The outrage at WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of secret State Department documents has come fast and furious on Capitol Hill. Now, the first hearing in response to the disclosure is on the schedule, with House lawmakers planning to consider an update to the 1917 Espionage Act on Thursday.
At a full hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, members will examine whether the nearly century-old statute provides sufficient cover for the Justice Department to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Meanwhile, some free-speech groups have warned that any effort on the part of the government to silence WikiLeaks would run into significant First Amendment issues. Datamation has the story.
On Thursday, a House panel plans to explore an update to a nearly century-old spy law as a path to prosecuting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange following his group’s release of thousands of classified diplomatic cables late last month.
House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) said the full committee hearing would consider the “Espionage Act and the legal and constitutional issues raised by WikiLeaks,” a preliminary step in the push to overhaul the 1917 statute.