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Full-Text Articles in Law

Wikileaks And The First Amendment, Geoffrey R. Stone May 2012

Wikileaks And The First Amendment, Geoffrey R. Stone

Federal Communications Law Journal

FCBA Distinguished Speaker Series

In November 2010, Julian Assange's WikiLeaks collaborated with major media organizations to release thousands of classified U.S. State Department documents. American soldier Bradley Manning stands accused of leaking those documents to the website. In response, Congress introduced the SHIELD Act to amend the Espionage Act of 1917, making it a crime for any person to disseminate any classified information concerning American intelligence or the identity of a classified informant. Such sweeping language, while possibly constitutional as applied to government employees like Manning, is plainly unconstitutional as applied to those like Assange and WikiLeaks who subsequently publish …


Wikileaks And The Institutional Framework For National Security Disclosures, Patricia L. Bellia Apr 2012

Wikileaks And The Institutional Framework For National Security Disclosures, Patricia L. Bellia

Journal Articles

WikiLeaks’ successive disclosures of classified U.S. documents throughout 2010 and 2011 invite comparison to publishers’ decisions forty years ago to release portions of the Pentagon Papers, the classified analytic history of U.S. policy in Vietnam. The analogy is a powerful weapon for WikiLeaks’ defenders. The Supreme Court’s decision in the Pentagon Papers case signaled that the task of weighing whether to publicly disclose leaked national security information would fall to publishers, not the executive or the courts, at least in the absence of an exceedingly grave threat of harm.

The lessons of the Pentagon Papers case for WikiLeaks, however, are …