DNC attacks Press Freedom

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https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2018/04/democrats-wikileaks-implications-media-180428053914854.html

The DNC lawsuit against (among others) Wikileaks seeks to punish Wikileaks for doing things that press organizations properly do. The success of the lawsuit relies on establishing a precedent which would thus harm press freedom.

It is irrelevant whether Wikileaks "qualifies" as a "press organization" itself, because Branzburg v. Hayes (1972) clarified press freedom as a fundamental personal right; the Supreme Court of the United States has since consistently refused to grant institutional media increased First Amendment protection compared to individuals. Even if that weren't the case, Lovell v. City of Griffin (1938) defines "press" as "every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion", a standard which Wikileaks disclosures clearly meet. Any new precedent about either of these would be an assault on press freedom as well.

And yet the DNC, vanguard of "the resistance", pushes this lawsuit anyway. The political parties of the United States are enemies of liberal democracy.

Seanchaidh:
https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2018/04/democrats-wikileaks-implications-media-180428053914854.html

The DNC lawsuit against (among others) Wikileaks seeks to punish Wikileaks for doing things that press organizations properly do. The success of the lawsuit relies on establishing a precedent which would thus harm press freedom.

It is irrelevant whether Wikileaks "qualifies" as a "press organization" itself, because Branzburg v. Hayes (1972) clarified press freedom as a fundamental personal right; the Supreme Court of the United States has since consistently refused to grant institutional media increased First Amendment protection compared to individuals. Even if that weren't the case, Lovell v. City of Griffin (1938) defines "press" as "every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion", a standard which Wikileaks disclosures clearly meet. Any new precedent about either of these would be an assault on press freedom as well.

And yet the DNC, vanguard of "the resistance", pushes this lawsuit anyway. The political parties of the United States are enemies of liberal democracy.

That isn't an attack on Freedom of the Press, isn't that an attack on illegally obtained materials? If documents are illegally obtained through hacking, I do not think that is a situation of freedom of Press, it is a matter of it should be illegal to publicly release illegally obtained materials at all.

That should be in the same category of it being illegal to buy, sell or have in your possession stolen property.

ALSO Hacking and leaking are not the same. The Emails were stolen, not "leaked". There is a difference.

More than that wikileak was extremely partisan and was in communication with both Russian agent and people from Trump campaign. Some of the DNC email they leaked were also fake/doctored and it's likely they knew that when they did it.

There are a bunch of things you need to do to live up to being a press organization, such as follow press ethical codes, have a editor and a publisher responsible for what you write etc.. Wikileaks doesn't have any of this, which is why they are not afforded the juridical protection that being a press organization entails. The juridical definition of press organization is to prevent any schmuck from setting up a blog, hacking their neighbors e-mail and publishing it all online under the guise of "freedom of press".

Since Wikileaks is basically just a glorified blog for publishing leaked or stolen documents to the public (which might constitute some sort of public service, I support), it should be prosecuted like any other organization that willfully aids and abets in the theft of classified information. What they do are much different from what journalists do when they interview whistleblowers or partake in illicit classified material, since a press organization is expected to weigh the publics desire for knowledge versus the potential consequences of releasing classified materials. Something Wikileaks has never done, as best exemplified by them releasing lists of all the interpreters working for ISAF in Afghanistan, which caused many of said interpreters to be killed by various insurgent groups.

I didn't realize that foreign intelligence operations pretending to be journalists have press freedoms.

I love how Democrats now hate Wikileaks for treating everyone equally, it's actually pretty hilarious how all it took was exposing the top to bottom corruption of the DNC for them to go from "untouchable heroes" to "irredimable villains" in their eyes. Really shows how much people who switched on that cared about the truth rather then partisanship.

This lawsuit will go nowhere. Wikileaks did nothing morally or legally wrong, and for the latter, there's too much precedent and legal protection already in place. This is just the DNC attacking anything that wasn't in their pocket during the 2016 election again.

Gethsemani:
There are a bunch of things you need to do to live up to being a press organization, such as follow press ethical codes, have a editor and a publisher responsible for what you write etc.. Wikileaks doesn't have any of this, which is why they are not afforded the juridical protection that being a press organization entails.

So wait, given how no outlet currently falls into this definition, does this mean the US legally doesn't have a press orginization in the eyes of the juditiary, or are orginisations which previously qualified grandfathered into protection?

The juridical definition of press organization is to prevent any schmuck from setting up a blog, hacking their neighbors e-mail and publishing it all online under the guise of "freedom of press".

I'm pretty sure press orginisations aren't allowed to hack into anything. The protection is just for revealing what is given to them, not to commit a crime in obtaining it. Once they get it it's theirs to do with as they please, but if they do something illegal to obtain it, that's still a crime and punishable.

