However, the implications are much broader. Many investigative journalists have discussed with confidential sources, including national security sources, how to access information, how to take security precautions and how to avoid getting caught.
As Assange himself put it this week, speaking from his refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the US prosecution's argument involves a disturbing precedent:
"The precedent works like this: If you communicate with a journalist, then you communicate with a publisher, then you communicate with the public, then you communicate with al-Qaeda – so you communicate with enemies of the United States, and as a result your communications with a journalist must be punished by death or life imprisonment.
"If tolerated, that will lead to regimes where every US government source, when speaking to a journalist, must be concerned that they will suffer either the death penalty or life imprisonment as a result. Now having established that, the US government will have set the precedent that not only is the [source] indirectly communicating with al-Qaeda by communicating with the public, but the publisher and the journalist is as well. And therefore the publisher and the journalist can be embroiled in espionage charges."
Investigative journalism and espionage – the two are regarded as one and the same thing.
This can only have a chilling effect on journalism that is related to national security matters.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/pol...#ixzz2Vs0uW1Up