Federal prosecutors brought a new 17-count indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange is accused of violating the Espionage Act by helping former U.S. Army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning hack into a government database, and disclosing the stolen information on WikiLeaks. The new charges significantly expands on Assange's earlier charge of "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion." The scope of the charges against Assange raise concerns among legal scholars about First Amendment protections for publishers of classified information.
Certain charges in Assange's case might threaten legal protections afforded to those who report confidential information obtained by others.