Prosecuting WikiLeaks for publishing activities poses a profound threat to press freedom

On Thursday night Justice Department prosecutors inadvertently published court documents that strongly suggest that the Trump administration has secretly filed charges against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Shortly afterwards, the Washington Post confirmed that charges have indeed been filed against Assange.

Strengthening Congressional Oversight of the Intelligence Community

Dear Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Pelosi, and members of the House of Representatives:

We write to express our concerns about congressional oversight of intelligence activities. As you know, Congress is responsible for authorizing and overseeing these programs. In recent years, experts and policymakers have expressed concern that congressional oversight efforts are falling short.

Edward Snowden: Saudi used Israel spyware to target Khashoggi

US whistle-blower Edward Snowden yesterday claimed that Saudi Arabia used Israeli spyware to target murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Addressing a conference in Tel Aviv via a video link, Snowden claimed that software made by an Israeli cyber intelligence firm was used by Saudi Arabia to track and target Khashoggi in the lead up to his murder on 2 October inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

The Consequences of Blowing the Whistle on State-Sanctioned Child Abuse

A year or so ago, a reporter asked me for a comment on what I expected from the Trump administration vis-à-vis the treatment of whistleblowers. I was so down on the recently-departed Obama administration at the time that I said I expected Trump would see whistleblowers differently from Obama, who saw them as leakers and malcontents. I said nobody could be as bad as Obama was on whistleblowing and that I thought Trump and his administration might be easier to deal with.

Warrantless searches of journalists at U.S. borders pose press freedom threat

The Custom and Border Protection (CBP) agency’s powers to carry out warrantless searches of electronic devices has serious press freedom implications, including weakening the ability of the media to protect source privacy, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its report, “Nothing to declare: Why U.S. border agency’s vast stop and search powers undermine press freedom.”

Terry Albury is a Conscientious Whistleblower

Terry Albury was the only Black agent at the FBI field office in Minneapolis. He saw inherent racism in the FBI’s targeting of local communities of color and sought to blow the whistle on that racism and the agency’s unethical use of paid informants. For that, he was fired, arrested, and charged under the Espionage Act. He pled guilty earlier this year and now faces 4 or more years in prison. He’ll be sentenced next week.

Revealed: The Justice Dept’s secret rules for targeting journalists with FISA court orders

Today, we are revealing—for the first time—the Justice Department’s rules for targeting journalists with secret FISA court orders. The documents were obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Freedom of the Press Foundation and Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

GCHQ data collection regime violated human rights, court rules

GCHQ’s methods for bulk interception of online communications violated privacy and failed to provide sufficient surveillance safeguards, the European court of human rights has ruled.

But the ECHR found that GCHQ’s regime for sharing sensitive digital intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal, and it explicitly confirmed that bulk interception with tighter safeguards was permissible.

The Government’s Argument that Reality Winner Harmed National Security Doesn’t Hold Up. Here’s Why.

Whistleblower Reality Winner was officially sentenced to 63 months in prison on Thursday, after a federal judge rubber-stamped a plea deal already agreed to by the prosecution and Winner’s lawyers. As the prosecution acknowledged, it is the longest sentence for a journalist’s source in federal court history.

Google complicity in Chinese censorship could endanger press freedom elsewhere

In 2010, after four years of offering Chinese users a heavily censored version of its search engine, Google decided it would no longer block search results at the request of the Chinese state. “Our objection is to those forces of totalitarianism,” Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, told The New York Times at the time, adding that he hoped that Google’s stance would apply pressure toward “progress and a more open Internet in China.” Today, the internet in China is more closed than ever.