Espionage Blues by swo8 Blues Jazz

I hear that Julian Assange was arrested in London. The WikiLeaks founder was arrested on Thursday and will face a charge in the United States of conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer network in 2010. To avoid capture he spent the last a seven-years holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in Britain. Mr. Assange’s arrest brought to a head long-simmering tensions that have raised profound First Amendment press freedom issues. The indictment unsealed Thursday, however, revealed that prosecutors in Northern Virginia had not charged Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act for publishing government secrets. Instead, they charged him with conspiring to commit unlawful computer intrusion based on his alleged agreement to try to help Ms. Manning break an encoded portion of passcode that would have permitted her to log on to a classified military network under another user’s identity. Traditional journalistic activity does not extend to helping a source break a code to gain illicit access to a classified network, the charge appeared to be an attempt by prosecutors to sidestep the potential First Amendment minefield of treating the act of publishing information as a crime. Nevertheless, journalists should still be worried, said Barry Pollack, a lawyer for Mr. Assange. “While the indictment against Julian Assange disclosed today charges a conspiracy to commit computer crimes, the factual allegations against Mr. Assange boil down to encouraging a source to provide him information and taking efforts to protect the identity of that source,” Mr. Pollack said. “Journalists around the world should be deeply troubled by these unprecedented criminal charges.” Meanwhile, Edward Snowden, the other American whistle-blower, collected top-secret documents regarding NSA domestic surveillance practices that he found disturbing and leaked them. He’s been languishing in Russia for the last 6 years. This turned the tables and let us know that we are being listened to as well. Whether you consider these men heroes or traitors at least least we are listening to each other….chuckle…


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