Julian Assange

Theory of Revised Julian Assange Indictment Could Apply to Ordinary Reporters

Under the government's theory in some of the charges, any reporter who knowingly prints certain kinds of government secrets could equally be prosecuted.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The revised indictment, just handed down today, contains three sets of charges.

1. Count 18, which was the one charge in the initial indictment, alleges that Assange tried to help then-Bradley Manning crack a computer password; had the crack succeeded, the leaker would have been harder to identify. I think this poses little by way of First Amendment problems: Journalists and other speakers don't have the right to help others break into offices, safes, or computers, even when the break-in would help reveal important information. And as a practical matter, I suspect that very few reporters actively help their sources crack passwords (even just to hide the sources' own tracks), just as very few reporters provide sources with lock picks or instructions on breaking into safes.

2. Most of the other counts focus on Assange's urging Manning to illegally leak information. Manning did commit a crime by leaking the information in violation of the duty that Manning had voluntarily assumed when going to work handling confidential government data. The government's theory is that Assange himself commited a crime by essentially soliciting Manning's crime.

This is a plausible theory: Usually, soliciting a specific crime—urging a particular person to kill another particular person, or to steal certain kinds of material, or to illegally leak certain kinds of information—is itself criminal, and unprotected by the First Amendment. "Offers to engage in illegal transactions are categorically excluded from First Amendment protection," and that applies to solicitation of such illegal transactions as well (U.S. v. Williams (2008)).

"To be sure, there remains an important distinction between a proposal to engage in illegal activity and the abstract advocacy of illegality"; abstract advocacy is much more constitutionally protected under the Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) test, which is limited to intentional advocacy or likely and imminent lawless conduct. But specifically asking a specific person for specific documents is not protected by the First Amendment, and parts of the indictment suggest that this is what Assange was doing:

After confirming that ASSANGE thoughtthey had value, on March 8, 2010, Manning told ASSANGE that she was "throwing everything [she had] on JTF GTMO [Joint Task Force, Guantanamo] at [Assange] now." ASSANGE responded, "ok, great!" When Manning brought up the "osc," meaning the CIA Open Source Center, ASSANGE replied, "that's something we want to mine entirely, btw," which was consistent with WikiLeaks's list of "Most Wanted Leaks," described in paragraphs 4-5, that solicited "the complete CIA Open Source Center analytical database," an unclassified (but nonpublic) database.

To be sure, some of the charged solicitations were aimed at the public as a whole, and not just at Manning, e.g.:

To further encourage the disclosure of protected information, including classified information, the WikiLeaks website posted a detailed list of "The Most Wanted Leaks of 2009," organized by country, and stated that documents or materials nominated to the list must "[b]e likely to have political, diplomatic, ethical or historical impact on release… and be plausibly obtainable to a well-motivated insider or outsider."

As of November 2009, WikiLeaks's "Most Wanted Leaks" for the United States included the following:

a. "Bulk Databases," including an encyclopedia used by the United States intelligence community, called "Intellipedia;" the unclassified, but non-public, CIA Open Source Center database; and

b. "Military and Intelligence" documents, including documents that the list described as classified up to the SECRET level, for example, "Iraq and Afghanistan Rules of Engagement 2007-2009 (SECRET);" operating and interrogation procedures at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; documents relating to Guantanamo detainees; CIA detainee interrogation videos; and information about certain weapons systems.

But it seems to me that calls to leak specific documents, even aimed at the public at large, would still be covered by the solicitation exception, rather than being mere abstract advocacy—just as calls to kill particular people or bomb particular buildings would be punishable solicitation, even if general abstract advocacy of revolutionary violence isn't.

This having been said, I suspect that many a reporter has urged a source to leak particular documents, whether they are national defense secrets, trade secrets, confidential documents that are covered under some private nondisclosure agreement, or something like that. Perhaps all of this is solicitation of crime, or at least tortious inducement of breach of contract or something like that (if the leak isn't itself criminal but just civilly actionable). Perhaps reporters shouldn't be allowed to urge such illegal behavior. But at least the theory in these counts, more than the one mentioned in item 1 above, might indeed affect a good deal of newspaper behavior.

3. But the most striking counts are counts 15-17, which allege, in relevant part:

From in or about July 2010 …, [Assange], having unauthorized possession of, access to, and control over documents relating to the national defense [such as leaked Afghanistan and Iraq war activity reports and State Department cables], willfully and unlawfully caused and attempted to cause such materials to be communicated, delivered, and transmitted to persons not entitled to receive them.

Nothing in this count turns on Assange's having helped or solicited Manning's leaks. Rather, it relies simply on Assange having published (in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 793(e)) material that he knew was improperly leaked and was related to the national defense within the meaning of the statute. To convict on these counts, a jury wouldn't have to find any complicity by Assange in the initial leak.

And reporters do routinely publish information that they know was illegally leaked by someone. In Bartnicki v. Vopper (2001), the Court made clear that third parties are generally free to publish material that they know was illegally gathered (there, by an illegal interception of a cell phone call), at least so long as the publishers weren't themselves involved in the illegal gathering (and so long as the speech is on matters of public concern). That would presumably apply to other kinds of improperly gathered or leaked information as well.

But the government's theory appears to be that this doesn't apply to illegal leaks of national defense information. (The Pentagon Papers case (1971) didn't resolve the issue, because it just overturned injunctions against publishing leaked information; a majority of the Justices left open the door to possible criminal prosecutions for such publication.) And indeed in U.S. v. Rosen (E.D. Va. 2006), the district court rejected a First Amendment challenge to the prosecution of two American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) employees, who received illegally leaked information and then forwarded it to various journalists:

[D]efendants here contend that the First Amendment bars Congress from punishing those persons, like defendants, without a special relationship to the government for the disclosure of [national defense information]. In essence, their position is that once a government secret has been leaked to the general public and the first line of defense thereby breached, the government has no recourse but to sit back and watch as the threat to the national security caused by the first disclosure multiplies with every subsequent disclosure.

This position cannot be sustained. Although the question whether the government's interest in preserving its national defense secrets is sufficient to trump the First Amendment rights of those not in a position of trust with the government is a more difficult question, and although the authority addressing this issue is sparse, both common sense and the relevant precedent point persuasively to the conclusion that the government can punish those outside of the government for the unauthorized receipt and deliberate retransmission of information relating to the national defense.

The charges were eventually dropped, though, so the case didn't yield an appellate precedent. The Assange case, I expect, will be much more likely to go up on appeal, and to draw broad public attention. It might thus affect prosecutorial and media practices much more than Rosen did.

Whether and when the First Amendment bars this sort of third-party, arms-length publication of national defense information is a complicated question. (Compare the statement in Near v. Minnesota (1931) that "No one would question but that a government might prevent actual obstruction to its recruiting service or the publication of the sailing dates of transports or the number and location of troops," and note that the government argues that the publications jeopardized specific people identified in some of the documents as having helped America and its allies—but consider also the value of allowing news outlets to act as a check on government conduct, which is especially important precisely when it comes to matters of war and peace.) Here, though, I just want to explain what is at stake in the new Assange indictment, which is much broader than the old one.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

68 responses to “Theory of Revised Julian Assange Indictment Could Apply to Ordinary Reporters

  1. A standard requiring a particularized showing of actual or likely damage to national security would make for a better balance. The old-fashioned notion of “intent” could also be revived.

    1. It’s a great thing that I found you, keep writing such stuff, which helps readers to evaluate themselves
      If you are facing Epson Error Code 0x97, when turning on your Printer If yes, then do not worry Call +1-888-633-7151 Toll-Free to Fix Epson Printer Error 0x97 on Mac and Windows. Or
      Do Visit us to get of the solution: https://www.printererrorsupport.com/blog/epson-error-code-0x97-mac/

  2. Re counts 15-17: I’d be curious to see your analysis of Douglas’ concurrence in the Pentagon Papers case. Using statutory construction, he argued that relevant statute bars “communication” which he claims in this statute is distinct from “publishing”.

    1. That distinction is, not to put too fine a a point on it, idiotic. Which means that it is consistent with most things Douglas wrote.

      1. Yep. Dumbest important legal figure in history.

  3. Well, since lawyer-client privlege and not allowing the government to endlessly filch through one’s papers don’t apply when the powerful seek to harm their political enemies, even though that’s why that stuff exists, why the hell not? No First Amendment for you if those in power rrrrrrrreally want to prosecute you.

    I mean as long as there are at least 6 or more r’s in “really”, that is. And there are 8 in this case. Wow!

  4. In regard to soliciting particular items, I would have thought it would fail Brandenburg’s imminence and liklyhood prongs. Both in that such a solicitation does not seem especially likely to deliver the goods and even if it does there is no time frame for doing so.

    1. Under U.S. v. Williams, the solicitation exception is a separate exception from the incitement exception (or, if you prefer, a special case of the separate speech-integral-to-criminal-conduct exception). It does not have an imminence prong — soliciting someone to kill someone months in the future would be punishable — and it probably doesn’t have a likelihood prong, either.

  5. […] much of the important news and information Assange provided.” — Eugene Volokh’s latest: “Under the government’s theory in some of the charges, any reporter who knowingly […]

  6. […] much of the important news and information Assange provided.” — Eugene Volokh’s latest: “Under the government’s theory in some of the charges, any reporter who knowingly […]

  7. […] much of the important news and information Assange provided.” — Eugene Volokh’s latest: “Under the government’s theory in some of the charges, any reporter who knowingly […]

  8. “Perhaps reporters shouldn’t be allowed to urge such illegal behavior. But at least the theory in these counts, more than the one mentioned in item 1 above, might indeed affect a good deal of newspaper behavior.”

    Indeed, but that’s a commentary on the way the journalistic profession has come to think itself above the law, not a reason to make urging specific illegal conduct legal.

    On 15-17 you’ve got a better case. I think it would go better for Assange if the leaks in question had been less voluminous and indiscriminate. It certainly appears that, if somebody gave him the number and location of troops in battle, or the nuclear launch codes, or something of that character, he’d publish it.

    Personally, I’m somewhat concerned about the extra-territorial nature of the prosecution: Acts that took place outside the territory of the US, and the person being prosecuted isn’t even a US citizen. I don’t see how our legal system properly has jurisdiction over him.

    1. Concerning the extra-territorial issue…

      I liken this to prosecuting foreign terrorists, drug dealers, and those involved in financial crimes.

      When the U.S. Government, corporations, or persons are victims, we can seek justice through our extradition treaties – and therefore bring the foreign person under our jurisdiction.

      1. Extradition will be the hurdle to clear before moving on to First Amendment considerations, and such requests from the US to the UK have taken as long as 13 years to resolve. Along the way they must pass the dual criminality test, now common in extradition treaties. More problematic here might be the political exceptions, where either the offense is political in character or the prosecution is politically motivated. The law concerning political offenses was laid out by the House of Lords in T v Secretary of State for the Home Department [1996] UKHL 8 (in an asylum context rather than extradition) as

        The general proposition, which I believe is binding on this House as a matter of English law, is known in the literature as the “incidence” theory. The essence of this is that there must be a political struggle either in existence or in contemplation between the government and one or more opposing factions within the state where the offence is committed, and that the commission of the offence is an incident of this struggle.

        which could very well encompass the activities of Wikileaks. I’d also point out that similar considerations have worked in the opposite direction when in the early ’80s the US refused to extradite members of the IRA accused of murdering British soldiers on the grounds that the murders were political offenses.

      2. I think the extraterritorial issue is more complex than that. True, if you plot some action directed against the United States, even if you are a foreigner located abroad, then there is a basis to assert jurisdiction over you. If Al Qaeda members plotted acts of terrorism in a cave in Afghanistan to be done in the U.S., then sure.

        But here, the third group of crimes (as presented by Professor Volokh), do not involve activity directed against the U.S. Someone else leaked classified information, with no assistance, connivance or encouragement from Assange. The crime here is publicizing information the govt. has classified as confidential. So in effect the govt. is imposing a duty on someone to keep its classified material confidential. That can work for a U.S. citizen or someone in the U.S. How does it work for a foreign citizen located abroad?

        IOW, the issue here is legislative jurisdiction, not personal jurisdiction.

        Consider a hypothetical. Someone in the CIA sends highly classified material in an email to someone else in the CIA. The wrong email address gets entered by mistake (darn that Outlook) and the email gets sent to a foreign citizen having no connection to the U.S. Is the foreign citizen obligated to keep it quiet? If he then discloses it on Wikileaks, can he be prosecuted? How does Congress have authority to require him to keep it secret?

        Not saying this is so clear, but I don’t think it is the same thing as directing criminal activity to the U.S. (like what is in the first and second groups of counts against Assange.)

