Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

At the same time, this convergence of equivocation on First Amendment protections provides the perfect opportunity for a simple yet effect filter.

1. Start with the set of all potentially serious journalists.

2. Filter out the ones who put forth arguments which downplay the dangers to the press of prosecuting Assange.

3. Filter out the ones who don't explicitly argue against prosecuting Assange on 1st Amendment grounds.

Follow the small group that survives #3 to get a variety of (probably) high-quality perspectives from serious journalists.

Use set from #2 as a casual guide for when to prick your ears up and listen to the news.






Most of the cries about 1st Amendment ignore the fact that the grand jury proceeded with the indictment because they have Jabber records of WikiLeaks discussing cracking the password of a Department of Defense database.

The next time I get caught trying to hack the government I'm going to try the "but it was for journalism" defense.

In fact, why can't I hack companies and claim I was just trying to get information to leak to the public?

"It's just journalism, you can't arrest me..."


How is discussing cracking a DOD database password relevant to the prosecution? We’re discussing the cracking of a password in this comment thread, does that make us criminals?

By nature, I don’t think discussing password cracks, without a ton more context than what has been shared, is not criminal. There are many forum posts with system and programming questions that are purely hypothetical (eg, “so I’m trying to determine if my security is appropriate, is it as easy to crack as this dod password, etc etc”).

I think criminal acts and conspiracy to commit criminal acts require quite a bit of information and would like to learn more how you would use this as a claim of journalism.

To my knowledge, Wikileaks has never actively participated in the hacking or cracking required to access restricted info. They serve as a Dropbox for others who do that.


Discussing something and conspiring to do it are legally two different things. Their communications had INTENT to do it. They were planning to do it. Conspiring.

> To my knowledge, Wikileaks has never actively participated in the hacking or cracking required to access restricted info.

But that's exactly what this is about. There are records of Jabber messages where they were conspiring (planning) to crack the password for Manning. I don't know how they determined that Assange was involved and not an unfortunate pawn of his, but whatever evidence they have was enough to convince a grand jury to indict him.

And, btw, an indictment isn't a verdict. He still has a chance to defend himself in trial even if he's extradicted. But this would mean that the US has a chance to prove his guilt.

But now we just wait and see if they have enough evidence to convince the UK to extradite him. And if that happens we'll wait and see how the trial and sentencing plays out.


> The next time I get caught trying to hack the government I'm going to try the "but it was for journalism" defense.

Shouldn't it if that access revealed information about war crimes? Or an artificial conflict that cost about 500.000 lives?

That should remain undisclosed because computer sabotage is bad? This is missing perspective left and right.


If we start with the premises that if people think that something is a crime, they can commit a crime to try and prove it, our legal system will quickly crumble.

Would it still be journalism, if they hacked the database and didn't find evidence.

Should the fact that the information released, put many lives in danger when it compromised many people aiding our government?

Morally his actions can be debated, but not from a legal one, so he should be arrested and it should be up to a jury to determine if is moral reasoning and actions out way his crimes.


Journalists history is full of people that break the law in order to investigate something and the result is almost in every case the same: they get a small fine which the news paper pays.

To take a direct example, a Swedish TV crew smuggled a person through several nations in order to report on experience a person went through during the migration crisis. The maximum punishment for human smuggling is 6 years in Sweden (and this is not counting all the other countries which this TV crew traveled through), and the verdict was of course a small fine (basically one month of pay) after going through two courts.

When you have a person with no priors, low risk for repeat offense of the specific crime they are accused of, for the intent of journalist reporting, and a single offense, what you get is a small fine.

The US do not do extraditions from other nations when the expected punishment is a small fine.


So how exactly would you have the people informing themselves? We just sit and wait for the benevolent government to tell us what it deems is good for us to know?

We don't need to make a whole new set of legal principles where people automatically get off for claiming journalism. In this case the people (here and around the world) were able to learn a lot of valuable information. Assanges actions are justified.


You have every right to your opinion about if you feel his actions were justified.

