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

Californians, help defend the privacy of your digital devices. Tell law enforcement to get a warrant: https://eff.org/r.oyx

Sep 4 @ 12:58pm

FTC Commissioner @TMcSweenyFTC is right. Consumers need strong encryption: https://eff.org/r.vtyv

Sep 4 @ 12:44pm

A win: EFF has gotten access to the government’s policy on zero-days https://eff.org/r.olxv

Sep 4 @ 11:42am
JavaScript license information