US – #WeeklyAddress June 18-24: Whistleblower Reality Winner to plead guilty under Espionage Act

first_img Organisation A new Trump administration directive tells US Geographical Survey (USGS) scientists they now must seek approval from their parent agency—the Department of Interior—before responding to most interview requests from reporters. It also allows the Department of Interior’s communications office to reject media requests on scientific subjects. This directive is a dramatic change for USGS scientists, who expect their expertise will be seen far less by the public as reporters will have to turn elsewhere for comments. United StatesAmericas Follow the news on United States News NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Supreme Court rules police can’t access cell phone location data without warrant Below are the most notable incidents regarding threats to press freedom in the US during the week of June 18-24: Whistleblower Reality Winner will plead guilty in federal court on Tuesday, June 26 for leaking classified information, making her the second person to plead guilty to such charges under the Trump administration. Charged in June 2017 under the Espionage Act for disclosing a classified document covering Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Winner has been in jail for the past year and could face up to 10 years in prison. Though the Trump administration has been outspoken in its intentions to aggressively pursue leaks, former-President Barack Obama prosecuted eight people under the Espionage Act during his time in office, more than any other administration combined. News For the latest updates, follow RSF on twitter @RSF_en. June 26, 2018 US – #WeeklyAddress June 18-24: Whistleblower Reality Winner to plead guilty under Espionage Act Law enforcement must now obtain a warrant to collect cell phone location history, the Supreme Court ruled on June 22 in the landmark Carpenter v. United States. The court reasoned that “because location information is continually logged for all of the 400 million devices in the United States—not just those belonging to persons who might happen to come under investigation—this newfound tracking capacity runs against everyone.” This decision has positive implications for journalists as they struggle to protect confidential sources under an administration that is particularly aggressive in leak investigations. April 28, 2021 Find out more Instagram temporarily removed ProPublica post about white supremacist June 3, 2021 Find out more Child separation incidents are manufactured according to Trump supporters On June 21 Instagram deleted an October 2017 Propublica video that identified members of a white supremacist group called the Rise Above Movement (RAM), saying it violated the platform’s terms of service. The movement has been responsible for violent attacks in at least four cities, including at the August 2017 “Unite the Right” protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. Instagram told ProPublica it violated its “community guidelines” but the exact reason the post was taken down is unclear. It’s possible the video was flagged by Instagram’s rules prohibiting hate speech, however Instagram adds exceptions to the rule, including a stipulation that says hate speech is allowed to be shared if the intention is to challenge the rhetoric or raise awareness. ProPublica’s editor-in-chief Steve Engelberg spoke out about the censorship in an interview with Business Insider, stating: “A platform that censors journalism because it cannot distinguish between racist rants and investigative reporting clearly needs to review its procedures. This is absurd.” Instagram has since reinstated the video. After weeks of criticism for the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the US-Mexico border, First Lady Melania Trump received backlash for wearing a jacket with the words “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” during her first visit to one of the shelters—a reference to the “Fake News Media,” according to a tweet by President Donald Trump.  The United States ranks 45th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index after falling 2 places in the last year. This explanation diverges from the initial response by the first lady’s spokesperson, who released a statement after receiving media pushback: “It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn’t going to choose to focus on her wardrobe.” According to a source close to the president, there was an “urgent meeting among communications staff about how to fix this after it was becoming a story.” Trump Administration tightens reporter access to federal scientists WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists KAREN BLEIER / AFP Receive email alerts Supporters of President Trump rushed to his aid at his June 20 rally in Duluth, Minnesota, claiming the news surrounding child separation at the border was exaggerated or even manufactured. A New York Times journalist on the scene tweeted about Trump supporters she met at the rally, including one woman who said she “has compassion for separated families but ultimately believes that the detainment center photos and videos are fake and photoshopped.” Certain pro-Trump news outlets have tried to spin the incident as well. In a June 17 interview with Fox News, conservative commentator Ann Coulter called the children at the border “child actors” and warned Trump not to fall for it. In the age of “fake news” and misinformation, accusations like these are all too common. Victims of the Parkland high school mass shooting in February were accused of being “crisis actors,” and Miami Herald reporter Alex Harris was impersonated on Twitter while covering the shooting as it unfolded by accounts under her name that were sharing offensive and inaccurate information. Help by sharing this information Documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times outlined a series of questions the Department of Interior must answer prior to approving interviews, including: “What questions does the reporter want to ask the scientist? How will the scientist answer the questions? What is the broader thrust of the story? Are there policy implications? Is there anything controversial?” This administration has attempted to restrict media access on a number of occasions; at a May 22 Environmental Protection Agency summit to discuss harmful chemicals which contaminated water nationwide, major news outlets were initially barred from attendance, resulting in one reporter getting forcibly removed from the meeting. Additionally, on May 10 Trump barred all American reporters in a meeting with top Russian officials at the Oval Office while allowing a state-sponsored Russian photographer to document the incident. Turkish reporter denied entry into Texas Lockheed Martin demonstrationDefense contractor Lockheed Martin denied reporter Ragip Soylu, a reporter for the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, access to a June 21 delivery ceremony of Turkey’s first F-35 fighter jet. Soylu was told prior to entering the reception that Department of Defense’s Joint Strike Fighter program canceled his accreditation on security grounds. In response to one of Soylu’s tweets about the incident, a Lockheed Martin employee responded: “Dumbass you can’t come into our plant because who are you?” A spokesperson for the Joint Strike Fighter program later apologized to Soylu, saying the incident was a result of “misunderstanding and disorganization” with Lockheed Martin. Trump calls Melania’s controversial jacket a reference to “Fake News” June 7, 2021 Find out more Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says to go further News United StatesAmericas News Reality Winner to plead guilty under Espionage Act RSF_en last_img

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