WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Westminster Magistrates Court, after he was arrested in London, Britain April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo
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April 17, 2019: The Justice Department charges Julian Assange for helping to hack into a government database.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was indicted by the federal government for “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” for allegedly helping former U.S. Army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning hack into a government database.

The indictment alleges that in March of 2010, Assange agreed to assist Manning in “cracking a password stored on a United States Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol, a United States government network used for classified documents and communications.”

While Assange was not charged with publishing government secrets, some critics are concerned that the government might expand the charges once Assange is on U.S. soil. Free press advocates are concerned that some of the activity described in the indictment such a cultivating a source and/or protecting his or her identity could be categorized as criminal conduct, rather than as constitutionally protected journalist practices.

ACLU The New York Times

Documents & Resources

Julian Assange Indictment