But that doesn't excuse him from the framework of our laws, if you break the law, even for a good reason, its a jury that decides.


This "holy" law is cleverly circumvented in the quest for war crimes. So any appeal only gets you so far. We are back to square one. Government will hide crimes, people will try to call them out. Law is as useful and error prone, as we want it to be.

The law isn't perfect, in any country, and that's never going to change. We need to vote for leaders who will reform it in the direction that we want.

But the fact that some people get away with crimes doesn't mean we should ignore all crimes and adopt a system of anarchy.


Why not?

Who said it would be worse?

Where you asked before adopting the current system? Or you were just expected to sit and accept it?

Any why would a system that takes into account actual benefit to the public or not, to absolve someone of something that is otherwise a crime, would be tantamount to "anarchy"?


> Any why would a system that takes into account actual benefit to the public or not, to absolve someone of something that is otherwise a crime, would be tantamount to "anarchy"?

Without a clear set of laws things get messy really quickly.

We do allow for subjective peer input in a trial, that's exactly why the jury exists.

But to say that someone shouldn't even be put in front of a jury just because you think they broke the law with good intentions is undermining the purpose of law. Who are you to decide what was a "benefit to the public"?

There were people who thought that Guantanamo was a "benefit to the public" so should they be allowed to torture people?

There were people in the NSA who thought that mass collection of metadata from phone companies was a "benefit to the public" so maybe we shouldn't investigate those things.

That's not how I want the law to work. We should investigate all of those things, regardless of what you think is beneficial, under a strict set of rules of law. And we use democracy and international order to shape that set of rules.

If you think this is crazy and oppressive you should look around at how non-western countries handle these things.


Sadly yes, this doesn't excuse him from the framework of our laws, just like it did not excuse Turing, leading to his death.

Maybe it's time to adopt a more aggressive stance against immoral laws, don't you think?


everyone breaks laws every day, if the government has a problem with you they will find one you broke. we see it all the time at scales big and small.

Are you proposing a double-standard?

Can cops be justified breaking into your house without a warrant, so long as they find evidence of a crime?


Since USA invaded a country because they blamed that country had weapons of mass destruction, does that mean I can "invade" anyone on false accusations?

There is a huge difference between the state and the poeple. And they should be trated respectively.

What Julian Assange did was for the best of all poeple, not for the state.

It also follows that the state are made of the poeple, for the poeple. So anything that is "good" for the poeple, the state should do.


I can't tell if you are trolling me, or just willfully being contrary. Nothing you are saying here holds up under even the most basic logical scrutiny.

If your justification is that regardless of his actions the net result was "good" for the people. You run into an undefended slippery slope.

If we murder everyone in the US, that has deadly communicable diseases, or hereditary genetic disorder and we wipe the diseases out, that's "good" for the people, and the harm when compared to the whole is trivial as long as you kill less than say 30 million people. We can never hold ourselves to this sort of standard and claim we have any form of justice.

On the other hand, the law is far to ridge without the human factor, and hence the jury, a jury can nullify a case if they so choose, and simply agree that this person violated the law, but did it for a reason that his peers felt they deserved no punishment.

I'm not saying that Assange, so go to jail, I'm simply suggesting that he has to have his day in court, if what the state is saying is to be show through evidence to be true, or false. And that if his group of peers feels that after hearing all the specific details of the case from both sides, determine if what he did is right or wrong.


Of course there must be a double standard. You need to hold your government accountable.

I mean, this is how case law is established.

We currently have the notion of exigent circumstances, that if the police have a lawful reason to enter your house without a warrant (such as believing that someone is in imminent danger) and they find in plain sight in the course of that entry evidence of a crime, it's fair game.

A case like this is how we determine if journalists are allowed to hack into government databases. This precedent will be instructive to future activists regardless of how it turns out.


> A case like this is how we determine if journalists are allowed to hack into government databases.

Which, considering the broad definition of "journalist" here, might mean that we're free to hack anything as long as we publish it.

Would I have the right to hack your web service and leak that data because "journalism"?

