Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wikileaks and National Security

Kate Kovarovic, American University College of Law, has published When the Nation Springs a [Wiki]Leak: The 'National Security' Attack on Free Speech, at 14 Touro International Law Review 273 (2011).

The WikiLeaks website has dominated global media headlines since June 2010, when it first released a series of documents speaking to national security issues. Since then, WikiLeaks administrators have overseen two further series of document releases, most recently in November 2010. Public condemnation of the website has only grown in this time, and both the website and its administrators have come under intense scrutiny in recent months. However, scholars and politicians have been far too quick to condemn the website for the illegality of its actions, often pushing for prior restraint of the documents under the national security exception to free speech. Although this exception has long been accepted under both domestic and international law, these politicians and scholars have improperly applied the standards of this principle. In more closely examining U.S. legal history relating to the national security exception, it is clear that the WikiLeaks website continues to function within its legal boundaries. This Article details the evolution of the national security exception in both national and international law, and later analyzes this principle in the context of the WikiLeaks releases. The Article then closes by exploring possible methods of inducing greater cooperation between government and media.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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