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Open letter in defence of Wikileaks

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Open Letter in Defence of Wikileaks (draft for comments)

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Open letter in defence of Wikileaks

  1. 1. Open Letter in Defence of WikiLeaks Journalists We the undersigned journalists and human rights defenders cannot remain silent while our colleagues and professions are under attack. We deplore the actions taken by Google against WikiLeaks journalists Sarah Harrison, Joseph Farrell and Kristin Hrafnsson as political persecution of journalists and journalism. We believe that free societies everywhere are best served by journalism and publishing that holds governments and corporations to account and guarantees citizens’ right to know. Such work is not espionage or terrorism; it is journalism. Our work cannot be done without privacy and freedom from fear of political persecution or retaliation. Search and seizure orders to obtain full, retroactive access to all private communications of journalists are not only disproportionate, they amount to political persecution. Journalists and citizens expect not only legal, but also ethical behavior from Internet service providers. Despite its supposed commitment to freedom of opinion and expression, Google appears to have provided all email content, metadata, contacts, draft emails, deleted emails and IP addresses connected to journalists accounts without protest. There is also no indication that Google fought the gag order, unlike Twitter has done many times. It is also unclear why Google redacted the search warrant before sending to WikiLeaks 2 years after the fact. We, the undersigned demand that: 1. The US government closes its criminal investigation of WikiLeaks, its staff and members; 2. Google provides a full disclosure as to what information was disclosed and a prompt response to its users as to why it collaborated in an investigation of espionage against journalists; 3. Google exercises its legal right to challenge gag orders in search and seizure warrants against a public interest group, journalist organization, lawyer or law
  2. 2. firm. General information: Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson, the same prosecutor that issued the arrest warrant for Edward Snowden, issued the search and seizure warrants for WikiLeaks journalists Harrison, Hrafnsson and Farrell. Document #1: Search & Seizure Warrant for Sarah Harrison, Investigation = Editor of WikiLeaks https://wikileaks.org/google- warrant/227-harrison.pdf Document #2: Search & Seizure Warrant for Joseph Farrell, Section Editor = of WikiLeaks https://wikileaks.org/google-warrant/228- farrell.pdf Document #3: Search & Seizure Warrant for Kristinn Hrafnsson, = Spokesperson of WikiLeaks https://wikileaks.org/google- warrant/229-hrafnsson.pdf The investigation against WikiLeaks is condemned by journalists and human rights/free speech organizations. In June 2014, over fifty press freedom and human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote to Attorney General Holder calling on the Justice Department to end its investigation against WikiLeaks, observing that it criminalizes the newsgathering process and puts all editors and journalists at risk of prosecution. Read the June 2014 open letter from over fifty press freedom organizations to AG Holder from June 2014: http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/37599/en/ letter-to-eric-holder-in-support-of-wikileaks