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Is WikiLeaks part of the Media?

The US Justice department is making noises that they may not be able to bring criminal charges against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, for publishing classified documents. The problem is that if they prosecute WikiLeaks, how can they avoid also having to prosecute US news organizations and journalists (who have repeatedly published classified documents), like the New York Times, the Washington Post, or Glenn Greenwald?

As opposed of people who have actually leaked classified documents, like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning, Assange only published these documents. He did not leak them.



  1. ThatGuy wrote:

    While I can’t say I’m a fan of WikiLeaks, this does make sense.

    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink
  2. Michael wrote:

    This is both interesting and surprising. I personally find that there is a very clear distinction between Wikileaks and the others. The former serves exclusively as a clearinghouse for data leaks, including illicitly leaked classified information. The latter publish such protected material within a larger journalistic context. That is, Wikileaks lacks the commentary and reporting that are intrinsically part of the traditional press.

    I’m not saying that should be used as a rationale for prosecution; rather, I just think there’s a pretty clear distinction. Based on that distinction, there seems to be a strong case for aiding and abetting charges. So I’m really surprised by this analysis.

    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink
  3. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    Very interesting. If Wiki leaks and Assange are publishers with terrible or non existent journalism (in ref to Michaels remarks) then they could be protected. Another piece that needs to be considered is this is a foreign site (as far as I know)that is read in the US so being a foreign entity do they have the same rights as our press? I think in that case I’d have to vote for prosecution. So IMO it should come down to is freedom of the press an accepted right of foreign entities or only US entities concerning our laws? Very interesting.

    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink