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Ear to the Ground

‘It’s Information Warfare Against Journalism, Against the Public’

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Posted on Mar 2, 2014

Photo by Editor B (CC BY 2.0)

“The state now wants to make sharing unapproved information a crime,” DSWright writes at FireDogLake. “Which is to say the stakes in the Barrett Brown case could not be higher.”

The author explains:

The government is pressing charges that carry up to 100 years in prison against Brown mostly for the “crime” of doing journalism. Which seems to be a pattern as the Obama Administration targets reporters along with whistleblowers. Only journalism that flatters the powerful is legal, journalism that brings truth to power is suspect. Leaks of classified information are fine if they are approved, treason if unapproved. Brown’s journalism was not only not state approved, it embarrassed the powerful and now he’s in jail.

The majority of the time Brown faces is for sharing one hyperlink. In a chat room, he posted a link to the customer database of Stratfor Global Intelligence hacked by Anonymous. That’s it.

Links are important; they are the fabric of the World Wide Web. In 2011, a State Dept. diplomat lost his top-secret clearance because he linked to WikiLeaks. (It’s worth mentioning that Quentin Tarantino is now suing Gawker for sharing a link to a leaked script.) Brown’s case could establish a chilling precedent in the U.S., one where technology reporters are even more afraid of linking to data dumps released by hackers than they already are.

… Yet, as of now, the corporate/mainstream media are essentially ignoring the case. Instead of shining a spotlight on such an open attack against a free press there is a practical blackout of information. Passing references to the case appear in elite media as if the case is irrelevant to the future of journalism, just some exotic happening in fly-over country that involves a nobody.

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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