In the case Supreme Court case New York Times vs the United States, it was determined by the court that the First Ammendment protects the press even if the information it publishes was illegally obtained or disclosed.

However, nevertheless, in the case of secret information the US has continued to threaten both individuals and news organizations concerning possession or disclosure of secret information. On one hand Greenwald has not been arrested or prosecuted for possessing classified data, but on the other hand there are rumors that the United States has secret warrants for the arrest of Julian Assange and intends to prosecute him for publishing secret information, even though he is not a US citizen (whereas Greenwald is a US citizen).

If the rumors are true, is this just an empty threat, or is there a legal basis for prosecuting Assange despite 403 U.S. 713.

1 Answer 1


It would seem for a cursory glance of Wikipedia that the U.S. alleges that Assange (or a subordinate of his) had contact with people who had intention to leak classified documents prior to the theft and subsequent publication of said documents. In addition, messages were exchanged where the wikileaks actor instructed the leaker on methods to remove the documents without alerting suspicion. This would possibly be a case of espionage or conspiracy to commit espionage.

At this time, I am not aware of Glen Greenwald having any prior contact or assisting in any way with Snowden's similar crime. Rather, after taking the documents, Snowden gave them to Greenwald who merely reported the contents.

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