For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Josh Bell, 212-549-2666,

U.S. and U.K. Targeted WikiLeaks With Surveillance and Political Pressure, Documents Show

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government pushed other countries to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and Britain’s spy agency GCHQ collected data on everyone visiting the website, according to report today by The Intercept. The article, based on documents from Edward Snowden, also said that the NSA was considering ways to spy on the hacking group Anonymous and users of the file-sharing site Pirate Bay, even if the intercepted communications were only between Americans.

“This is a very troubling report,” said Jameel Jaffer, American Civil Liberties Union deputy legal director. “Publishers who disclose abuses of government power should not be subjected to invasive surveillance for having done so, and individuals should not be swept up into surveillance dragnets simply because they’ve visited websites that report on those abuses. Further, the United States should not be urging allied countries to pursue prosecutions that would be unconstitutional if undertaken here at home.”

There have been several instances in which people associated with WikiLeaks have been targeted by the U.S. government. One was David House, who had his laptop confiscated and searched because of his connection with the Bradley Manning Support Network. Another was Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of Iceland’s parliament who had her Twitter account records subpoenaed because of her support of WikiLeaks. The ACLU represented both of them in lawsuits challenging the government’s actions as unconstitutional.

This statement is online at:


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Share This Article

More in: