EFF Statement on Assange Indictment and Arrest

By Cindy Cohn – EFF.org

While the indictment of Julian Assange centers on an alleged attempt to break a password—an attempt that was not apparently successful—it is still, at root, an attack on the publication of leaked material and the most recent act in an almost decade-long effort to punish a whistleblower and the publisher of her leaked material. Several parts of the indictment describe very common journalistic behavior, like using cloud storage or knowingly receiving classified information or redacting identifying information about a source. Other parts make common free software tools like Linux and Jabber seem suspect.

Assange Arrest: “Nuclear Option” Against the First Amendment?

Institute for Public Accuracy

Consortium News notes in “Moreno Withdraws Asylum as Assange is Arrested” that Jen Robinson, a lawyer for Assange tweeted: “Just confirmed: Assange has been arrested not just for breach of bail conditions but also in relation to a U.S. extradition request.”

Edward Snowden tweeted: “Important background for journalists covering the arrest of Julian Assange by Ecuador: the United Nations formally ruled his detention to be arbitrary, a violation of human rights. They have repeatedly issued statements calling for him to walk free — including very recently.”

24 major netroots groups launch effort to support the ‘Save the Internet Act’

Demand Progress

Following the introduction of the Save the Internet Act to restore net neutrality protections in the House and Senate, some of the country’s largest netroots groups are launching an effort to support the bicameral legislation

Documents Show Gov Tracking Journalists and Lawyers at Border

From the Institute for Public Accuracy

The U.S. government is working with the Mexican government to target journalists, lawyers, and activists who were covering or supporting the migrant caravan at the border. See breaking story: “Source: Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database” from NBC San Diego, which includes the names, photos, dates of birth, countries of commencement and dispositions of 59 people, mostly U.S. citizens. The document labels the people as “organizer,” “instigator,” and “lawyer,” or “media.”

Members of Congress … must not condone any mass surveillance, especially when predicated on guilt by association and an absurdly low standard for suspicion

From Demand Progress

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Nadler, and Chairman Schiff:

On December 15, 2019, three provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act are scheduled to sunset, including the authority known as “Section 215.” The undersigned progressive and grassroots organizations urge you not to reauthorize the continued mass surveillance of innocent people under that authority.[1] The use of such tools actively undermines the rights of historically targeted communities and the values of the Democratic Party.[2,3]

South Dakota Senate Passes Reporter Shield Law

By Matthew Renda — Courthouse News Service

South Dakota is poised to become the 40th state to pass a shield law for journalists and their sources after a bill passed the state Senate on Wednesday.

The bill, House Bill 1074, gives journalists the right to decline to provide information or the identity of sources to courts, grand juries, legislative bodies or any public bodies with the power to levy contempt charges.

‘Do the right thing’: ads on Facebook and Google seek big tech whistleblowers

Initiative by not-for-profit Fight for the Future offers employees of Silicon Valley firms a way to organize and leak information

By Sam Levin — The Guardian

Silicon Valley activists have launched a whistleblower campaign to help workers organize against “unethical tech”, including ads on social media platforms targeting the employees of those companies.

A Surveillance Wall Is Not a Good Alternative to a Concrete Wall

By India McKinney – EFF.org

Since even before he took office, President Trump has called for a physical wall along the southern border of the United States. Many different organizations have argued this isn’t a great idea. In response, some Congressional Democrats have suggested turning to surveillance technology to monitor the border instead of a physical barrier.

How Facebook Borrows From the NSA Playbook

The social media giant misleads the American people using tactics ripped straight from the surveillance agency

By Trevor Timm – Medium

Once again, Facebook is embroiled in a scandal where it was caught violating millions of people’s privacy. A blockbuster story published by the New York Times before the holidays revealed that Facebook had entered into secret “partnerships” with various technology companies — Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, and others — that gave hundreds of internet giants vast access to private information for years without Facebook users’ consent.

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.