Espionage Act

15 results arranged by date

CPJ calls on Trump to improve press freedom in US

CPJ writes the White House about actions by the Trump administration that threaten news media and impede the free flow of information on issues of great public interest. We cite specifically regular statements that delegitimize the role of the press; retaliation against journalists for critical coverage; prosecutions that equate leaking classified documents to the press with espionage; the harassment of journalists at U.S. borders; and limitations on access to information.

Read More ›

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen in London on January 13, 2020. Assange is facing extradition to the United States for his work at Wikileaks. (Reuters/Simon Dawson)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face extradition hearing in U.K.

Washington, D.C., February 21, 2020 — The United Kingdom should not extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges in the United States, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Read More ›

Police watch supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange protesting in London on June 14, 2019 before a scheduled court date in his fight against extradition to the United States, where he faces prosecution for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, as well as the Espionage Act. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Tech journalists troubled by Assange computer intrusion charge

The Trump administration’s decision to charge Julian Assange with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act has generated significant controversy. One legal expert described it as “crossing a “constitutional Rubicon.” CPJ warned that the indictment could be the opening salvo in a broader attack on First Amendment journalistic protections. The 18th charge against Assange–of violating…

Read More ›

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen in London on May 1, 2019. Assange was recently indicted in the United States under the Espionage Act, the first such case conducted against a publisher. (AP/Matt Dunham)

Assange indictment marks alarming new stage in US war on leaks

Mexico City, May 24, 2019 — The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the U.S. Justice Department’s indictment yesterday of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The administration of President Donald Trump disclosed 17 charges against Assange under the Espionage Act, relating to his receipt and publication of classified military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010…

Read More ›

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, pictured in a prison van in the U.K. on May 1, 2019. The U.S. has disclosed charges under the Espionage Act against Assange. (AFP/Daniel Leal-Olivas)

US charges Julian Assange with 17 counts under Espionage Act

New York, May 23, 2019–The Trump administration today disclosed 17 new criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act for unlawfully obtaining and disclosing national defense information.

Read More ›

Metropolitan Police officers carry WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his arrest, following the Ecuadoran government's termination of asylum, in London on April 11, 2019. (Adrian Cotterill/Daily Dooh via Reuters)

Why the prosecution of Julian Assange is troubling for press freedom

After a seven-year standoff at the Ecuadoran embassy in London, British police yesterday arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange–a development press freedom advocates had long feared.

Read More ›

The Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. The aggressive pursuit of people suspected of leaking information to the press is having an impact on reporting, national security journalists say. (Reuters/Yuri Gripas)

Leak prosecutions under Trump chill national security beat

When President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, was asked at his confirmation hearing in January whether he would ever consider jailing a journalist, Barr paused for about eight seconds, then said he could “conceive of a situation” where a journalist is jailed as a “last resort.” Such equivocation was troubling to press…

Read More ›

The US Department of Justice uses the Espionage Act to charge an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose Washington D.C. headquarters are pictured, for allegedly leaking information to a reporter (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

New US Espionage Act prosecution has troubling implications for press freedom

New York, March 29, 2018– The Committee to Protect Journalists today said it is concerned by the U.S. Department of Justice’s use of the Espionage Act to charge an FBI agent for allegedly leaking information to a reporter.

Read More ›

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, pictured at a meeting in January 2018, has indicated he intends to pursue leak investigations. (AFP/Saul Loeb)

The president’s phantom threats

During his tumultuous campaign, Donald Trump declared war on the press, pledging to “open up our libel laws” and impose fines on critical journalists if elected. Within a month of taking office, he vowed to go after leakers, comparing them to Nazis, and urged then-FBI director James Comey to jail reporters who published classified information.…

Read More ›

Reality Winner, center, an intelligence contractor charged with leaking classified National Security Agency material, is shown in a courtroom sketch at a hearing in Augusta, Georgia, on June 8, 2017. A group of Senate Republicans claim that leaks to the media under the Trump Administration are harming national security. (Reuters/Richard Miller)

US Senate report on leaks and national security is deeply flawed

Last week, Republicans on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs released a report on leaks to the media. The report, which was led by Chairman Ron Johnson, asserts that “an avalanche” of leaks under the Trump Administration is harming national security. It lists at least 125 news articles and their bylines -…

Read More ›