UK Official Secrets Act Proposals Take Cues From US Espionage Act Cases

Tuesday, 8 February 2022 — The Dissenter

BY MOHAMED ELMAAZI

British Home Secretary Priti Patel, a key official who supports expansion of the Official Secrets Acts (Photo from Priti Patel’s official Twitter account)

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The United Kingdom’s right-wing dominated government is on course to greatly expand its ability to prosecute and jail whistleblowers and journalists through amendments to the country’s Official Secrets Acts.

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New UK laws could criminalise journalism

30 May 2020 — Declassified UK

By Richard Norton-Taylor

The British government is pushing ahead with “espionage legislation” that could criminalise the release of public information and impose even stricter controls on the UK media as part of an “epidemic of secrecy”.

British journalists and their sources are facing an unprecedented assault on freedom of speech, including the prospect of criminal prosecution. Threats aimed at whistleblowers and journalists were evident before the coronavirus crisis struck, but went largely unnoticed.
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Reporters Without Borders accepts prize from journalist-killing regime By Ali Abunimah

29 May 2019 — Electronic Intifada

Reporters Without Borders is facing sharp criticism for accepting a prize from a regime that murders journalists.

The group, often known by its French initials RSF, received the Dan David Prize for “defending democracy” earlier this month at a Tel Aviv University ceremony attended by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

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Corporate Media Analysts Indifference to US Journalists Facing 70 Years in Prison

26 September 2017 — FAIR

For over two years, many in corporate media have been trumpeting the looming threat to a free press posed by Donald Trump. “Would President Trump Kill Freedom of the Press?” Slate (3/14/16) wondered in the midst of the primaries; after the election, the New York Times (1/13/17) warned of “Donald Trump’s Dangerous Attacks on the Press,” and the Atlantic (2/20/17) declared it “ A Dangerous Time for the Press and the Presidency.”

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Elite Media Need to Recognize Assaults on Reporters as a Pattern–and a Threat

25 May 2017 — FAIR

It is heartening at least that Montana newspapers withdrew their endorsements of Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte, after he grabbed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs by the neck for trying to ask him a question, slammed him to the floor and punched him repeatedly (Fox News, 5/24/17). More heartening would be a full recognition across elite media that the incident is far from isolated.

As Huffington Post‘s Michael Calderone (5/24/17), for one, pointed out, a Republican state senator in Alaska, David Wilson, reportedly slapped reporter Nathaniel Herz earlier this month over a story Wilson didn’t like; FCC security pinned reporter John M. Donnelly against a wall for trying to ask a commission member a question last week; and West Virginia reporter Dan Heyman was arrested May 10 for trying to ask a question of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who declared himself pleased with that outcome.

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UK Ministry of Defence rejects FOIA request for leaked 2001 security manual

2 December 2013 — Wikileaks Press

On October 9th, 2009 Wikileaks published the UK MoD Manual of Security Volumes 1, 2 and 3 – Issue 2, a 2389-page UK military protocol for all security and counter-intelligence operations, classified “RESTRICTED.” The document outlines instructions on how to deal with leaks, investigative journalists, Parliamentarians, foreign agents, terrorists & criminals, sexual entrapments in Russia and China, diplomatic pouches, allies, classified documents & codewords, compromising radio and audio emissions, computer hackers—and many other intelligence-related issues.

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VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 29 August 2013: Why did the IDF assassinate two Palestinian journalists?

29 August 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Settlers Attack, Wound, Two Palestinians Near Nablus
IMEMC – Palestinian medical sources have reported Thursday [August 29, 2013] that two resident have been injured in Qasra village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, after being attacked by a number of extremist Israeli settlers. …

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The Accelerating Assault on Journalism

27 August 2013 — FAIR Blog

Some media figures applaud the criminalization of investigative reporting

U.S. soldier Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning’s 35-year sentence represents the harshest punishment issued to date for providing media with evidence of government wrongdoing (Forbes8/21/13). She is the first whistleblower to be convicted under the Espionage Act, ratifying the new reality that those who give the press information that the government wants to keep secret will henceforth be treated as spies.

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David Miranda’s detention and the raid on Britain’s Guardian newspaper By Judy Hyland

24 August 2013 —WSWS

Events of the last week provide chilling confirmation of the police state apparatus built up by successive British governments on the pretext of the “war on terror.” They demonstrate how invocations of “national security” are used to justify anti-democratic conspiracies against working people and intimidate and punish anyone who dares to reveal the truth.

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