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Thread: The Espionage Act And WikiLeaks - Would it End Journalism As We Know It?

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    Re: The Espionage Act And WikiLeaks - Would it End Journalism As We Know It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    That's pretty much white washing over every critically constructed response that others have made in this thread.

    It's always nice to know that I've wasted my time.
    I'm sorry that I didn't take the time to point out why I thought your response missed the point and made inaccurate arguments. Would you feel better if I did?
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    Re: The Espionage Act And WikiLeaks - Would it End Journalism As We Know It?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    I'm sorry that I didn't take the time to point out why I thought your response missed the point and made inaccurate arguments. Would you feel better if I did?
    That would be preferable to you making a vague, partisan statement that puts words in the mouths of everyone you disagree with, regardless of how their points may differ from one another.

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    Re: The Espionage Act And WikiLeaks - Would it End Journalism As We Know It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    Now I've never said this now have I? They are just like any other news agency in that what they do can hurt us. Is that bad? Yes it is. Does it make them bad? From a certain point of view yes. Does that make them bad enough for us to break with our 1st amendment standing? No it isn't. I will always stand up for their 1st amendment rights. But don't mistake standing up for their legal rights as standing up for their moral charactor. I can seperate the two quite easily and do so on many different subjects. Yes being able to do so is often contradictory to my own personal beliefs and moral standings. But objectivity is what is needed in this world. Not emotionality.
    The fact that you keep on referring to the first amendment indicates that you're not really seeing why people are objecting to the things that wikileaks does.

    Conspiring to commit felonies or aiding and abetting the felony of espionage is not an act that invokes the protections of the first amendment.
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    Re: The Espionage Act And WikiLeaks - Would it End Journalism As We Know It?

    That would be preferable to you making a vague, partisan statement that puts words in the mouths of everyone you disagree with, regardless of how their points may differ from one another.
    But that's much snappier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    I know the U.S. will try, but it's a stretch to charge Assange when he wasn't the one who stole the information. It was given to him by the people who did. Charge people from your own country with espionage if you must, but the press and its cohorts have nothing to do with that law.
    This isn't how the law works. If you conspire with someone to commit a crime or otherwise aid in the commission of a crime, you are also culpable.

    People who are blinded by anger due to Wikileaks are not seeing what this means for freedom of the press as a whole.
    This doesn't mean a damn thing for the freedom of the press, your attempts to conflate the two notwithstanding. "Freedom of the press" does not include the freedom to conspire to commit felonies by leaking classified information.

    Your government has no business charging info brokers in this manner.
    And you have no business misinterpreting our laws and telling us what to do.

    Besides, charging Assange would not bring closure to Wikileaks, it would only escalate its activities.
    Well, that's one theory.

    Assange has already said and demonstrated that the more the governments of the world come down on him, the more intense the releases are going to be. I for one believe him.
    Yes, he's certainly demonstrated that he's an honest and believable individual without any agenda. Your blind faith seems well placed.

    It makes much more sense to strengthen internal security to prevent info. from being released, than it is to attack every agency who uses the leaked information.
    It makes much more sense to do whatever will improve security, rather than taking an "either/or" approach as you appear to be arguing for.

    The latter approach only erodes freedom of information and the press.
    Incorrect.
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 12-13-10 at 01:20 AM.
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    Re: The Espionage Act And WikiLeaks - Would it End Journalism As We Know It?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    The fact that you keep on referring to the first amendment indicates that you're not really seeing why people are objecting to the things that wikileaks does.

    Conspiring to commit felonies or aiding and abetting the felony of espionage is not an act that invokes the protections of the first amendment.
    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    This isn't how the law works. If you conspire with someone to commit a crime or otherwise aid in the commission of a crime, you are also culpable.
    I'm assuming that your first post that I quoted is directly linked to the next part of your post that I quoted above.

    Wikileaks has not conspired with anyone. Their about page explicitly states that they do not endorse breaking the law. Anyone that gives them any info knows this. Sorry but they are covered this way. Also wikileaks did not in any way help Manning steal those documents.

    As far as "aiding and abetting", again, they did nothing to help Manning steal those documents.

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    And you have no business misinterpreting our laws and telling us what to do.
    No more than you do.
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    Re: The Espionage Act And WikiLeaks - Would it End Journalism As We Know It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    I'm assuming that your first post that I quoted is directly linked to the next part of your post that I quoted above.

    Wikileaks has not conspired with anyone. Their about page explicitly states that they do not endorse breaking the law. Anyone that gives them any info knows this. Sorry but they are covered this way.
    Ah, so if an organization's website claims that it doesn't break the law, that means that neither the organization nor any of its members will ever actually break the law?

    Interesting.

    Also wikileaks did not in any way help Manning steal those documents.

    As far as "aiding and abetting", again, they did nothing to help Manning steal those documents.
    I very much doubt you have any evidence to support that claim, and think that it's certainly something that the government is investigating. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest to find out that they already have evidence to the contrary.

    Either way, you're still missing my point - if wikileaks or Assange did either of those things, their prosecution would have nothing to do with the first amendment.
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    Re: The Espionage Act And WikiLeaks - Would it End Journalism As We Know It?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Ah, so if an organization's website claims that it doesn't break the law, that means that neither the organization nor any of its members will ever actually break the law?

    Interesting.
    The claim was that they don't "endorse" it. If they or someone in the organization breaks the law then you have to prove it. Even then if one single individual breaks a law it doesn't mean that the whole organization is culpable. That's what it means.