It's why Wikileaks is so contentious in the eyes of so many in government and buiness, while those who give them information may have obtained it through illegal means, once they give it to the site, that's it, it's out there, and until someone actually disqualifies them as a press orginisation (which'll be very hard, nigh impossible, given its use by the press coupled with its perfect track record for accuracy) they are not only under no legal obligation to reveal their sources, but ethical ones not to.

Lil devils x:

That isn't an attack on Freedom of the Press, isn't that an attack on illegally obtained materials? If documents are illegally obtained through hacking, I do not think that is a situation of freedom of Press, it is a matter of it should be illegal to publicly release illegally obtained materials at all.

That should be in the same category of it being illegal to buy, sell or have in your possession stolen property.

If that was the case, the Pentagon Papers would have had everyone involved in their publication arrested for treason. Which granted almost happened, but didn't and set the precedent.

Zontar:

Lil devils x:

That isn't an attack on Freedom of the Press, isn't that an attack on illegally obtained materials? If documents are illegally obtained through hacking, I do not think that is a situation of freedom of Press, it is a matter of it should be illegal to publicly release illegally obtained materials at all.

That should be in the same category of it being illegal to buy, sell or have in your possession stolen property.

If that was the case, the Pentagon Papers would have had everyone involved in their publication arrested for treason. Which granted almost happened, but didn't and set the precedent.

Failing to arrest people does not set the precedent. They fail to arrest people all the time, that does not mean that simply because they didn't arrest a guy for murder that they will not arrest the next guy for murder. The law does not work like that. They can make the choice to prosecute each time something happens regardless of if they chose to do so the last time.

Meiam:
More than that wikileak was extremely partisan and was in communication with both Russian agent and people from Trump campaign. Some of the DNC email they leaked were also fake/doctored and it's likely they knew that when they did it.

While I agree with you wikileaks took a partisan approach to the email dump of 2016, do you have a source of the emails containing fakes/doctored? All the sources I've read only have people claiming inaccuracies without actually pointing out inaccuracies.

Lil devils x:
If documents are illegally obtained through hacking, I do not think that is a situation of freedom of Press, it is a matter of it should be illegal to publicly release illegally obtained materials at all.

That should be in the same category of it being illegal to buy, sell or have in your possession stolen property.

ALSO Hacking and leaking are not the same. The Emails were stolen, not "leaked". There is a difference.

Interesting opinion. The court heard a case that was very similar to this in Bartnicki v. Vopper. They ruled against you, holding "We think it clear that parallel reasoning requires the conclusion that a stranger's illegal conduct does not suffice to remove the First Amendment shield from speech about a matter of public concern." So in other words you could prosecute the people who stole the information in the first place. But as for the people who reported on it? Sorry, buddy, you're SOL (Sorta outta luck). If it's true and in the public interest, unless you can pull one of those super hard exceptions dealing with national security (like if I were going to publish the name of every undercover agent in the federal government), you can't get prior restraint on speech. As it should be.

Lil devils x:

Failing to arrest people does not set the precedent. They fail to arrest people all the time, that does not mean that simply because they didn't arrest a guy for murder that they will not arrest the next guy for murder. The law does not work like that. They can make the choice to prosecute each time something happens regardless of if they chose to do so the last time.

That wasn't "failed to arrest people", that was "the Supreme Court declared it to be legal". And the comparison to murder is absurd.

Lil devils x:

That isn't an attack on Freedom of the Press, isn't that an attack on illegally obtained materials? If documents are illegally obtained through hacking, I do not think that is a situation of freedom of Press, it is a matter of it should be illegal to publicly release illegally obtained materials at all.

That should be in the same category of it being illegal to buy, sell or have in your possession stolen property.

ALSO Hacking and leaking are not the same. The Emails were stolen, not "leaked". There is a difference.

The press aren't beholden to keep state secrets. Merely validate that it doesn't break rules against disinformation based on their own veracity.

Assange was merely in receivership of files and publushed them (as he argued) ... and that's not outside the purview of journalism. Journalists have always had sources, and I doubt those sources have always had 'express permission' to release documents.

Like video footage taken from a special operaor's gun or helmet cam cannot be doctored and said to be from somewhere else. Wikileaks, moreover, is international. Not U.S. based. The whole reason Assange (on specifically publishing materials) couldn't be arrested in Australia is because we had no laws of that nature. And it seems blatantly wrong for the U.S. to tell us what we should extradite people over despite not actually breaking our laws on journalism...

U.S. involvement in the Wars... or the tacitly broken nature of its politics that ultimately inflict upon us ... seem like perfectly valid reporter materials. Whether in Australia or the U.S.

Maybe you should lock up state secrets better, or ideally not commit war crimes.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

You know... you should lock up state secrets better, or ideally not commit war crimes.