        1. “Consider a hypothetical. Someone in the CIA sends highly classified material in an email to someone else in the CIA. The wrong email address gets entered by mistake (darn that Outlook) and the email gets sent to a foreign citizen having no connection to the U.S. Is the foreign citizen obligated to keep it quiet?”

          Or to turn it around, a KGB agent accidentally emails Dan Rather the secret file detailing how Trump is a long term Russian mole. Rather publishes the info. Do the Russians get to prosecute Dan Rather?

        2. When you ask “can he be prosecuted”, what authority are you looking to?
          The US continues to resist the ICJ infringing on its sovereignty so other than limits from treaties and the loose restrictions of customary international law what Congress can and can’t legislate is determined by US law, and its answer to your question is that as long as Congress evinced an intent that the law have extraterritorial effect then it does.
          If you are looking for a higher justification then I’d say that disclosure of classified information is presumptively harmful to the state, and it is a reasonable principle that the state may punish those who harm it. Of course, that doesn’t mean that any other state is obligated to aid in that punishment.

          1. Punish, yes, but that doesn’t mean our courts would have jurisdiction. Might be viewed as more in the domain of military action.

            1. Humberto Alvarez-Machain was accused of complicity in the murder of a US DEA agent, and was tried in the United States even though he was a Mexican citizen and the alleged crime occurred in Mexico. He did move for dismissal, but based on the lack of due process when he was abducted in violation of a US-Mexico extradition treaty.

    2. I would think it is because there can be multiple places a crime can occur. And at least in count 1 and the solicitation counts those locations would include the location of the other individual involved (i.e. Manning).

  9. […] much of the important news and information Assange provided.” — Eugene Volokh’s latest: “Under the government’s theory in some of the charges, any reporter who knowingly […]

  10. Two points:

    1. “. . . but consider also the value of allowing news outlets to act as a check on government conduct, which is especially important precisely when it comes to matters of war and peace.)”

    The press has no constitutional authority to act as a check on governmental conduct.

    2. Concerning the BARTNICKI reference, I would say that wouldn’t apply here because in BARTNICKI, the disclosure was of private (albeit potentially sensitive) conversations – not federal statutory-protected information.

    1. He said “value”, not “authority”. All the “authority” journalists have they get from the 1st amendment, and it’s no more and no less than anybody else has. (They tend to be in denial about that.) But it isn’t non-zero, it’s pretty substantial.

      Wikileaks has had substantial “value” in acting as a check on government conduct, because they’ve exposed some rather serious governmental malfeasance, such as rampant domestic spying. I’d hate to see them abolished for that reason, though it would be nice if they showed a bit better selectivity about what to publish.

  11. Does the reasoning in this indictment depend on a presumption that the executive enjoys an unlimited power to make government information and policy secret? Seems like you have to assume that everything the government says is secret is properly so, and that can’t be challenged either facially or as applied.

    1. Only material that is lawfully classified by a specified classification authority (original or derivative), is considered classified.

      It’s a structured process and no one can willy-nilly say, “This is classified because I say so.”

      Additionally, because the information is the property of the U.S. Government, the U.S. Government can make any rules it wants about how to protect information and under what conditions it can be released.

      1. “the U.S. Government can make any rules it wants about how to protect information and under what conditions it can be released.”

        At least, they can in regards to the conduct of federal employees and NDA signees. Such people acknowledge in writing that they’re subjecting themselves to the rules, and strictly liable if they violate them.

        In as far as rules applicable to the general populace, they’re rather more limited.

        1. The laws for the protection of classified information are equally applicable whether a person signs an NDA or not.

          Yes, a person who signs an NDA may receive a harsher penalty, but the law is the same.

          1. 18 USC §798 does apply to all persons with respect to classified cryptographic and communication intelligence information, but not other classified information.
            Meanwhile §1924 criminalizes the unauthorized removal or retention of all classified data, but only when an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States.
            So, you are correct that the effect of these laws don’t depend on an NDA, but a less careful reader of your assertion could understand you to imply that it is a crime for any person to disclose any classified data, and that is not the case.

            1. True on § 798 and we’d have to review what was released to see if it’s applicable.

              Also § 641 states: Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same [i.e. US records] with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted–. . . . Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. . . .

