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CPJ report: Obama administration’s war on leaks most aggressive since Nixon

A new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists analyses the Obama administration’s aggressive prosecution of leakers and Obama’s failure to uphold government transparency. The report includes focus on Edward Snowden, noting the US government’s “wide-ranging effort to have him extradited to the United States”.

The report also discusses the aggression against journalists who have worked with Mr Snowden, including Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, as well as efforts by the UK government to slow or stop the Guardian‘s publication of material revealed by Snowden.

Furthermore, the CPJ reports on the surveillance of journalists, quoting Oktavía Jónsdóttir of IREX: “Journalists who aren’t worried about their communications being monitored should be; if not, they could be putting their sources at risk.”

Read the full report: The Obama Administration and the Press: Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America

Article 19: Letter to Obama to stop the prosecution of Snowden

Originally posted 6 August 2013 on the Article 19 website

Dear President Obama,

We are writing to you as free speech and media freedom organisations from around the world to express our strong concern over the response of the US government to the actions of whistleblower Edward Snowden. We urge you to take immediate action to protect whistleblowers and journalists.

Edward Snowden’s recent disclosures have triggered a necessary and long-delayed public debate about the acceptable boundaries of surveillance in a democratic country, a debate that on 5 June you welcomed having. The revelations brought into question the legitimacy of the secretive process of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and closed Congressional intelligence committees as appropriate forums to determine the fundamental human rights of Americans and persons worldwide. The disclosures have clearly served the public interest, including by prompting similar debates in countries around the world.

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Amnesty International: USA must not persecute whistleblower Edward Snowden

Originally posted 2 July 2013 on the Amnesty International website

The US authorities’ relentless campaign to hunt down and block whistleblower Edward Snowden’s attempts to seek asylum is deplorable and amounts to a gross violation of his human rights Amnesty International said today.

“The US attempts to pressure governments to block Snowden’s attempts to seek asylum are deplorable,” said Michael Bochenek, Director of Law and Policy at Amnesty International. “It is his unassailable right, enshrined in international law, to claim asylum and this should not be impeded.”

The organization also believes that the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower could be at risk of ill-treatment if extradited to the USA.

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Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow

Originally posted Monday 1 July, 21:40 UTC on WikiLeaks

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice-President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

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