"Ughhh, if it were for people like you, we'd never get to have any fun." - John Yoo, probably. I remember when I was a young neoconservative and I justified America's actions on the grounds that we were fighting an asymmetrical war and therefore the same rules didn't apply. As I got older, not only did I realize that this reasoning was sophistry but also dangerous. So basically we need to close down Gitmo and return the entire base to Cuba under some formal agreement.

I'd like to add on the point I made earlier: that while one can be arrested for possession of stolen property, you cannot be arrested for possession of the information conferred in that property. So if someone steals a book and then copies everything in it and sells the copy to me, I'm not in possession of stolen goods. Likewise, people who read and published the stolen emails were not in possession of the emails, but simply copies of the data. If you make it illegal to report on illegally gathered data, regardless of how it was acquired by the reporters, you're going to cause problems with the first amendment. SCOTUS has already realized this, thankfully.

Yeah, just releasing info you've been given shouldn't be illegal. Hammer whomever stole it, if you must, and bag on closet man for manipulating what exactly got released, sure, but it ain't illegal.

(Course, I think if you've come across info where your government is being an absolute shit, releasing that info shouldn't be illegal either, but I'm an idealist.)

Assange is a scummy asshole, but far as I know the only illegal shit he did before fleeing into a Ecuadorian closet is unrelated to Wikileaks itself.

CM156:

Addendum_Forthcoming:

You know... you should lock up state secrets better, or ideally not commit war crimes.

"Ughhh, if it were for people like you, we'd never get to have any fun." - John Yoo, probably. I remember when I was a young neoconservative and I justified America's actions on the grounds that we were fighting an asymmetrical war and therefore the same rules didn't apply. As I got older, not only did I realize that this reasoning was sophistry but also dangerous. So basically we need to close down Gitmo and return the entire base to Cuba under some formal agreement.

I'd like to add on the point I made earlier: that while one can be arrested for possession of stolen property, you cannot be arrested for possession of the information conferred in that property. So if someone steals a book and then copies everything in it and sells the copy to me, I'm not in possession of stolen goods. Likewise, people who read and published the stolen emails were not in possession of the emails, but simply copies of the data. If you make it illegal to report on illegally gathered data, regardless of how it was acquired by the reporters, you're going to cause problems with the first amendment. SCOTUS has already realized this, thankfully.

Yeah, but since when has the 1A actually legitimately defended a person from the Supreme Court? Espionage Act of 1917 (did they ever formally get rid of that?) comes to mind. And those targeted senators themselves, as well as journalists or the common, private members of the public.

I think there is a common understanding between the difference of private citizenry and public interest targets. Like a newspsper not publishing just anyone's medical records regardless of how they were obtained.

CM156:
return the entire base to Cuba under some formal agreement

Maybe not go that far, it's still a useful naval base, and so long as the reds remain in charge it won't exactly be in better hands.

Zontar:

CM156:
return the entire base to Cuba under some formal agreement

Maybe not go that far, it's still a useful naval base, and so long as the reds remain in charge it won't exactly be in better hands.

I question the legal basis on which we acquired it. I'm not saying we give it over right away. But I'm willing to say it should be given up in exchange for something. Perhaps a gradual opening up of the country? I'm just spitballing here.

CM156:

Addendum_Forthcoming:

You know... you should lock up state secrets better, or ideally not commit war crimes.

"Ughhh, if it were for people like you, we'd never get to have any fun." - John Yoo, probably. I remember when I was a young neoconservative and I justified America's actions on the grounds that we were fighting an asymmetrical war and therefore the same rules didn't apply. As I got older, not only did I realize that this reasoning was sophistry but also dangerous. So basically we need to close down Gitmo and return the entire base to Cuba under some formal agreement.

I'd like to add on the point I made earlier: that while one can be arrested for possession of stolen property, you cannot be arrested for possession of the information conferred in that property. So if someone steals a book and then copies everything in it and sells the copy to me, I'm not in possession of stolen goods. Likewise, people who read and published the stolen emails were not in possession of the emails, but simply copies of the data. If you make it illegal to report on illegally gathered data, regardless of how it was acquired by the reporters, you're going to cause problems with the first amendment. SCOTUS has already realized this, thankfully.

If they pay for any information, then it is then purchasing stolen property and should be considered the same as purchasing any other stolen property as far as I am concerned. Why would it be okay to prosecute people for theft of intellectual property even if they just use something that was stolen without the owners consent but not to prosecute for theft of intellectual property suddenly if the "press" uses it?

