December 14, 2012

Jeremy Hammond: disclosure of Stratfor files a moral imperative protected by First Amendment

Investigation by internet is just another form of research, not a criminal act. Wikileaks’ media partners (see list below) that published the Stratfor (GIF) files have a moral responsibility to support Jeremy Hammond – the alleged source of those files and who is threatened with life imprisonment – given that they directly benefited from his investigation. Further, that there are millions of people around the world who similarly benefited from the publication of the Stratfor files clearly demonstrates that their disclosure was emphatically in the public interest and therefore protected under US law by the First Amendment.

The wider question, of course, is about the direction in which news publishing is heading. If journalists want to keep their heads down in case of prosecution by governments keen to retain their monopoly on information, then they should do nothing. If journalists want to ignore the advancements in new technologies as an aid to revealing truths, corruptions, crime, etc, then they should do nothing. If journalists cannot understand the connection between the material they publish and how they receive that material, they should do nothing.

They can, however, choose to do something – but they will need to do so as one voice. And not just those media partners that published the GIF files, or those media partners that published the Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diaries (both leaked by Bradley Manning, also facing possible life imprisonment) but all media outlets – for the US War on Wikileaks and its alleged sources will, if successful, detrimentally affect every news media in the world.

Note… In addition to the official Wikileaks’ media partners for the GIF files, there were many more media outlets that published articles quoting or referencing those files – these articles include ones published in the Daily Mail, the New York Times Examiner and Russia Today, to name but three.

Wikileaks media partners in GIF files release:

ABC Color – Paraguay
Al Akhbar – Lebanon
Al Masry Al Youm – Egypt
Asia Sentinel – Hong Kong
Bivol – Bulgaria
Carta Capital – Brazil
CIPER – Chile
Dawn Media – Pakistan
L’Espresso – Italy
La Repubblica – Italy
La Jornada – Mexico
La Nacion – Costa Rica
Malaysia Today – Malaysia
McClatchy – United States
Nawaat – Tunisia
NDR/ARD – Germany
Owni – France
Pagina 12 – Argentina
Philip Dorling – Fairfax media contributor – Australia
Plaza Publica – Guatemala
Publica – Brazil – Spain
Rolling Stone – United States
Russian Reporter – Russia
Ta Nea – Greece
Taraf – Turkey
The Hindu – India
The Yes Men – Bhopal Activists
Sunday Star-Times – New Zealand

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