FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION
An article by Trevor Timm, Freedom of the Press Foundation (this article is reprinted according to the terms of Creative Commons)
Last week, the German government informed the popular news site Netzpolitik that two of its journalists were under investigation for treason for reporting on their government’s mass surveillance programs – in other words they were being investigated for doing their job. In the days since, protests were staged in Berlin that drew thousands of participants, and the Justice Minister has commendably fired the top prosecutor who originally brought the investigation. However, it’s still unclear if the investigation has been permanently closed.
Today, in a letter organized by journalist Marie Gutbub and security researcher and journalist Jacob Appelbaum, reporters and press freedom advocates from around the world have signed on to support Netzpolitik and condemn the outrageous investigation. You can read the letter in both English and German below.
The investigation against Netzpolitik.org for treason and their unknown sources is an attack against the free press. Charges of treason against journalists performing their essential work is a violation of the fifth article of the German constitution. We demand an end to the investigation into Netzpolitik.org and their unknown sources.
Die Ermittlungen gegen die Redaktion Netzpolitik.org und ihrer unbekannten Quellen wegen Landesverrats sind ein Angriff auf die Pressefreiheit. Klagen wegen Landesverrats gegen Journalisten, die lediglich ihrer für die Demokratie unverzichtbaren Arbeit nachgehen, stellen eine Verletzung von Artikel 5 Grundgesetz dar. Wir fordern die sofortige Einstellung der Ermittlungen gegen die Redakteure von Netzpolitik.org und ihrer Quellen.
[Click here for signatures listed as of August 5.]