I See breaking into someone's email no different than breaking into their mailbox or the drawer of their desk in their home and it should be treated the same under the law. I feel in time, the laws will catch up to seeing that as the same. It is a federal crime to break into someones mail box or to possess that stolen property regardless of if you work for the press. I am not seeing that email should be treated different.

altnameJag:
Yeah, just releasing info you've been given shouldn't be illegal. Hammer whomever stole it, if you must, and bag on closet man for manipulating what exactly got released, sure, but it ain't illegal.

(Course, I think if you've come across info where your government is being an absolute shit, releasing that info shouldn't be illegal either, but I'm an idealist.)

Assange is a scummy asshole, but far as I know the only illegal shit he did before fleeing into a Ecuadorian closet is unrelated to Wikileaks itself.

According to Manning though Wikileaks pays for information. The reason they prosecute Pawn shops for knowingly purchasing stolen goods is to stop them from increasing the crime in the first place. Paying for stolen property is a crime. Using stolen intellectual property is a crime. If they are encouraging a crime by paying for information they know is stolen then they should be prosecuted the same as any pawn shop who knowingly buys stolen goods. If you purchase something knowing it was stolen you should be held accountable under the law as well.

Lil devils x:
If they pay for any information, then it is then purchasing stolen property and should be considered the same as purchasing any other stolen property as far as I am concerned.

Did anyone pay the Russian hackers who hacked the DNC? If so, you might have a claim against them, or at least the DNC would. But the people who got the information for free? No.

IP law is very different then what we're talking about, as first amendment issues don't come into play the same way.

It is a federal crime to break into someones mail box or to possess that stolen property regardless of if you work for the press. I am not seeing that email should be treated different.

You'd need to overturn a Supreme Court decision that says that as long as the press didn't cause the theft (or solicit it) they're free to publish what they want. Because otherwise you're engaging in prior restraint on speech just because someone else committed a crime. Also it's very hard in a digital age to tell reporters that the cannot report on the content of stolen (or leaked) information. Especially those located in another country. And if foreign journalists start reporting on it, it's even harder to say that domestic ones can't even report on the reporting of this (this is the method by which Israeli journalists skate by their country's harsh censorship laws).

Again, they're not possessing stolen property. They simply possess the information that it contains. If someone breaks into your mailbox, steals a letter, copies it, and then publishes it (assuming its of public interest, like proof that an elected official is taking bribes) then under the current law, the only crime that has been committed is the theft. You can't simply stop people from saying something true and in public interests just because the genealogy of the information is a bit sketchy. It's unconstitutional.

What I'm saying is: The law as it currently exists does not and has not ever to my knowledge recognized that possession of information gained illegally (so long as you weren't the party who gathered it illegally) as possession of stolen goods. Even for physical mediums.
Hell, if someone stole a bunch of files on American war crimes in Iraq and faxed them to every American journalists, your law would treat the faxed information as stolen goods and forbid reporting on it. That's nonsense.

CM156:

Lil devils x:
If they pay for any information, then it is then purchasing stolen property and should be considered the same as purchasing any other stolen property as far as I am concerned.

Did anyone pay the Russian hackers who hacked the DNC? If so, you might have a claim against them, or at least the DNC would. But the people who got the information for free? No.

IP law is very different then what we're talking about, as first amendment issues don't come into play the same way.

It is a federal crime to break into someones mail box or to possess that stolen property regardless of if you work for the press. I am not seeing that email should be treated different.

You'd need to overturn a Supreme Court decision that says that as long as the press didn't cause the theft (or solicit it) they're free to publish what they want. Because otherwise you're engaging in prior restraint on speech just because someone else committed a crime. Also it's very hard in a digital age to tell reporters that the cannot report on the content of stolen (or leaked) information. Especially those located in another country. And if foreign journalists start reporting on it, it's even harder to say that domestic ones can't even report on the reporting of this (this is the method by which Israeli journalists skate by their country's harsh censorship laws).

Again, they're not possessing stolen property. They simply possess the information that it contains. If someone breaks into your mailbox, steals a letter, copies it, and then publishes it (assuming its of public interest, like proof that an elected official is taking bribes) then under the current law, the only crime that has been committed is the theft. You can't simply stop people from saying something true and in public interests just because the genealogy of the information is a bit sketchy. It's unconstitutional.

What I'm saying is: The law as it currently exists does not and has not ever to my knowledge recognized that possession of information gained illegally (so long as you weren't the party who gathered it illegally) as possession of stolen goods. Even for physical mediums.
Hell, if someone stole a bunch of files on American war crimes in Iraq and faxed them to every American journalists, your law would treat the faxed information as stolen goods and forbid reporting on it. That's nonsense.

Manning claims Wikileaks pays for information, but Wikileaks of course is tight lipped about it. How are we going to find out if they were paid or not as long as their sources remain anonymous? If they are paying for the information as Manning claims, then they very well could be claimed to have been partially responsible for the theft.

