On Monday, WikiLeaks’ lawyers have written to Google and the U.S. Department of Justice concerning a “serious violation of the privacy and journalistic rights of WikiLeaks’ staff, ” the Wikileaks website revealed.
This followed notices received by WikiLeaks’ Investigations editor Sarah Harrison, Section Editor Joseph Farrell and senior journalist and spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, from Google, saying the online giant had handed over all their emails and metadata to the U.S. government based on conspiracy and espionage warrants carrying up to 45 years in prison.
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WikiLeaks’ storied founder Julian Assange is still hiding from the law in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, to avoid a Swedish extradition charge on rape allegations. But until now, his government-exposing website has remained active, despite the virulent objections of the U.S. and many other governments.
Now the end might be near for the brave website, which some suggest has also jeopardized the lives of countless Western agents around the third world.
According to WikiLeaks, the warrants handed to Google reveal for the first time a clear list of the offenses the U.S. government is planning to prosecute against Assange and other WikiLeaks staff.
The U.S. government is claiming universal jurisdiction to apply the Espionage Act, general Conspiracy statute and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to journalists and publishers – which Wikileaks says would make a “horrifying precedent for press freedoms around the world.”
Assange, still WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief, stated: “WikiLeaks has out endured everything the Obama administration has thrown at us and we will out endure these latest ‘offences’ too.”