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    I very much doubt you have any evidence to support that claim, and think that it's certainly something that the government is investigating. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest to find out that they already have evidence to the contrary.
    Alleged leaker Bradley Manning's steps retraced

    Granted that doesn't disprove that wiki didn't help them. But the fact that you claim something that you have no proof for either...well my link seems to be more "proof" than your claim. From the sounds of that article Manning had no help. Particularly because of this part....

    In his chats with Adrian Lamo, Manning referenced a "test" document that he leaked to Assange (presumably to verify Assange's identity), a classified diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik, sent Jan. 13, 2010. WikiLeaks posted the document on Feb. 18, 2010.
    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Either way, you're still missing my point - if wikileaks or Assange did either of those things, their prosecution would have nothing to do with the first amendment.
    Actually I could gauruntee you that the 1st amendment would be among the first lines of defense of Assaunges lawyers....unless of course they are totally incompentant. Though I am quite positive that the prosecution would try thier best to keep the 1st amendment out of the proceedings. They would fail though.
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    Re: The Espionage Act And WikiLeaks - Would it End Journalism As We Know It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    No reason we can't do both. Assange is different from both the New York Times or a shady go-between who receives leaked documents. For (what I think is) the first time in history, this is a guy who has created a popular method of transmitting state secrets with a promise to publish them. So it's not just the CURRENT leak that's the problem, it's the fact that this kind of thing will CONTINUE to happen as long as Wikileaks is allowed to operate. Assange has neither the anonymity of a shady character who receives government secrets in a dimly lit parking garage, nor the responsibility of mainstream media outlets like the New York Times.

    Obviously the US is going to need to revise its secrecy classifications in light of this breach of security. But it also should not allow a popular website to publicly encourage and facilitate the publication of state secrets.
    What if a site starts up in a nation that the US doesn't have an extradition treaty with, do we invade the country?

    Sweden doesn't even have an extradition treaty with the US for espionage.

    Could you imagine the absolute s***storm that would result if an American citizen published cables harming the national security of... China, and the Chinese wanted to send in forces to assassinate/kidnap him? We would probably start a damn nuclear war lol.

    But again, we have the military. Half of the world's. This is the defining feature between the US and other nations. Because of it we can do stupid s*** without consequences.

    All kinds of other news media released the cables. If you didn't want them released them go and bitch to the government official who leaked them, not the media organizations like Wikileaks, MSNBC, Fox, etc, etc who published them.

    Lets just say... hypothetically, that Wikileaks didn't leak this material when they got it, straight up on their website. Lets say that they handed it to another source, just one, then this source leaked it to two sources, then these two sources each leaked it to three sources, and so on. At which point exactly does it become morally and legally okay to leak it to another source? After 2 iterations? 3? 50? 150? How do you justify this absurdly arbitrary number?

    Thanks.

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    Re: The Espionage Act And WikiLeaks - Would it End Journalism As We Know It?

    Quote Originally Posted by SirPwn4lot View Post
    What if a site starts up in a nation that the US doesn't have an extradition treaty with, do we invade the country?
    The same way we react whenever other kinds of illegal websites start up on servers outside the American government control.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirPwn4lot
    Sweden doesn't even have an extradition treaty with the US for espionage.
    An extradition treaty merely COMPELS a nation to extradite a suspect. It doesn't mean that they CAN'T extradite him without a treaty.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirPwn4lot
    Could you imagine the absolute s***storm that would result if an American citizen published cables harming the national security of... China, and the Chinese wanted to send in forces to assassinate/kidnap him? We would probably start a damn nuclear war lol.
    Yeah we'd probably be pretty pissed. But I think it would be easy to understand why China assassinated him.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirPwn4lot
    But again, we have the military. Half of the world's. This is the defining feature between the US and other nations. Because of it we can do stupid s*** without consequences.
    Yes, this is the key difference. And it's not to be trivialized or glossed over. The US should act in its best interests because it can. China perhaps should not, under identical circumstances, because it can't...at least not without pissing off a lot of people.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirPwn4lot
    All kinds of other news media released the cables. If you didn't want them released them go and bitch to the government official who leaked them, not the media organizations like Wikileaks, MSNBC, Fox, etc, etc who published them.
    I haven't bitched about any of those other news organizations; they just published what was already in the public domain at that point. Only Wikileaks and the leaker should be held accountable, not all those other news organizations.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirPwn4lot
    Lets just say... hypothetically, that Wikileaks didn't leak this material when they got it, straight up on their website. Lets say that they handed it to another source, just one, then this source leaked it to two sources, then these two sources each leaked it to three sources, and so on. At which point exactly does it become morally and legally okay to leak it to another source? After 2 iterations? 3? 50? 150?
    When it enters the public domain, then a news source is no longer doing anything wrong by publicizing what has already been released. In your contrived and unrealistic scenario, it would be up to a judge to determine how many iterations of leaks it took before the information was essentially public knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirPwn4lot
    How do you justify this absurdly arbitrary number?
    That's why we have judges. And arbitrariness is not a bad thing; it's one of the defining characteristics of common law.
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    Re: The Espionage Act And WikiLeaks - Would it End Journalism As We Know It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    When it enters the public domain, then a news source is no longer doing anything wrong by publicizing what has already been released. In your contrived and unrealistic scenario, it would be up to a judge to determine how many iterations of leaks it took before the information was essentially public knowledge.
    But this is exactly what happened with wikileaks. It entered the public domain the moment Manning took it and gave it out. By your own logic wikileaks is not in the wrong. Manning as a member of the military with security clearance gave it to a publicly known site that was known to publish anything that it came across.
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