I see possessing stolen mail as no different than possessing a stolen car. Using that car or profiting from that cars use is also considered illegal if you even suspect that the car was illegally obtained. When the police get involved, they return the stolen car to the owner and very well may prosecute the person who bought the stolen car from the thief.

I see the laws changing as technology changes and if hacking increases in order to provide the press with stories, I see the laws changing to address the issue as it is encouraging the theft in the first place if they know they can profit from it.

Were any actual illegal activities even revealed in the Hack? war crimes are a very serious issue that is a matter of life and death. I was not even aware of anything that was an actual crime that was revealed by the emails. Sure it showed that Debbie was jerk, but the reality is that no matter how much I love Bernie, we was an outsider, not even a Democrat running on the democrat ticket. I was surprised they even allowed him to get as far as he did. I for one welcome his takeover of the DNC, I do however, understand why the actual democrats there were going to put up a fight for it of course. I would expect nothing less from an active takeover in progress.

Lil devils x:
Manning claims Wikileaks pays for information, but Wikileaks of course is tight lipped about it. How are we going to find out if they were paid or not as long as their sources remain anonymous? If they are paying for the information as Manning claims, then they very well could be claimed to have been partially responsible for the theft.

That has to be proven by the plaintiff.

I see possessing stolen mail as no different than possessing a stolen car. Using that car or profiting from that cars use is also considered illegal if you even suspect that the car was illegally obtained. When the police get involved, they return the stolen car to the owner and very well may prosecute the person who bought the stolen car from the thief.

But not anyone who took information from the car (not something physical) and disseminated it. Nor anyone who repeated that information.

I see the laws changing as technology changes and if hacking increases in order to provide the press with stories, I see the laws changing to address the issue as it is encouraging the theft in the first place if they know they can profit from it.

Explicitally encouraging theft is already illegal and would not provide protection.

Were any actual illegal activities even revealed in the Hack? war crimes are a very serious issue that is a matter of life and death. I was not even aware of anything that was an actual crime that was revealed by the emails. Sure it showed that Debbie was jerk, but the reality is that no matter how much I love Bernie, we was an outsider, not even a Democrat running on the democrat ticket. I was surprised they even allowed him to get as far as he did. I for one welcome his takeover of the DNC, I do however, understand why the actual democrats there were going to put up a fight for it of course. I would expect nothing less from an active takeover in progress.

It doesn't matter if anything illegal was happening, the inner workings of the DNC are a matter of public interest. Matters not of public interest are narrowly drawn.

To be clear, I'm responding to your claim that:

it is a matter of it should be illegal to publicly release illegally obtained materials at all.

Which as has been established with caselaw, is a grievous violation of the first amendment.

CM156:

Lil devils x:
Manning claims Wikileaks pays for information, but Wikileaks of course is tight lipped about it. How are we going to find out if they were paid or not as long as their sources remain anonymous? If they are paying for the information as Manning claims, then they very well could be claimed to have been partially responsible for the theft.

That has to be proven by the plaintiff.

I see possessing stolen mail as no different than possessing a stolen car. Using that car or profiting from that cars use is also considered illegal if you even suspect that the car was illegally obtained. When the police get involved, they return the stolen car to the owner and very well may prosecute the person who bought the stolen car from the thief.

But not anyone who took information from the car (not something physical) and disseminated it. Nor anyone who repeated that information.

I see the laws changing as technology changes and if hacking increases in order to provide the press with stories, I see the laws changing to address the issue as it is encouraging the theft in the first place if they know they can profit from it.

Explicitally encouraging theft is already illegal and would not provide protection.

Were any actual illegal activities even revealed in the Hack? war crimes are a very serious issue that is a matter of life and death. I was not even aware of anything that was an actual crime that was revealed by the emails. Sure it showed that Debbie was jerk, but the reality is that no matter how much I love Bernie, we was an outsider, not even a Democrat running on the democrat ticket. I was surprised they even allowed him to get as far as he did. I for one welcome his takeover of the DNC, I do however, understand why the actual democrats there were going to put up a fight for it of course. I would expect nothing less from an active takeover in progress.

It doesn't matter if anything illegal was happening, the inner workings of the DNC are a matter of public interest. Matters not of public interest are narrowly drawn.

To be clear, I'm responding to your claim that:

it is a matter of it should be illegal to publicly release illegally obtained materials at all.

Which as has been established with caselaw, is a grievous violation of the first amendment.

Information would not have to be taken from the car to be comparable as the information itself could be considered intellectual property. Intellectual property should be considered no different than any other physical property.

It is not within ones first amendment right to profit from use of stolen property, intellectual or otherwise. Courts can very well order gag orders in cases of intellectual property and that is not a violation of the first amendment either.

