Internet Law

US Rep: Use Terror & Spy Laws to Probe WikiLeaks & Founder re Site's Dump of 250K State Dept. Docs

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After a dump of some 250,000 U.S. State Department cables by WikiLeaks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today called the incident an “attack” and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder promised a criminal investigation of those responsible for the release of the classified documents.

But the expected incoming chair of a congressional national security committee went even further, saying that the WikiLeaks probe should be prosecuted against the website under terrorism law and that an espionage statute should be applied to the site and its founder, Julian Assange, NPR’s It’s All Politics blog reports.

U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who is expected to be the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee in January, said the publication of the cables discussing diplomatic relations with various foreign countries and the war on terror, was “worse even than a physical attack on Americans, it’s worse than a military attack.”

Calling WikiLeaks “a clear and present danger to America,” King also said Clinton should try to declare the website a foreign terrorist organization, along with al-Qaida and Hamas, reports The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room.

Meanwhile, Assange says this is just the beginning: He next expects to focus the WikiLeaks spotlight on big business, specifically a big bank, reports Forbes in a Firewall blog preview of a magazine cover story on the WikiLeaks founder.

“We have one related to a bank coming up, that’s a megaleak. It’s not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it’s either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it,” says Assange in his interview with the magazine.

Related coverage: “US Soldier Faces Military Charges Over Wikileaks Video of American Attack” “Floyd Abrams on WikiLeaks: Secrecy, Even if Needed, Is a Dying Concept”

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