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Information is the Antidote to Fear: Wikileaks, the Law, and You

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posted on Dec, 9 2010 @ 06:39 PM
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I found this article informative and thought it might be helpful to post it on here for those who have expressed concerns about downloading Wikileaks cables, etc.....

www.libertyvoice.net...

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When it comes to Wikileaks, there's a lot of fear out there on the Internet right now.

Between the federal criminal investigation into Wikileaks, Senator Joe Lieberman's calls for companies to stop providing support for Wikileaks and his suggestion that the New York Times itself should be criminally investigated, Senator Dianne Feinstein's recent Wall Street Journal op-ed calling for prosecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and even the suggestion by some that he should be assassinated, a lot of people are scared and confused.

Will I break the law if I host or mirror the US diplomatic cables that have been published by Wikileaks? If I view or download them? If I write a news story based on them? These are just a few of the questions we've been getting here at EFF, particularly in light of many US companies' apparent fear to do any business with Wikileaks (with a few notable exceptions).

We unfortunately don't have the capacity to offer individualized legal advice to everyone who contacts us. What we can do, however, is talk about EFF's own policy position: we agree with other legal commentators who have warned that a prosecution of Assange, much less of other readers or publishers of the cables, would face serious First Amendment hurdles ([1], [2]) and would be "extremely dangerous" to free speech rights. Along with our friends at the ACLU, "We're deeply skeptical that prosecuting WikiLeaks would be constitutional, or a good idea."

Even better than commentary, we can also provide legal information on this complicated issue, and today we have for you some high quality legal information from an expert and objective source: Congress' own research service, CRS. The job of this non-partisan legal office is to provide objective, balanced memos to Congress on important legal issues, free from the often hysteric hyperbole of other government officials. And thanks to Secrecy News, we have a copy of CRS' latest memo on the Wikileaks controversy, a report entitled "Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information" and dated this Monday, December 6.

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