US officials totally cool with classified surveillance leaks, long as it fits their story

Russian Military investigators stand near  debris of a Russian airliner at its crash site in north Egypt, Nov. 1, 2015. REUTERS

In the past few days there have been a flurry of stories about the Russian plane that crashed in the Sinai peninsula, which investigators reportedly think may have been caused by a bomb. Notably, anonymous US officials have been leaking to journalists that they believe ISIS is involved, and it’s a perfect illustration of the US government’s rank hypocrisy when it comes to the Edward Snowden disclosures.

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Chelsea Manning threatened with 'indefinite solitary confinement' for expired toothpaste and asking for a lawyer

The infractions she's charged with are so minor, it's hard to believe.

Journalists around the world voice support for Netzpolitik after outrageous 'treason' investigation

Reporters and press freedom advocates from around the world have signed on to support Netzpolitik and condemn the German government's outrageous investigation.

We're suing the Justice Department over FBI’s secret rules for using National Security Letters on journalists


Freedom of the Press Foundation this week filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department over their unpublished rules for using National Security Letters and so-called informal “exigent letters” to conduct surveillance of journalists. Read the rest

How you can contribute to whistleblower Chelsea Manning's legal defense fund

Chelsea Manning's extraordinary act of whistleblowing continues to enrich journalism, the public, and the historic record to this day. Chelsea is currently appealing her unjust conviction and 35-year jail sentence under the Espionage Act, but her legal team is deeply in debt. Freedom of the Press Foundation is helping to raise money for her appeal by offering a way for people to donate to her legal defense here.

Congress passes USA Freedom Act, the NSA 'reform' bill. What does it mean for your privacy?

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower whose actions led to calls to reform the agency's post-9/11 domestic surveillance activities.
While the bill has many significant flaws, it is historic: it’s the first time since the 1970s Congress has indicated its intention to restrict the vast powers of intel agencies like the NSA, rather than expanding them.

Justice Department contradicts Attorney General Loretta Lynch's claims about Patriot Act

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Loretta Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, speaks at a press conference to announce a 20-count indictment against U.S. Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY, 11th District) on April 28, 2014 in New York City. Grimm's indictments include wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiring to defraud the United States, impeding the Internal Revenue Service, hiring and employing unauthorized aliens, and health care fraud.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was just interviewed by CBS News, fearmongering about losing Section 215 of the Patriot Act if Congress fails to re-authorize it. Only problem for her is the DoJ's own IG just released a report today that directly contradicts what she said.

US officials leak information about the ISIS raid that’s more sensitive than anything Snowden ever leaked

Source: Institute for the Study of War
By The New York Times.
Over the weekend the US conducted a raid in Syria where they killed an alleged ISIS leader. Beyond the whole conducting-war-operations-in-a-country-we're-not-at-war-with question, the NYT published an interesting anecdote buried in their piece. It's about how they found out where this ISIS guy was located, and way more sensitive than anything Snowden leaked.

Petraeus receives no jail time for leaking. Whistleblowers face decades in jail.

General David Petraeus with his lover, Paula Broadwell, to whom the former CIA chief leaked secret material that would likely have landed a civilian in prison for life.
At the same time as David Petraeus got off with probation and a fine, the Justice Department has been pushing for extreme jail time for other leakers who talk to journalists—often over leaks of far less sensitive material.

US Congress to vote on 'cybersecurity' bills that are basically surveillance bills in disguise

Congress is expected to vote on two 'cybersecurity' bills sometime in the next week that are essentially surveillance bills in disguise. Trevor Timm writes in this editorial, cross-posted on the Freedom of the Press blog, about how they affect journalists and whistleblowers.

New version of SecureDrop, open-source whistleblower submission system originally created by Aaron Swartz

At Freedom of the Press Foundation, we’re excited to announce the release of a brand new version of SecureDrop, our open source whistleblower system which media organizations can use to communicate and receive documents from sources.

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The James Risen case and Eric Holder's tarnished press freedom legacy

The outgoing Attorney General raised eyebrows when answering a question about his Justice Department’s notorious crackdown on leaks, and by extension the press--most notably New York Times reporter James Risen.

Barrett Brown’s sentence is unjust, but it may become the norm for journalists

Jailed, in part, because he shared a link to a stolen document that he did not steal, and despite the fact that this is not a crime.

British spy agency intercepted emails of journalists, considers them 'threats' alongside terrorists and hackers

Newly published Edward Snowden leak shows British spy agency (and close NSA partner) GCHQ intercepted emails from many of the US and UK’s most respected news organizations.

If Petraeus is charged over leaks, feds may use same law they're going after Snowden with

The FBI and DoJ want to charge ex-CIA director David Petraeus for leaking classified info to his former biographer/mistress. The most likely law they'd charge Petraeus under? The 1917 Espionage Act. Just like Edward Snowden.

Obama’s Justice Department secretly helped kill FOIA transparency bill

U.S. President Barack Obama looks toward Attorney General Eric Holder. Justice Department investigators have engaged in aggressive tactics against journalists in recent months. [Reuters]

We’ve long known the Justice Department’s stance on transparency has been hypocritical and disingenuous. But they’ve really outdone themselves this time. Read the rest

Watch: 2 years before Snowden, Barrett Brown on why reporters should be covering intel contractors

Today, a judge in Dallas will decide the fate of journalist Barrett Brown, who is being sentenced in a case that has been fraught with controversy and deplorable conduct by the Justice Department from its beginning in 2013. Brown, who author Barry Eisler profiled earlier today, was one of the very few reporters covering intelligence contractors and their role in mass surveillance of citizens around the world for years before we ever heard the name Edward Snowden.

Director Brian Knappenberger, whose film The Internet's Own Boy was just short-listed for an Oscar, has released to us this previously unpublished outtake interview of Brown from his previous film We Are Legion. Brown's description of these shadowy contractors and the necessity of journalists to uncover their secrets is uncanny, given the interview was conducted almost two years before the first NSA leaks from Snowden. Watch Knappenberger's clip above.

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