Edward Snowden said the Justice Department declared "war" on journalism after accusing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of violating the Espionage Act.
Federal prosecutors filed a new 18-count indictment against Assange on Thursday, adding 17 counts to the single count that was unsealed in early April, alleging he unlawfully received and leaked information related to national defense.
Snowden reacted on Twitter. "The Department of Justice just declared war—€ not on Wikileaks, but on journalism itself. This is no longer about Julian Assange: This case will decide the future of media." he said.
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John Demers, DOJ's assistant attorney general for national security, said "Julian Assange is no journalist" and argued Assange was involved in "explicit solicitation of classified information," including leaks by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, called Assange's arrest in April "a dark moment for press freedom."
Snowden was charged by the Department of Justice on two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and one charge of stealing property of the U.S. federal government. The Russian government has granted him asylum status since 2013.