February 18, 2014, New York – In response to recent revelations by Edward Snowden of the NSA’s global effort to surveil, intimidate and target WikiLeaks, its publisher Julian Assange, and their associates, supporters and counsel, the Center for Constitutional Rights, U.S lawyers for Assange, issued the following statement:
These documents shed even more light on the Obama administration’s continuing attacks on bona fide journalists and whistleblowers, and confirm the administration’s attempts to criminalize and put a stop to the journalistic work of the WikiLeaks media organization. The U.S. government has been spinning a web around Assange, WikiLeaks, and their supporters in order to prevent the truth about government criminality, corruption and hypocrisy from being revealed. The U.S. tried to pressure other countries to do the same.These NSA documents should make people understand why Julian Assange was granted diplomatic asylum, why he must be given safe passage to Ecuador, and why he must keep himself out of the hands of the United States and apparently other countries as well. These revelations only corroborate the expectation that Julian Assange is on a U.S. target list for prosecution under the archaic “Espionage Act,” for what is nothing more than publishing evidence of government misconduct.The documents show that the NSA was considering designating WikiLeaks a “malicious foreign actor,” which would have authorized surveillance of all communications with the Assange/WikiLeaks website including communications of people in the U.S., including the Center for Constitutional Rights as U.S. counsel for Assange, in clear violation of his rights, particularly at a time when the U.S. was urging other countries to prosecute him.The documents show that the NSA has no hesitation in monitoring Americans' web surfing of news sites like WikiLeaks if those sites are deemed 'associated with malicious cyber activity against the U.S.'CCR will examine these revelations to determine if any legal action is necessary to put an end to this unlawful government activity.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.
February 18, 2014