Zontar:

It's why Wikileaks is so contentious in the eyes of so many in government and buiness, while those who give them information may have obtained it through illegal means, once they give it to the site, that's it, it's out there, and until someone actually disqualifies them as a press orginisation (which'll be very hard, nigh impossible, given its use by the press coupled with its perfect track record for accuracy) they are not only under no legal obligation to reveal their sources, but ethical ones not to.

They lack a publisher that's juridically responsible for what they publish. There, that was easy. This isn't about whether or not Wikileaks are accurate or releases illegal information (journalists can do both after all), it is about Seanchaids spurious claim that Wikileaks should qualify as a press organization. Which it doesn't by the juridical standards of what constitutes a press organization in the USA (or most of the world for that matter).

Gethsemani:

Zontar:

It's why Wikileaks is so contentious in the eyes of so many in government and buiness, while those who give them information may have obtained it through illegal means, once they give it to the site, that's it, it's out there, and until someone actually disqualifies them as a press orginisation (which'll be very hard, nigh impossible, given its use by the press coupled with its perfect track record for accuracy) they are not only under no legal obligation to reveal their sources, but ethical ones not to.

They lack a publisher that's juridically responsible for what they publish. There, that was easy. This isn't about whether or not Wikileaks are accurate or releases illegal information (journalists can do both after all), it is about Seanchaids spurious claim that Wikileaks should qualify as a press organization. Which it doesn't by the juridical standards of what constitutes a press organization in the USA (or most of the world for that matter).

Actually Sean's point is that "press organization" is a meaningless phrase juridically since the government does not have different standards for freedom of the press between individuals or organizations. You can say CNN has an editor or whatever, but it doesn't actually mean anything legally.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Lil devils x:

That isn't an attack on Freedom of the Press, isn't that an attack on illegally obtained materials? If documents are illegally obtained through hacking, I do not think that is a situation of freedom of Press, it is a matter of it should be illegal to publicly release illegally obtained materials at all.

That should be in the same category of it being illegal to buy, sell or have in your possession stolen property.

ALSO Hacking and leaking are not the same. The Emails were stolen, not "leaked". There is a difference.

The press aren't beholden to keep state secrets. Merely validate that it doesn't break rules against disinformation based on their own veracity.

Assange was merely in receivership of files and publushed them (as he argued) ... and that's not outside the purview of journalism. Journalists have always had sources, and I doubt those sources have always had 'express permission' to release documents.

Like video footage taken from a special operaor's gun or helmet cam cannot be doctored and said to be from somewhere else. Wikileaks, moreover, is international. Not U.S. based. The whole reason Assange (on specifically publishing materials) couldn't be arrested in Australia is because we had no laws of that nature. And it seems blatantly wrong for the U.S. to tell us what we should extradite people over despite not actually breaking our laws on journalism...

U.S. involvement in the Wars... or the tacitly broken nature of its politics that ultimately inflict upon us ... seem like perfectly valid reporter materials. Whether in Australia or the U.S.

Maybe you should lock up state secrets better, or ideally not commit war crimes.

We should take our own advice on that one. Though in fairness those filing cabinets were locked up pretty tight as they were sold for $10 a shot to Joe Public.

Fuck that whole thing was both tragic and hilarious.

crimson5pheonix:

Actually Sean's point is that "press organization" is a meaningless phrase juridically since the government does not have different standards for freedom of the press between individuals or organizations. You can say CNN has an editor or whatever, but it doesn't actually mean anything legally.

Publisher. As in, someone who is legally responsible for what the organization publishes, and thus be held responsible if it turns out the organization is breaking laws in regards to what they publish. A press organization actually operates under different laws then individuals. If someone handed me a bunch of classified military files and told me to stick them on my blog, I'm aiding in espionage (or similar), if someone hands a journalist the same files and they decide to publish, they are doing their job.

Now, if it turns out that the publication of those files by a newspaper was irresponsible (think the previous example of Afghani interpreters), the publisher can be held responsible for the consequences of their reporting. It doesn't mean the publisher gets sent to jail on espionage charges, like me, but that journalists are actually held to a different legal standard then the average Joe, in that the law is more lenient towards journalists working for established press organizations. Having editors of course helps in making sure your publications doesn't cause undue harm (something Wikileaks never cared about), which is one of the reasons why journalists get this leeway to begin with.

Lil devils x:

CM156:

Lil devils x:
Manning claims Wikileaks pays for information, but Wikileaks of course is tight lipped about it. How are we going to find out if they were paid or not as long as their sources remain anonymous? If they are paying for the information as Manning claims, then they very well could be claimed to have been partially responsible for the theft.

That has to be proven by the plaintiff.