      2. So you don’t think government documents, however secret, are the property of the American people?

    2. And yes, there are procedures to challenge classifications, how whistleblowers should protect classified information, how to release classified information to members of Congress, etc.

  12. So, in addition to largely having the goods on Assange (sets one and two as related by the author) the DOJ is also trying to re-litigate the Pentagon Papers via set three.

    Yeah, I’m not surprised, but I also will not be surprised when they (again) lose that fight.

    Although, I would add, maybe ethical journalists being concerned with threats to the freedoms presented by charges like set three should exercise a little better judgement and no get involved in actions like sets one and two.

    Assange is giving them another bite at the apple. Blame him as well as them.

    1. Assange sucks, but I don’t know that I’d pile the DoJ using his suckiness to push their preferred legal narrative on him.

      1. Well, people with common sense should.

    2. “ethical journalists ”

      No such creatures exist.

      Invaders of privacy, defamers hiding behind “actual malice”, destroyers of lives for awards and raises.

      1. Life as a marginalized malcontent, and lifelong loser of the American culture war, must be tough. My condolences.

  13. […] much of the important news and information Assange provided.” — Eugene Volokh’s latest: “Under the government’s theory in some of the charges, any reporter who knowingly […]

  14. re: the assessment of Count 18, I respectfully think Prof Volokh is missing an important element. Prohibiting the providing information on how to do something is a clear First Amendment problem, even if the something is itself prohibited. That is, in fact, one of the principle defenses used in the 3D-printed-guns cases. It’s also the reason that we can get information about disfavored policy arguments such as legalizing drugs or abortions (on both sides of the debate).

    Information on how to crack a password is and ought to remain available on the Internet because there are many legitimate uses for that information. The use of that information for illegal purposes should fall on the illegal user alone, not on the provider of the information.

    1. How do I pick a lock?

      How do I pick this lock?

      Answering the latter is of concern.

    2. “. . . even if the something is itself prohibited. . . .”

      But in this case, the information wasn’t prohibited, it was protected.

      1. Perhaps my choice of words was unclear. The “something” in Assange’s case was cracking a password to break into someone else’s computer file. Breaking into someone else’s computer is prohibited. Nevertheless, providing information on how to crack a password should be protected.

        By the way, I reject ThomasD’s attempt to distinguish the First Amendment protection of information based on specificity. If that were the rule, then a youtube video about how to pick a generic lock would be legal but all the videos about how to pick a Masterlock Series 6835 would be illegal. That is not the rule and ought not to become the rule.

        1. No, the specificity is more than that. Someone says, I want to break into a house, can you send me information about how to pick the lock. That is aiding and abetting a crime, and I don’t think the First Amendment covers it.

  15. […] very few reporters provide sources with lock picks or instructions on breaking into safes,” argues law professor Eugene Volokh. He can even see some merit in the theory that Assange solicited […]

  16. […] very few reporters provide sources with lock picks or instructions on breaking into safes,” argues law professor Eugene Volokh. He can even see some merit in the theory that Assange solicited […]

  17. […] very few reporters provide sources with lock picks or instructions on breaking into safes,” argues law professor Eugene Volokh. He can even see some merit in the theory that Assange solicited […]

  18. […] much of the important news and information Assange provided.” — Eugene Volokh’s latest: “Under the government’s theory in some of the charges, any reporter who knowingly […]

  19. […] very few reporters provide sources with lock picks or instructions on breaking into safes,” argues law professor Eugene Volokh. He can even see some merit in the theory that Assange solicited […]

  20. Thank you Prof. Volokh for a really great summary of this situation. This posting is a fine example of why many of us read the Volokh Conspiracy every day. It’s readable, it’s supported by facts and analysis, and it covers a wide territory in two screens of text.

    Great.

  21. Since this case depends so critically on who is or is not a member of the press for 1st amendment purposes, what are the precedents? Is there a definitive legal definition of who is a journalist?

  22. I have long been concerned by the “press” and “journalists” asserting for themselves some special privilege in the First Amendment. I believe they stand in the place of the general public and have no more nor any less rights that anyone else. In that they stand as guardians of freedom of speech for the rest of us, especially since so much of the mainstream media consists of large multinational corporation well able to defend their “rights”.

    The age of Social Media makes it plain that any person may publish anything they have or obtain.

    If it is legitimate to criminalize knowingly passing on information legally classified and knowingly illegally obtained, the “press” may have a right not to be prevented from publishing that information but should face consequences for doing so and defending their decisions including challenging the legitimacy of the classification after the act.

    Members of the “press” have in the past asserted special privileges on the basis of the public’s “right to know” that included criminal acts such as trespassing, it is hard to see how that serves the cause of freedom of expression or places any limit of the actions of the “press”.

    1. Comments like this one generally come from folks with a political bone to pick. They don’t like which stories mainstream media print, and they don’t like which stories mainstream media choose to reject, so they want mainstream media taken down a peg.

      Such comments generally come from people who don’t understand that they depend heavily on information that an institutional press has the capability to discover and publish, but which an unaffiliated citizen journalist could almost never discover, let alone adequately publish. Which would be true even if the person doing the reporting were the same journalist, but working in different circumstances. To facilitate news gathering, the institutional nature of an institutional press matters greatly. To facilitate news usefulness, the enhanced publishing power of an institutional press matters greatly.

      This rsteinmetz (and Eugene Volokh) kind of commentary should never be mistaken for a defense of press freedom. On the contrary, it aims to narrow the scope of press freedom, to keep it limited to what one person can do on the internet, from his keyboard. In the process, it frees government officials, and business leaders, and other powerful figures, from the heightened scrutiny which only institutional publishing can deliver.

      That gets touted as a way to keep press freedom on the basis of equality. Never mind that it works the other way—opening a gulf of inequality between ordinary people and figures with power in society, for whom escape from institutional press scrutiny is personally empowering, and much to be welcomed.

  23. […] journalists avoid, such as publicly soliciting classified material (on the WikiLeaks website), asking for specific documents, and offering to help a source conceal his identity by cracking a government password. But these […]

  24. […] as very few reporters provide sources with lock picks or instructions on breaking into safes,” argues law professor Eugene Volokh. He can even see some merit in the theory that Assange solicited […]

  25. […] very few reporters provide sources with lock picks or instructions on breaking into safes,” argues law professor Eugene Volokh. He can even see some merit in the theory that Assange solicited […]

  26. I would be far more willing to accept the concept of “national security” being at risk if they didn’t do this kind of thing to every single fucking person who leaks information about anything.

    Snowden? Yeah. There should be ZERO ability to prosecute someone who leaks information about something that is patently unconstitutional. Fuck the FEDGOV. Until someone we can actually trust with the truth comes forward and reveals All the governments comings, goings, secrets, and everything but the actual national security risks, we should just assume the government is lying about everything.

  27. I think the appropriate rule is quite simple.

    If I illegally pass you classified information and you then take it to the Chinese embassy and hand it to them we are both guilty of espionage and should be prosecuted and punished.

    If I illegally pass a New York Times reporter classified information and he then writes an article disclosing it that is then published in the New York Times and a copy of the New York Times is then delivered to the Chinese embassy then I, the New York Times, and every individual knowingly involved in publishing that information is guilty of espionage and should be prosecuted and punished.

    Laundering classified information through the press instead of handing it directly to our enemies does not somehow immunize those involved from espionage charges.

    1. Your complete faith in the government is impressive.

      Have you ever heard about the Pentagon Papers?

  28. “Count 18, which was the one charge in the initial indictment, alleges that Assange tried to help then-Bradley Manning crack a computer password; … I think this poses little by way of First Amendment problems”

    It’s almost certainly a selective prosecution.

    1. This is the terrifying part of the article. Assange did not help Manning crack a password in any normal sense. He wasn’t actively engaged. In a text message or email between them Assange mentions using a Rainbow Table attack on the password hash. A known and useful cryptographic attack. This would be akin to me describing how to use a firearm and then being prosecuted when someone commits a crime with one. The author absolutely needs to wrap his head around what is actually implied by this charge.

  29. […] But I think we need to be very careful that we don’t let our disgust for that pathetic duo lead us to curtail freedom of the press. […]

  30. […] free speech expert Eugene Volokh put it: “Journalists and other speakers don’t have the right to help others break into offices, […]

  31. Could some of the counts be aimed at ensuring extradition?

    -dk

  32. […] Breadth of the Julian Assange indictment and implications for the First Amendment [Eugene Volokh] […]

  33. […] Breadth of the Julian Assange indictment and implications for the First Amendment [Eugene Volokh] […]

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.