And if I get caught hacking something could I simply say that my intent was to publish it?


Actually if a cop finds evidence of a crime without a warrant when one is required,(or any illegal means) it won't be admissible, so I'm not sure where you are coming from.

Nor do I see how you are suggesting what I'm talking about is some sort of proposal for a double standard.

I'm not saying out legal framework is perfect, and certainly not saying that injustices don't happen because there are bad people, doing horrible shit to innocent people.

I'm saying that you can't abandon the rule of law, just because someone did something that you see as a net positive.

I'm also against this train of thought when the government attempts to use this logic with eminent domain cases for example.


"Actually if a cop finds evidence of a crime without a warrant when one is required,(or any illegal means) it won't be admissible, so I'm not sure where you are coming from."

"Exigent circumstances" are, from the perspective of the law, the equivalent of a warrant, thus making any proofs legal.


I think you should read up more on exigent circumstances, what a police officer does and what is legal for use in a case are miles apart.

If the defense challenges, and the state can not convince the judge that there was a probably threat that material evidence will be destroyed before a warrant could be obtained, then it will very likely be thrown out, and can not be used in the case at all.

And even if the judge allows it, and defense loses its an open door for an appeal.

There are literally volumes of text on this subject, there is not blanket a statement that makes incorrectly gather evidence moot, as any defense attorney, it's their first line of attack.

And one of the most common ways the defense can win a case.


Too late for that - have you seen what passes for standards of accountability and standards where ignorance of the law is not an excuse - unless you are the police. I think the legal system has already throughly crumbled by those standards.

So much FUD and dangerous hypotheticals to justify /their/ crimes. At this point accountability and transparency need to be held far higher because the alternative is so much worse and corrupted.

If you don't want whistleblowers there is an easy answer - not being so fucking corrupt and they will have nothing to whistleblow on!


>If we start with the premises that if people think that something is a crime, they can commit a crime to try and prove it, our legal system will quickly crumble.

How about starting with the solid facts, that what was unearthed is justified to be unearthed?

>Would it still be journalism, if they hacked the database and didn't find evidence.

We could just say no -- or, if they did find evidence, yes.

This keeps the risk of violating the law, but makes it OK if you indeed unearth something beneficial.

You know, as if we can make rational value judgements given the end result, and not give everyone a free pass, or condemn everyone from the start.


Our laws aren't written in away that says if you steal something, and the value to others out weights the crime of stealing, then its not stealing.

But as I've said, this is the human element, and is why we have a jury, if the jury feels that his actions though criminal were justified.

They can hold him free of punishment, this is why our judicial system is structured this way, because the letter of the law, doesn't understand the context of a situation, and a jury can.

Who in your opinion makes the choice of "what was unearthed is justified to be unearthed?" A judge, a police officer, a prosecutor, or a jury of his peers?

That value judgement you are talking about is literally the roll of the jury, but to get to that point, they have to be arrested, and prosecuted.


>Our laws aren't written in away that says if you steal something, and the value to others out weights the crime of stealing, then its not stealing.

Well, that's bad. And it has been known to be bad since the time of Les Miserables at least...

>Who in your opinion makes the choice of "what was unearthed is justified to be unearthed?" A judge, a police officer, a prosecutor, or a jury of his peers?

The jury of peers. But we're still on the court of public/pundit opinion, and many are making arguments as if the technical aspects of the law outweigh any benefits -- in fact as if breaking the law itself is morally condemnable whatever the circumstance. So I wanted to counter that.

Besides, are the people which will be jury really "peers" when the act might benefit humanity at large, but they are tied to a particular nation state (one he doesn't even belong to)?

"Peers" original intention was to be people "related to the community/society the accused lives in" with the same public interests (and moral ideas).


It's not bad, how do you suppose a law like this would make the value jugement? This again is why you a jury.

In principle, what you say makes sense.

My disconnect is because I think I already know the value judgement the law will end up making.


What system would you propose would be better, I frankly wish that we didn't have a whole profession based the process and procedures of the court. It makes defending yourself almost impossible.

