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Is Glenn Greenwald a Criminal?

Is Glenn Greenwald a Criminal? -- Zoë Carpenter, The Nation

In 1798, the Federalist Party leveraged fear of French spies and domestic traitors to pass the Sedition Act, making it a crime to publish "any false, scandalous and malicious writing" that would bring Congress and the president into "contempt or disrepute." Punishment ranged from six months to five years in prison and $5,000, a small fortune at the time. Several editors and publishers were prosecuted. Some newspapers folded, others were cowed into silence and at least one editor fled and continued to write in hiding. 

More than two centuries later Representative Mike Rogers, the Republican in charge of the House Intelligence Committee, has come up with a new way to silence reporters responsible for stories he considers threatening to national security. In a lengthy exchange in a hearing on Tuesday with FBI director James Comey about the documents leaked by Edward Snowden, Rogers suggested that because reporters are profiting from stories based on these stolen documents, they have committed crimes. The discussion is worth reading in full, but here's the key bit:

   ROGERSSo if I'm a newspaper reporter for-fill in the blank-and I sell stolen material, is that legal because I'm a newspaper reporter?

   COMEYRight, if you're a newspaper reporter and you're hocking stolen jewelry, it's still a crime.

   ROGERSAnd if I'm hocking stolen classified material that I'm not legally in possession of for personal gain and profit, is that not a crime?

Comey demurred, saying the question "could have First Amendment implications."

No kidding: While the government has gone after reporters for refusing to reveal their sources for stories based on unauthorized leaks, no journalist has ever been prosecuted simply for reporting a story based on classified information. Doing so would tip the balance between the government and the Fourth Estate dramatically.  

Is Glenn Greenwald a Criminal? | Common Dreams

Glenn Greenwald denies selling NSA documents“I’m never selling documents,” Greenwald said in an interview. “I don’t get money and give them documents, like, ‘Hey, nice doing business with you.’”

Greenwald said he has worked with news outlets around the globe to publicize newsworthy aspects of the documents Edward Snowden copied while working for the NSA in Hawaii. However, Greenwald said he and others working with him supply the foreign outlets with proposed articles and are not “fencing stolen material,” as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) argued at a hearing Tuesday.Read more:


Glenn Greenwald[email protected] 5h

Read here what an NSA official told @dandrezner about press freedoms and the 1st Amendment …

Stashed in: internet, security, International Incidents, Journalism, Digital Age

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