I see possessing stolen mail as no different than possessing a stolen car. Using that car or profiting from that cars use is also considered illegal if you even suspect that the car was illegally obtained. When the police get involved, they return the stolen car to the owner and very well may prosecute the person who bought the stolen car from the thief.

But not anyone who took information from the car (not something physical) and disseminated it. Nor anyone who repeated that information.

I see the laws changing as technology changes and if hacking increases in order to provide the press with stories, I see the laws changing to address the issue as it is encouraging the theft in the first place if they know they can profit from it.

Explicitally encouraging theft is already illegal and would not provide protection.

Were any actual illegal activities even revealed in the Hack? war crimes are a very serious issue that is a matter of life and death. I was not even aware of anything that was an actual crime that was revealed by the emails. Sure it showed that Debbie was jerk, but the reality is that no matter how much I love Bernie, we was an outsider, not even a Democrat running on the democrat ticket. I was surprised they even allowed him to get as far as he did. I for one welcome his takeover of the DNC, I do however, understand why the actual democrats there were going to put up a fight for it of course. I would expect nothing less from an active takeover in progress.

It doesn't matter if anything illegal was happening, the inner workings of the DNC are a matter of public interest. Matters not of public interest are narrowly drawn.

To be clear, I'm responding to your claim that:

it is a matter of it should be illegal to publicly release illegally obtained materials at all.

Which as has been established with caselaw, is a grievous violation of the first amendment.

Information would not have to be taken from the car to be comparable as the information itself could be considered intellectual property. Intellectual property should be considered no different than any other physical property.

It is not within ones first amendment right to profit from use of stolen property, intellectual or otherwise. Courts can very well order gag orders in cases of intellectual property and that is not a violation of the first amendment either.

That opens a rather ugly can of worms. Who would be considered the "owners" of said information? I sort of get that you don't like people exposing the activities of the DNC, but you do realise that if we made information Intellectual Property, that other organizations could use that to their advantage? The church? Large corporations? Lets look at the catholic church paedophile scandal in Boston. There were several sources that acted as whistleblowers, and corroborated the stories of the journalist who exposed what happened. But under your law, those individuals wouldn't be considered the owners of the "IP." That would make their support illegal, and the church could sue to prevent information from being released. Your essentially asking for an end to whistleblowers, and the death of true journalism. Large institutions and corporations would cease to be scrutinized at all, and would threaten anyone who dared oppose them with their army of lawyers. We don't need a state where information is kept under a tight leash. We need an open and transparent society where information can be shared freely. Even by groups like wikileaks.

Seanchaidh:
The DNC lawsuit against (among others) Wikileaks seeks to punish Wikileaks for doing things that press organizations properly do. The success of the lawsuit relies on establishing a precedent which would thus harm press freedom.

Ahhh, wooo...gosh.

The question of whether or not Wikileaks is a journalistic enterprise is a really thorny one. Wikileaks lays claim to the same protections as journalists do, but it doesn't really "report" the news so much as...dump it all on the internet in its raw form. And it doesn't adhere to any of the normal rules of journalistic ethics that govern the use of - for example - illegally obtained information. Assange himself has flitter-fluttered conveniently between describing himself as a journalist or as a whistleblower whenever it suits him to be one or the other.

See, there are differences between being a journalist and being a whistleblower. A journalist is expected to investigate and report on the news, but is not permitted to break the law in pursuit of that news. A whistleblower is someone who is expected to break the law in the process of blowing the whistle, but who has a very compelling motivation in that they are doing so in order to expose illegal activity. The problem for a journalist who claims to also be a whistleblower is that the whistleblower already has legal access to the information, and thus already knows that illegal activity exists before committing the potentially-illegal data breach. A journalist who is investigating for information merely suspects illegal activity, and therefore is essentially gambling on whether or not the information they steal actually proves serious illegal activity.

Whistleblower protection legislation exists mainly to grant legal immunity to genuine whistleblowers, and journalistic codes of conduct exist mainly to prevent journalists from committing crimes - like tapping people's phones - while fishing for a story. Wikileaks has never really clarified which category they're in or if they're trying to be both at once. Compounding this is the problem that Wikileaks doesn't actually report on the information they find; they just publish it all, which is good for courts and investigators that need to pore over documents in detail but awful for the hundreds of people whose private correspondence is unnecessarily made public in a way that would not occur if it were a journalist handling the story.

And all of that isn't even getting into how Wikileaks is effectively controlled and edited entirely by one man with no editor, no publisher and no oversight - a man who has been holed up in an Ecuadorian embassy for years, who has final say over what does or does not get published on Wikileaks and who has been demonstrated to exercise questionable discretion on the subject.

tl;dr - it's not totally accurate to say that Wikileaks is doing "things that press organisations properly do", because most press organisations would not do any of the following:

a) unquestioningly publish emails that were almost certainly stolen by Russian intelligence;
b) fail to redact irrelevant personal information from the emails;
c) release the emails in a steady series of carefully timed, near-daily disclosures over the course of a presidential election cycle, instead of either dumping them all at once or reading them all to find out which ones indicate something important.