But the court has the burden to prove that the person is guilty of a crime, to 12 different people. You are required by law to be given a lawyer to assist in your case if you can't afford one.

That is a better shake than probably 75% of the world right there. Hell its better than you get in the military in the US.


So basically you want the process to be judged by the outcome, not by... the process.

That's not how the legal system works and that's not how ANY legals system COULD work, because it would require the process to be finalized and the outcome known before any legal enforcing to happen).

Basically you're bringing an utterly irrational viewpoint to the discussion then you end up with " we can make rational value judgements".


>That's not how the legal system works and that's not how ANY legals system COULD work, because it would require the process to be finalized and the outcome known before any legal enforcing to happen).

Actually that's how many regional and "local customs" legal systems works all around the world.

And it's even part of standard roman-legacy law, to take into account the outcome (and also thinks as intentions, circumstances, and so on).


Police do it all the time.

Using that logic, we could argue that defective search warrants should be ignored if they uncover a horrible crime. This idea that breaking laws in the pursuit of a supposed greater good could lead to some dangerous places. This kind of thinking leads to things like torturing people to uncover a terrorist plot: the law against torture is broken using the rationale of uncovering a potentially greater crime. As soon we go down the road of moral relativism, suddenly we have anarchy: any law become optional if the ends are justified to the person making the decision to break the law in question. What if hacking a computer yields nothing? Does that crime get excused because it might have uncovered something? Who decides when a law can be broken?

"This idea that breaking laws in the pursuit of a supposed greater good could lead to some dangerous places."

That's because your formulation of the principle is too general. If everyone acts on their own subjective law then collective law would break down. But no one is arguing for that.

Wikileak's defenders would do better to point to the particular conditions that have led to mass whistle blowing: permanent wars in the Middle East and North Africa (the US is in seven wars right now); the creation of a massively powerful surveillance state; and the lack of legitimate channels for political and military transparency and accountability.

The case for whistleblowing hinges on that reality.


> The case for whistleblowing hinges on that reality.

It's not about whistleblowing it's about hacking a DoD account to access classified military intelligence.


> This idea that breaking laws in the pursuit of a supposed greater good could lead to some dangerous places. This kind of thinking leads to things like torturing people to uncover a terrorist plot

Given Gitmo and the practices disclosed from there the US government seems to follow that rationale


How should crimes enacted by a government be released then? Internal control?

Was the database already in their possession, or was it remote?

Remote is hacking. If it’s something that was handed to them from a source then that seems like legitimate journalism.

Also “wikileaks” and Assange are very distinct entities. Are there jabber records of (provably) Assange stating that he was trying to hack a remote server belonging to the DoD or was it some hanger-on doing the typing?


For the sake of not confusing things here, forget about the data they leaked, they already had access to it. They were trying to crack the password of DoD accounts to cover up where they got the data and possibly access more data.

But that's not important, from a legal perspective. Cracking those passwords with the intent to use them for unauthorized access seems like conspiracy, and that's what WikiLeaks was offering Manning in the Jabber records (to crack the passwords for her).

I don't know the details about how they know Assange was involved but it was compelling enough for a grand jury indictment. It's up to the UK now to decide whether a request for extradition is valid, so the US needs to make a case for this indictment. We'll see where that goes and what evidence is presented.

Edit:

And I'm pretty sure the charge of conspiring to hack defense systems is also a crime in the UK so the grounds for extradition aren't so shaky.

It's also really important to note that they can't just extradite for this hacking charge and then do a trial for the leaks or whatever the 1st Amendment concerns are. The extradition will have to be specific to whatever charge the US is bringing (which so far is only the conspiracy to hack). Also, if found guilty he can't be charged again for leaking or anything without ANOTHER extradition claim and that would be very unlikely. So whatever they decide to extradite him for in the next 60 days will be the kind of charges he faces.


>And I'm pretty sure the charge of conspiring to hack defense systems is also a crime in the UK so the grounds for extradition aren't so shaky.

