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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The downside of Bartnicki

In a short post, Slate's Ben Mathis-Lilly considers that journalists (including himself) abetted (likely) Russian interference with the presidential election by publishing leaked information. All adhered to the legal and ethical proposition that journalists can, should, and arguably must publish truthful, lawfully obtained information on a matter of public concern. And those principles do not distinguish among information leaked by an idealist whistle-blower, a bureaucrat with an axe to grind, or a hostile foreign government--indeed, Mathis-Lilly questions whether it is possible to draw such lines.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on December 13, 2016 at 10:59 AM in First Amendment, Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


Wikileaks has insisted that its source is not from Russia but rather from a leaker, as is its usual habit. It isn't hard to imagine a disappointed Bernie supporter being the source. I suppose that doesn't rule out a Russian agent posing as a leaker, but if we are willing to entertain such theories, we may as well include the US spooks (vexed by Clinton's systematic disregard for secrecy procedure and therefore having clearer motive than the Russians) posing as a leaker.

Posted by: M. Rad. | Dec 18, 2016 11:03:20 PM

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