December 16, 2010 | By Marcia Hofmann

Lawmakers and Legal Experts Call For Restraint in Wikileaks Hearing

The House Judiciary Committee held a surprisingly subdued hearing this morning on the legal and constitutional issues surrounding Wikileaks' publication activities. Committee members repeatedly emphasized the importance of protecting First Amendment rights and cautioned against overreaction to Wikileaks. The seven legal experts called to testify agreed, almost all of them noting that:

  • Excessive government secrecy is a serious problem that needs to be fixed,
  • It's critically important to protect freedom of expression and the press, and
  • The government should be extremely cautious about pursuing any prosecutions under the Espionage Act or any legislation that would expand that law, which is already poorly written and could easily be applied in ways that would be unconstitutional.

EFF agrees, and hopes that this hearing will dissuade the House from adopting rash legislation in the wake of Wikileaks' recent publications.

To learn more, take a look at the full video of the hearing, the witnesses' written testimony, and EFF's tweets throughout the morning.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Even when you win against a patent troll, you still lose. @factual beat a troll, but paid almost $1M in legal costs. https://medium.com/newco/beat...

Apr 28 @ 4:45pm

First post-USA FREEDOM FISA court ruling shows surveillance reforms still have a long way to go: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Apr 28 @ 4:33pm

EFF is proud to present The Crime of Speech, @ousfourita's study of laws restricting free speech in the Arab world. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Apr 28 @ 2:55pm
JavaScript license information