull out the old “Bush did it” card …

 

 

” But, it could also be the changing nature of the relationship between the media and the White House. At a recent event at the New America Foundation, journalists and historians challenged Carney, arguing that this White House has been more secret than previous occupants.

“Increasingly, the Obama White House has become so brittle, and so controlling of the message, that people are afraid to respond to me,” said Kimberly Dozier, a former Associated Press reporter. She was one of the journalists whose phone records were obtained by the Department of Justice last spring during its investigation into a leak of classified information about a failed Al-Qaeda plot. The scope of that investigation, some critics said, was unprecedented overreach.

  According to ProPublica, the Obama administration has filed eight cases under the Espionage Act, which criminalizes disclosing information harmful to national security. Before the Obama administration, only three known cases had ever been charged under the act.”

 

    In the end Time reverts to it’s roots and blames bloggers in justifying the administration crack-down on journalistic freedom , comparing bloggers to “pamphleteers” and calling for them to uphold “the same standards as 20th century journalists” … LOL , not exactly setting a very high bar now are they ?  … Read the rest at Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On The Espionage Act Charges Against Edward Snowden

 

” The US government has charged Edward Snowden with three felonies, including two under the Espionage Act, the 1917 statute enacted to criminalize dissent against World War I. My priority at the moment is working on our next set of stories, so I just want to briefly note a few points about this.

Prior to Barack Obama’s inauguration, there were a grand total of three prosecutions of leakers under the Espionage Act (including the prosecution of Dan Ellsberg by the Nixon DOJ). That’s because the statute is so broad that even the US government has largely refrained from using it. But during the Obama presidency, there are now seven such prosecutions: more than double the number under all prior US presidents combined. How can anyone justify that?”

The irony is obvious: the same people who are building a ubiquitous surveillance system to spy on everyone in the world, including their own citizens, are now accusing the person who exposed it of “espionage”. It seems clear that the people who are actually bringing “injury to the United States” are those who are waging war on basic tenets of transparency and secretly constructing a mass and often illegal and unconstitutional surveillance apparatus aimed at American citizens – and those who are lying to the American people and its Congress about what they’re doing – rather than those who are devoted to informing the American people that this is being done.

The Obama administration leaks classified information continuously. They do it to glorify the President, or manipulate public opinion, or even to help produce a pre-election propaganda film about the Osama bin Laden raid. The Obama administration does not hate unauthorized leaks of classified information. They are more responsible for such leaks than anyone.

What they hate are leaks that embarrass them or expose their wrongdoing. Those are the only kinds of leaks that are prosecuted. It’s a completely one-sided and manipulative abuse of secrecy laws. It’s all designed to ensure that the only information we as citizens can learn is what they want us to learn because it makes them look good. The only leaks they’re interested in severely punishing are those that undermine them politically. The “enemy” they’re seeking to keep ignorant with selective and excessive leak prosecutions are not The Terrorists or The Chinese Communists. It’s the American people.

 

Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian