00:42 GMT21 September 2020
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    WikiLeaks is demanding an explanation after Google provided the private data of journalists to the US government in an espionage case against WikiLeaks.

    MOSCOW, January 26 (Sputnik) — Google provided emails and metadata of WikiLeaks staff to the United States government and failed to notify the targets for almost three years, the whistleblower organization announced on its website Monday.

    WikiLeaks Investigative editor, Section Editor, senior journalists and spokesperson received notices that Google handed over all their emails and metadata to the US government in response to warrants for conspiracy and espionage, WikiLeaks reports.

    The information handed over to the US government included all email content, including draft and deleted emails, contacts, metadata, and IP addresses connected to the accounts.

    WikiLeaks lawyers demanded an explanation from the US Department of Justice over “a serious violation of the privacy and journalistic rights of WikiLeaks' staff” and also from Google concerning its failure to immediately notify the targets of the warrants which allegedly prevented them from “protect[ing] their interests including their rights to privacy, association and freedom from illegal searches,” as it took the Internet-services giant almost three years to disclose the handover of the information.

    The whistleblower organization also noted that the US government is claiming universal jurisdiction to apply the Espionage Act, general Conspiracy statute and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to journalists and publishers making it possible to target the whole media organization as.

    The list of alleged offenses include espionage, conspiracy to commit espionage and others adding up to 45 years of imprisonment.

    Launched in 2006 by Julian Assange, WikiLeaks made its name by releasing scores of classified diplomatic and military documents from governments around the world, most notably about United States.

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    Tags:
    espionage, US Department of Justice, US government, Google Inc, United States
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