If Assange wants to be treated as a journalist, he should adhere to the rules of journalistic ethics.

Gordon_4:

We should take our own advice on that one. Though in fairness those filing cabinets were locked up pretty tight as they were sold for $10 a shot to Joe Public.

Fuck that whole thing was both tragic and hilarious.

Clerical errors happen. And if I remember correctly, weren't they just thinktank reports about various people?

Gethsemani:

crimson5pheonix:

Actually Sean's point is that "press organization" is a meaningless phrase juridically since the government does not have different standards for freedom of the press between individuals or organizations. You can say CNN has an editor or whatever, but it doesn't actually mean anything legally.

Publisher. As in, someone who is legally responsible for what the organization publishes, and thus be held responsible if it turns out the organization is breaking laws in regards to what they publish. A press organization actually operates under different laws then individuals. If someone handed me a bunch of classified military files and told me to stick them on my blog, I'm aiding in espionage (or similar), if someone hands a journalist the same files and they decide to publish, they are doing their job.

Now, if it turns out that the publication of those files by a newspaper was irresponsible (think the previous example of Afghani interpreters), the publisher can be held responsible for the consequences of their reporting. It doesn't mean the publisher gets sent to jail on espionage charges, like me, but that journalists are actually held to a different legal standard then the average Joe, in that the law is more lenient towards journalists working for established press organizations. Having editors of course helps in making sure your publications doesn't cause undue harm (something Wikileaks never cared about), which is one of the reasons why journalists get this leeway to begin with.

Well alright, publisher, you're still wrong. As Sean pointed out, press organizations don't receive additional protections in the US at least. They don't operate under different laws. The Supreme court has defended this numerous times.

Lil devils x:

That isn't an attack on Freedom of the Press, isn't that an attack on illegally obtained materials? If documents are illegally obtained through hacking, I do not think that is a situation of freedom of Press, it is a matter of it should be illegal to publicly release illegally obtained materials at all.

That should be in the same category of it being illegal to buy, sell or have in your possession stolen property.

ALSO Hacking and leaking are not the same. The Emails were stolen, not "leaked". There is a difference.

I have no love for Wikileaks, and I have a hard time stomaching them as a "journalism" operation.

However... I generally agree with the criticism of the DNC lawsuit. I think people would be surprised how much information the press gets is illegally obtained by sources, especially when it's national security-related information that's classified (Snowden revelations, Pentagon Papers, etc.).

I'm not disagreeing with the criticism of Wikileaks people have made here. I find the organization's conduct over the last few years to be outrageously unethical. But if the DNC is allowed in court to say who is and isn't a journalistic enterprise and who is and isn't allowed to publish "stolen" information, then that's going to set a dangerous precedent for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others.

And how long, after such a precedent is set, do you think it will be before Trump uses that to his advantage and starts criminalizing coverage of him and his administration?

P.S. Jesus, I can't believe I'm (at least partially) agreeing with Zontar, but there you have it.

bastardofmelbourne:
The question of whether or not Wikileaks is a journalistic enterprise is a really thorny one. Wikileaks lays claim to the same protections as journalists do, but it doesn't really "report" the news so much as...dump it all on the internet in its raw form. And it doesn't adhere to any of the normal rules of journalistic ethics that govern the use of - for example - illegally obtained information. Assange himself has flitter-fluttered conveniently between describing himself as a journalist or as a whistleblower whenever it suits him to be one or the other.

They don't even dump the info they have without coordinating with other entities. Which indicates a hidden agenda, which indicates that they're not journalists but rather an intel operation. Wikileaks coordinated the DNC e-mail dump with the Trump campaign. It was kind of obvious too. And Assange was in direct contact with Hannity (and that bad boy's been under counterintelligence surveillance for more than a year). Their intent had nothing to do with journalism. It was politically motivated. On top of that, does anyone really think that Wikileaks has the necessary manpower to go through thousands of e-mails and selectively leak them for maximum impact?

Adam Jensen:
Which indicates a hidden agenda, which indicates that they're not journalists but rather an intel operation.

Just like the majority of current news media then?

Literally cited two precedents directly refuting in two different ways the legal interpretations people are offering in favor of suing Wikileaks before they offered them. Unless I didn't notice, those precedents were not seriously engaged even once.

1)It's irrelevant whether Wikileaks is a press organization because freedom of the press is an individual right.
2)Wikileaks disclosures meet the standard of conveying information and opinion, thus they qualify as 'press' anyway.

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