The jurisdictional overreach of my government (US) in this case concerns me. Some questions we should consider:

Is it a crime in the UK for an Australian citizen residing in Sweden to offer help cracking a password over online chat to a US citizen residing in Afghanistan and then report that they were unsuccessful? In the US? Should we start extraditing Canadians for weed?


It's really up to the UK whether to extradite, but yeah extradition is a thing that several allied countries do to prevent people from being able to commit crimes in other countries without consequence.

I get the concerns, but the charge is of conspiracy and that's exactly how it works... If you get caught planning to hack the DoD but you don't accomplish it, those plans can be used against you in a conspiracy charge.

> Should we start extraditing Canadians for weed?

That's up to Canada, but on the face of it that's not even a crime (Americans can go to countries with legal marijuana, the crime is possession in the states). Now, if someone in Canada was conspiring to traffic a massive amount of weed into the US that could be different.


I'll admit that last question was poorly related to this situation. The idea that the US claims jurisdiction to enforce laws against vaugly defined actions like this conspiracy law on an Australian citizen for a violation that took place in Sweden with very little evidence by extraditing from the UK seems to indicate all citizens of any nation can be governed by US laws and will be labeled as conspirators if the US government is pissed enought.

Is it different if China extradites an Italian citizen from Thailand for conspiring against them by, while in South Africa, assisting a Chinese citizen, who's located in Australia, participate in circumventing Chinese censorship technology by helping root a device?


Well, think of it this way: imagine that you were trying to help someone else hack the Australian Department of Defense. Should you face an investigation and trial for it or are you immune because you're not Australian?

The US might extradite you if Australia could make that case. Especially if it could be proven that you would receive a fair trial and no cruel or unusual punishment. That's what's happening here. The UK can still refuse to give him up if they don't make a good enough case.

For context on the issue of "fair trial": look at cases of worse charges than conspiracy to hack, like Maria Butina, for instance. She still received a proper trial and chance to defend herself against the evidence. Our legal system is broken in many ways, but mostly when it comes to racial or income inequality and local law enforcement. On the larger stage the rules for these things are pretty clear.

If you want to see some contrast take a look around at other large nation's justice system.


If what I did is a crime under US law then yes, in the US. If what I did involved accessing servers in Austrailia, from the US, then again, only if what I did is a crime under US law then yes, in the US. If I claimed in an online chat that I attempted to derive a password from a hash and failed, while I was located in Mexico then no.

The idea of a government's authority being derived from a consent to be governed was expressed very early in the US of A's declaration of independence to Britian: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" and I think this is a reasonable stance.


It sounds like you don't believe in extradition at all, but there is precedence for this and most western countries are on board. It's not just the US, UK, and Australia.

And the conspiracy wasn't just cracking the password, it was explicit intent to crack it for unauthorized access to classified military intelligence.


In limited cases I support it but I believe some type of consent to be governed is required, I consider physically visiting a sovern nation as implicit concent to be governed by their laws. I'm opposed to the notion that any government be able to determine the authorization for information access and excerpt authority on foreign citizens.

And that decision is up to the country who has him in custody, which is the UK right now. They've refused extradition for hacking before in the case of Gary McKinnon [1] due to fears that he could end up in Guantanamo so we'll see, now that Guantanamo is effectively closed for entry.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_McKinnon#Extradition_proc...


It's interesting that you present Butina's case as having been a fair trial. Her "crime" was basically naive, opportunistic networking with influential people (all of which was done publicly and even documented publicly on social media, so hardly consistent with a conspiracy). Hordes of people do that on a daily basis without registering as a foreign agent. But she's Russian, and in the age of Trump/Russia hysteria, that means you get selective enforcement of vague laws. Add a few months of solitary confinement and you arrive at a guilty plea.

> Her "crime" was basically naive, opportunistic networking with influential people

Yeah, under the direction of Russian officials, as an unregistered agent on their behalf.


