Whistleblower Edward Snowden has condemned the US government over the arrest of Reality Winner, an NSA contractor accused of leaking top secret documents.
Winner, 25, was arrested by the FBI Saturday, hours after The Intercept published a secret NSA report alleging Russian interference in US voting machine software.
When asked to choose between a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, remember your history. https://t.co/ca7FTp4OSF
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) June 6, 2017
If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Following the Justice Department’s confirmation of Winner’s indictment, Snowden shared his take on the alleged whistleblower’s arrest through his Freedom of the Press Foundation, insisting the crime of “serving as a journalistic source” is something that “should outrage us all.”
“To hold a citizen incommunicado and indefinitely while awaiting trial for the alleged crime of serving as a journalistic source should outrage us all,” he wrote.
Reality Winner, arrested for alleged classified leak, is a former US Air Force linguist who speaks Pashto, Farsi & Dari, her mother tells me pic.twitter.com/SQjt13wRw6
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) June 5, 2017
Snowden went on to criticize the Espionage Act, a World War I-era law that facilitates the arrest and conviction of whistleblowers.
The law “explicitly forbids the jury from hearing why the defendant acted, and bars them from deciding whether the outcome was to the public’s benefit.”
Suspected Intercept reporter gave US government NSA whistleblower Reality Leigh Winner's post code, printout and her report number: pic.twitter.com/vW4RtQGSO6
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 6, 2017
WikiLeaks is currently offering $10,000 for information leading to the “public exposure and termination” of the Intercept reporter who allegedly passed on the leaked documents to a government official.