Journalists in Britain are becoming increasingly alarmed by the government's apparent determination to prevent them from fulfilling their mission to hold power to account. The latest manifestation of this assault on civil liberties is the so-called Espionage Act. If passed by parliament, it could lead to journalists who obtain leaked information, along with the whistle blowers who provide it to them, serving lengthy prison sentences.
According to the paper, anyone who communicates information deemed "to prejudice the United Kingdom's safety or interests," and anyone "who obtains or gathers it," will be regarded as having committed an offence. Moreover, it says that there will be "no restriction on who can commit the offence." It will apply to journalists and their sources: be they politicians, bureaucrats, or concerned members of the public who stumble across alleged secrets.
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