If we want to be pedantic about it, then it is enough that a person who lives in a area where weed is legal and they consider to visit a area where it is not legal and don't explicitly declare that they intend to leave the weed at home. You don't need to add the "massive amount" aspect, as it would be a crime if they made the trip, which then makes it a conspiracy.

But that is not how the law get enforced, and people don't get extradited for crimes like that. They don't even get extradited when you have evidence of committed crimes like speeding, which maximum punishment is longer than cracking a password.


US government extradited an Australian citizen from Australia to USA. A country he had never been to. After his release, he was arrested for being an illegal alien. Then deported and banned from USA.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hew_Raymond_Griffiths

If you're Australian, don't expect the government to give a shit unless you're rich. I expect the Australian government to offer as little as they can to Assange.


Canadians smoking weed isn’t a crime against the United States.

> In fact, why can't I hack companies and claim I was just trying to get information to leak to the public?

"Hacking companies" is not the same as a journalist at his own location using the material received from its source to guess the information from the material which could help the protection of the source.

That is what the journalists are supposed to regularly do.

And that is what is claimed that Assange did. And that was known for years, and previously legal experts concluded that it is not a correct basis to a charge.

But then the US president becomes somebody who deeply doesn't care for the freedom of the press. And the Democrats still don't want to admit that they lost the election because they actually did many wrong things, like not being democratic in their own party before the elections. So the pressure started:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-house/pence-pr...

The fact which was somehow inconvenient:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/11/heres-interview...

The deleted part was exactly about that pressure.

Note also that Greenwald wrote: "The claim that Assange tried to help Manning circumvent a password to cover her tracks isn’t new. The Obama DOJ knew about it since 2011, but chose not to prosecute him. Story on this soon. Holder chose not to prosecute Assange based on the same info Trump DOJ cited."

and Assange's lawyer:

"While the indictment against Julian Assange disclosed today charges a conspiracy to commit computer crimes, the factual allegations against Mr. Assange boil down to encouraging a source to provide him information and taking efforts to protect the identity of that source. Journalists around the world should be deeply troubled by these unprecedented criminal charges."


I used to consider grand jury indictments to indicate that something was going on. Then someone close to me was indicted. That's when I learned that it takes almost nothing to get an indictment. In the case I know best it was less than nothing. When the case finally made it to a judge and was heard the judge realized how bad it was and through it out.

Those indictments come from a group of people who hear only one side, there is no one there to question the validity of what they are told, and they are basically being asked to let it go to court and so I don't think they see it as so bad if they are wrong, it can work out in trial.


This is a sentiment I've seen with the Assange threads. I see something significantly wrong with:

"Well if a grand jury wishes to bring charges, it must be a legitimate charge, or they'd not bring it to them."

It's akin to the idea that if someone has charges for a crime, that because they were charged they must have did it.


Remember grand jury is a very low standard - if the grand jury isn't compromised it is only enough evidence/ unopposed/ to start the process of prosecution. "We have footage of Tom Hanks brazenly robbing a bank" would be enough to get an indict. But as soon as his lawyers get involved the judge throws it out and censures the prosecutor because they lefy out key pieces of evidence - it was from Mission Impossible.

> That's when I learned that it takes almost nothing to get an indictment.

While that may be true, DAs don't like to lose in court, so why would they bring spurious charges? In this case, they would bring spurious charges because of the politics, but in general, they need a motive to take things to court that are obviously not even suspicious.


> The next time I get caught trying to hack the government I'm going to try the "but it was for journalism" defense.

Please define "hack the government" in a way compatible with what the indictment describes Assange having done.


The first line of parent's comment is accurate in terms of of the indictment, if that's what you're getting at?

http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2019/images/04/11/assange_indictment_...

> 7. On or about March 8, 2010, Assange agreed to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on United States Department of Defense computers


Instructions to hack (which is what Assange did) should be protected by the first amendment.

Nevertheless, hacking-related laws are a disgrace to our freedom.


It wasn't instructions. Manning gave the hash to them so they could crack it and gain access. In that case WikiLeaks were the ones cracking a password to access classified DoD documents.

