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JULY 2020

UK Media Outlets May Face Criminal Investigations If They Publish Leaked Documents

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UK Media Outlets May Face Criminal Investigations If They Publish Leaked Documents

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In the UK, police warn that media may be subject to a criminal investigation if they published leaked documents.

This became apparent after Metropolitan Police launched a criminal investigation into he alleged leak of diplomatic emails from the UK ambassador in the US, which were critical of the Trump administration.

Sir Kim Darroch stepped down as ambassador on July 10th, saying it was “impossible” for him to continue.

The US president branded him “a very stupid guy” after confidential emails emerged where the ambassador had called his administration “clumsy and inept”.

Announcing the police inquiry into the matter, Counterterrorism police unit leader Neil Basu warned against any further publication of leaked documents.

“The publication of leaked communications, knowing the damage they have caused or are likely to cause, may also be a criminal matter,” he said.

“I would advise all owners, editors and publishers of social and mainstream media not to publish leaked government documents that may already be in their possession, or which may be offered to them, and to turn them over to the police or give them back to their rightful owner, Her Majesty’s Government.”

Basu also urged the leakers of the already published documents to “turn yourself in at the earliest opportunity, explain yourself and face the consequences.”

British officials say they believe the leak was not a result of computer hacking and seems to have been carried out by an insider.

“I defend to the hilt the right of the press to publish those leaks if they receive them & judge them to be in the public interest: that is their job,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.

Jeremy Hunt is in a race with Boris Johnson for becoming the next UK Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson, a former foreign secretary, also said it would be wrong to seek criminal charges against the press for publishing leaked material.

“A prosecution on this basis would amount to an infringement on press freedom and have a chilling effect on public debate,” he said.

Most likely to reflect some of the ridiculous reasons citizens of the UK may end up in prison, the Guardian reported that inmates could be “handed the keys to their cells to incentivise good behaviour, as well as a series of other benefits.”

Ministers want to give prison chiefs the power to begin allowing inmates who follow the rules more time out of their cells, the freedom to cook their own meals and more time to spend in the gym, as well as the freedom to choose when to shower and more time to meet visitors.

Some prisoners could also be allowed to lock their cell doors when they wanted, though this could always be overridden by prison staff and the keys could not be used to open locked doors, the Ministry of Justice said.

The policy was announced on July 11th, by Justice Secretary David Gauke, said:

“This new framework gives governors the tools to set clear behavioural standards for prisoners – enhancing their ability to maintain stability while steering offenders away from a life of crime.”

The policy also called for prison staff to “consistently use verbal reinforcement for good behaviour and challenge poor behaviour outside formal reviews”, and handed prison chiefs the “freedom to increase the amount of time out of cell for recreational activities or exercise alongside education and work programmes.”

Regrettably, for the prisoners at least, the new rewards for good behavior don’t include paid TV channels and other “inappropriate incentives.”

One of the pushers of the new policy was prisons minister Rory Stewart, who said the following:

“Prisons must be places of safety, decency and purposeful activity to turn around the lives of those in custody. This new framework will give governors the tools to set clear behavioural standards for offenders under their watch, and the consequences should these not be met.”

But, naturally, having criminal proceedings and being sent to prison is only for those unfortunate enough to not be Tech Giants.

Since, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decided to give Facebook a slap on the wrist for the 2018 Cambridge Analytica privacy violations. The Social Media platform will be fined approximately $5 billion, which for the giant is practically peanuts.

As part of the agreement for the fine, Facebook will now reexamine the ways it handles user data, but the settlement will not restrict the company’s ability to share data with third parties.

Thus, very little in terms of any control on Tech Giants is expected to take place, while smaller media, and specifically conservative ones face criminal inquiries and even more censorship.

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  • Ishyrion Av

    Her Majesty’s Government resembles more and more with His Fuhrer Reich and Comrade Stalin’s Soviets!

  • liana sammartino

    not only UK, but US, Canada….the Anglo-Saxons are feeling the pressure of the geopolitical games not in their favor…

  • Tchoutoye

    Counterterrorism police unit leader Neil Basu warned against any further publication of leaked documents.”

    Publishing leaked information now being handled as if it were a terrorist act. A very worrying case of totalitarian mission creep in the increasingly failed state that is the UK.