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US — #WeeklyAddress: October 15 – October 21: Former FBI agent receives four-year sentence for violating Espionage Act

first_img Follow the news on United States Receive email alerts News Journalists highlight limited press access on Secretary of State’s flight Former FBI agent Terry Albury received a four-year prison sentence on October 18 after pleading guilty to two counts of violating the Espionage Act last year. Albury was accused of compromising national security by taking and leaking dozens of FBI documents to the press concerning the agency’s guidelines for using informants, surveilling journalists, and other related tactics. Although the court did not identify the news outlet to which Albury disclosed the information, many believe the charges are linked to a series of reports published by investigate reporting outlet The Intercept. Prosecutors dismissed the claim Albury’s attorneys made stating the former agent disclosed information as an objection to the FBI’s alleged abuse of authority and discriminatory surveillance practices. Albury is not the first whistleblower to be sentenced to prison for violating the Espionage Act under the Trump administration; Former NSA contractor Reality Winner was sentenced in August to more than five years in prison for leaking confidential information to the press. Below are the most notable incidents regarding threats to press freedom in the US during the week of October 15 – October 21: Journalists have recently drawn attention to the limited number of reporters attending the State Secretary’s trip to Latin America on October 19. NPR Diplomatic Correspondent Michele Kelemen retweeted an image showing several empty seats on State Secretary Mike Pompeo’s flight, noting, “There were rarely free seats on trips I took during the Bush and Obama administrations. But this administration limits the number of reporters on board.” The Trump administration has received criticism for limiting press pools’ access to members of the administration, including during official travel. News Organisation The United States ranks 45th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index after falling 2 places in the last year. June 3, 2021 Find out more WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists Treasury Department employee arrested and charged with disclosing confidential records to reporters Help by sharing this information A Treasury Department senior adviser was arrested and charged in a New York federal court on October 17 with disclosing to the press confidential documents related to the special counsel’s probe into Russian election interference. According to the Justice Department, starting last October Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards had secretly provided a reporter with confidential information highlighting the financial transactions of President Donald Trump’s associates and others being investigated in the probe that may have involved illegal activity. Edwards saved documents on a flashdrive and sent images of them over an encrypted application to a reporter, according to court filings. This information has been referenced in at least 12 BuzzFeed News articles. Edwards has been officially charged with one count of unauthorized disclosures of suspicious activity reports and one count of conspiracy to make unauthorized disclosures of suspicious activity reports, both of which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison. On October 16 PEN America filed a lawsuit in federal court against President Donald Trump alleging that he has violated the First Amendment on at least four occasions by threatening to use government powers to punish his media critics. These violations, detailed in the organization’s public FAQ, include President Trump’s threats to use the Justice Department to disrupt a merger between CNN’s parent company Time Warner and AT&T because of his discontent with CNN’s coverage, and to have the federal government revoke the broadcasting licenses of television organizations that have criticized his administration. PEN America also argues speech has become “chilled” as a result of the president’s “retaliatory acts and credible threats.” In the suit, the organization has asked for a declaratory judgment, which would allow the court to rule that the president’s threats to use government power to punish speech violate the First Amendment. It also asks for the court to issue an injunction to stop the president from directing government agencies to retaliate against journalists. Former FBI agent receives four-year sentence for violating Espionage Act This isn’t the first instance in which the Times has enhanced security. The outlet, alongside many other news media organizations, increased security on the day of the Capital Gazette shooting in June. Other major organizations have also experienced security scares, including The Boston Globe, which received several death threats related to the op-ed campaign its editors led in August. to go furthercenter_img United StatesAmericas United StatesAmericas News At his October 18 rally, President Trump reiterated his praise for Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte for body-slamming Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs last May. President Trump positively described the incident in which Gianforte attacked Jacobs after the reporter asked a question regarding the politician’s stance on healthcare policy. “Any guy that can do a body slam—he’s my kind of guy,” the president said about the congressman, who pled guilty to misdemeanor assault last year. “He’s a great guy, tough cookie.” President Trump also said he initially feared Congressman Gianforte’s actions would ruin his chances at winning the congressional election before concluding: “‘Wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him.’ And it did.” Trump’s praise of the assault is of great concern to journalists and press freedom advocates, particularly given the recent controversy surrounding missing journalist  and US-resident Jamal Khashoggi, who was most likely killed by the Saudi authorities earlier this month. “To celebrate an attack on a journalist who was simply doing his job is an attack on the first amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it,” Guardian US editor John Mulholland said in a statement. NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say April 28, 2021 Find out more October 22, 2018 US — #WeeklyAddress: October 15 – October 21: Former FBI agent receives four-year sentence for violating Espionage Act For the latest updates, follow RSF on twitter @RSF_en. AFP Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says June 7, 2021 Find out more PEN America sues President Trump for First Amendment violations The New York Police Department installed barriers outside the New York Times headquarters on October 17 “as part of continuing efforts to enhance security,” according to a tweet Times reporter Hiroko Tabuchi published the same day. These barriers, she wrote, “aren’t a response to any specific threat.” President Trump praises Montana congressman for assaulting reporter at rally RSF_en New York Times requests security barriers outside headquarters Newslast_img read more