Grab your tinfoil hats people, it's a conspiracy theorist!

This isn't "most of the cries", it's a specific article, and not just by some rando.

> The Justice Department has been enamored of this conspiracy approach since the time of the Pentagon Papers. In that case, Richard Nixon’s DOJ attempted to enjoin the New York Times and, later, the Washington Post from publishing a forty-seven-volume Defense Department study of the history of US relations with Vietnam from 1945 to 1967, which had been classified top secret. I led the team of lawyers who defended the Times in that case.

[..]

> Should Trump’s Justice Department succeed in prosecuting Assange, the only safe course of action for a reporter would be to receive information from a leaker passively. As soon as a reporter actively sought the information or cooperated with the source, the reporter would be subject to prosecution. National security reporting, however, is not done by receiving information over the transom. It is naïve to think that reporters can sit around waiting for leaks to fall into their laps. In a recent interview, the longtime investigative reporter Seymour Hersh told me that he obtains classified information through a process of “seduction” in which he spends time trying to induce the source into giving up the information. If he isn’t allowed to do that, he says, “It’s the end of national security reporting.”

> It’s clear that the Justice Department believes such “seduction” creates a conspiracy between the leaker and the reporter. In its prosecution of the State Department employee Stephen Jin-Woo Kim for leaking classified information about North Korea to a Fox News reporter, James Rosen, the DOJ stated, in a sealed affidavit, that it considered Rosen a “co-­conspirator.” The DOJ filed the affidavit with the D.C. District Court in 2010 to gain access to Rosen’s email, which showed him persuading Kim, asking for the leak time and time again until Kim finally relented. The affidavit was unsealed three years later, to the shock of Rosen and many other journalists. When Fox News angrily protested that Rosen’s First Amendment rights prevented him from being a co-­conspirator, the Obama Justice Department assured Fox that it would not prosecute him. If this type of conspiracy theory were to be applied in a criminal trial, a court would end up examining every effort by a reporter to obtain information. It would criminalize the reporting process. Reporters and their publishers would argue that the First Amendment protected news-gathering efforts such as Rosen’s, but the result would be in doubt in every case.

> If reporters can be indicted for talking to their sources, it will mean that the government has created the equivalent of a UK Official Secrets Act—through judicial fiat, without any legislative action.


This is a wild take though, because seeking information (details, clarification) from something a source gives you is not the same as asking the source for the password hash of a DoD server so you can crack it and gain unauthorized access to classified military documents.

If they don't pursue this crime I can literally start hacking people/companies/governments and publishing my findings because it's just "journalism".


Exactly. They want special protections. I'm not advocating for the justice department not to take into consideration their motivation for transparency, but just because they may have had good intentions doesn't mean they can act with careless disregard in their actions. There are a lot of opportunities for improvement here on both sides.

Step 4 - live in a bubble where you are always correct forever.

Filtering out everyone who happens to disagree with your opinion is a good way to get stuck in an echo chamber.


> Step 4 - live in a bubble where you are always correct forever.

Since I'm forced to interpret your comment in the most generous way, I'll reply with yes. Step 4 is living in a bubble where obviously incorrect interpretations of the world don't waste much of my time and concentration.

But even if I were wrong on the facts of this particular case I wouldn't end up in an echo chamber. I simply end up reading a variety of op-eds and articles written by people who vociferously defend freedom of the press. AFAICT those writers cross ideological lines.


I don't get purchasing recommendations from paid ads in my instagram feed.

This goes some way toward explaining the RussiaRussiaRussia hysteria...
belltaco 9 days ago [flagged]

Also Pizzagate.

Spread by Mr. Assange himself for political purposes.

https://our.wikileaks.org/Pizzagate

Leading to https://rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/john-pod...


Yes I agree that random crazy people should be held to the same standard as the war media.

Bingo.

A lot of "journalists" are actually just parrots, depending on access to have "exclusive" things to say.


I am also applying a similar discrimination to HN forum participants. Too many of whom seem absurdly credulous of the govt claims...



Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: