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The Assange Indictment: Threat to a Free Press

Page history last edited by Jared Tayco 3 years, 10 months ago

The Assange Indictment: Threat to a Free Press?


Bastiaan Vanacker

July 8, 2019


 "Arranging The Case of Assange"  

First Impression:

Assange must be somewhat of a huge deal to create such a large issue to become a threat or somewhat controversial enough to be a question that answers if it's a threat to a free press or something.



"Responsible journalism, complete with the collection and vetting of information with the public interest in mind, will always serve the greatest good."


Reflection Proper: 

Crimes these day have been progressing to higher levels thanks to technology nowadays. In this article though, this one involves Julian Assange, the leader in a controversial website known as WikiLeaks, who was, according to the article, "indicted on 17 Espionage Act violations resulting from his procuring and publishing classified documents from Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning.", and also not to mention those charges have "superseded an earlier indictment which alleged that Assange assisted Manning in cracking a computer password in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)."

The entire article, in my opinion, made me think of this: when it comes to journalism, it always involves secret-collecting and publishing them so that the truth will be revealed to the world. In the modern world nowadays, secret-collecting is still the same as it has been since the beginning: it can be both beneficial and detrimental; for instance, secret-collecting in a good way would be digging some dirt on politicians or big shots that have been creating controversies and issues for years; the bad way would be digging dirt on everyone else without mercy; both of which can destroy lives and careers in the process, but it can be in a good or a bad way depending on how you perceive it.  In the case of Assange though, and I agree with the article, arguments involving the indictment are really just utilitarian and just leading us to where "articles such as the one exposing the NSA wiretap program will no longer be possible" -- in other words, we are getting to either nowhere or rather there is just going to be less info to be released due to the phobia of being sued. Such things like minor leaks or any type of leaks rather should be probably be rated and thus also be given an appropriate form of punishment; in Assange's case, since WikiLeaks involves huge data leaks and such, it's definitely the right thing to sue him due to the massive after-effects the website caused. Also, when it comes to journalism, we should be responsible when using it --- collecting the right information with the public interest taken into account and exposing to the world in the right way will always serve the greatest good of all; and when it comes to free speech though, one should know its limits though, for any word they say can and will used against them, so really do journalism, information collecting, and such things responsively.

5 Things Learned From Article: 


  1. I learned about Julian Assange.

  2. I learned about the numerous laws that can be used on certain crimes like data dumps.

  3. I learned about the complication when it comes to obtaining or soliciting information.

  4. I learned that journalists, when it comes to information, can be friend or foe.

  5. I learned that one should be responsible when it comes to big data and information.


5 Integrative Questions:


  1. What was Julian Assange best known for?

  2. What are the numerous laws stated in the article that somehow can be used to sue certain crimes such as in the case of Assange?

  3. How is acquiring or soliciting information, classified or not, complicated?

  4. Do journalists hesitate sometimes when it comes to their acquired information, knowing that it could destroy numerous lives and careers of people in the process?

  5. How does one be responsible in using big data or information that may involves secrets of some sort in modern society?


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