First Online Free Expression Day launched on Reporters Without Borders website

first_img Organisation March 12, 2008 – Updated on January 25, 2016 First Online Free Expression Day launched on Reporters Without Borders website News RSF_en Help by sharing this informationcenter_img Take part in the cyber-demo Reporters Without Borders calls on Internet users to come and protest in virtual versions of countries that are Internet enemies. It is also releasing a detailed report on cyber-censorship and a new version of its Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents. The new list of Internet EnemiesDownload the updated version of the Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-DissidentsReporters Without Borders has launched the first Online Free Expression Day today.“From now on, we will organise activities every 12 March to condemn cyber-censorship throughout the world,” Reporters Without Borders said. “A response of this kind is needed to the growing tendency to crack down on bloggers and to close websites.”“Today, the first time this day is being marked, we are giving all Internet users the opportunity to demonstrate in places were protests are not normally possible. We hope many will come and protest in virtual versions of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Cuba’s Revolution Square or on the streets of Rangoon, in Burma. At least 62 cyber-dissidents are currently imprisoned worldwide, while more than 2,600 websites, blogs or discussions forums were closed or made inaccessible in 2007.”The press freedom organisation added: “Our list of ‘Internet Enemies’ has also been updated with the addition of two countries – Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. And we are offering an new version of our Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents.”Reporters Without Borders learned last night that UNESCO has withdrawn its patronage for today’s Online Free Expression Day (read our press release).To denounce government censorship of the Internet and to demand more online freedom, Reporters Without Borders is calling on Internet users to come and protest in online versions of nine countries that are Internet enemies during the 24 hours from 11 a.m. tomorrow, 12 March, to 11 a.m. on 13 March (Paris time, GMT +1). Anyone with Internet access will be able to create an avatar, choose a message for their banner and take part in one of the cyber-demos taking place in Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, North Korea, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.There are 15 countries in this year’s Reporters Without Borders list of “Internet Enemies” – Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. There were only 13 in 2007. The two new additions to the traditional censors are both to be found in sub-Saharan Africa: Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.“This is not at all surprising as these regimes regularly hound the traditional media,” Reporters Without Borders says in the introduction to its report.“Internet penetration is very slight, but nevertheless sufficient to give them a few nightmares. They follow the example of their seniors and draw on the full arsenal of online censorship methods including legislation, monitoring Internet cafés and controlling ISPs.”There is also a supplementary list of 11 “countries under watch.” They are Bahrain, Eritrea, Gambia, Jordan, Libya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Unlike the “enemies,” these countries do not imprison bloggers or censor the Internet massively. But they are sorely tempted and abuses are common. Many of them have laws that they could use to gag the Internet if they wanted. And the judicial or political authorities often use anti-terrorism laws to identify and monitor government opponents and activists expressing themselves online.“The hunting down of independent thinkers online is all the more effective as several major western companies have colluded with governments in pinpointing ‘trouble-makers’,” the reports says. “US company Yahoo! apologised in 2007 for a ‘misunderstanding’ which ended in journalist Shi Tao being sent to prison for ten years. The company has been responsible for the imprisonment of a total of four Chinese cyber-dissidents. It was apparently willing to ‘obey local laws’ that forced it to identify Internet users deemed to be dangerous.”Finally, a new version of the Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents is available in French and English on the Reporters Without Borders website (www.rsf.org). It offers practical advice and techniques on how to start up a blog, how to blog for anonymously and how to circumvent censorship. It also includes the accounts of bloggers from countries such as Egypt and Burma.The cyber-demonstration was devised and produced by the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency. last_img read more