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Anorak | New Espionage Act says journalists are enemies of the State

New Espionage Act says journalists are enemies of the State

by | 15th, February 2017

What is the point of journalism if it can’t publish things people don’t want to be published? A new Espionage Act drafted by the Law Commission would, says The Register , make it a crime to report on big date leaks. Reporting on leaks would be viewed in the same legal framework as spying for foreign powers. Break the law and face 2 to 14 years imprisonment.

You’re not a journalist. You’re a traitor.

The Law Commission’s consultation paper  Protection of Official Data  says espionage is something ‘capable of being committed by someone who not only communicates information, but also by someone who obtains or gathers it’. There is ‘no restriction on who can commit the offence’.

And, no, reporting on a leak would not be in the public interest. The paper says the public interest is not a valid defence. The State will decide what the public is allowed to be interested in. Their own defence is that it’s a matter of ‘national security’. But what is and isn’t covered by that term is undefined. You get the impression it could be anything although not a need to hold power to account, a key tenet of any secure and democratic society.

So, if you know something is amiss in your arm of the State – if you want to blow the whistle on corruption and waste handing data to a journalist will land them in prison.

And

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Posted: 15th, February 2017 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink

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