Leaking or Spying?

R. drew my attention to this vexing article in yesterday’s New York Times: Adam Liptak‘s “Court Rulings Blur the Line Between a Spy and a Leaker.” An excerpt:

The federal government is prosecuting leakers at a brisk clip and on novel theories. It is collecting information from and about journalists, calling one a criminal and threatening another with jail. In its failed effort to persuade Russia to return another leaker, Edward J. Snowden, it felt compelled to say that he would not be tortured or executed.

These developments are rapidly revising the conventional view of the role of the First Amendment in national security cases. The scale of disclosures made possible by digital media, the government’s vast surveillance apparatus and the rise of unorthodox publishers like WikiLeaks have unsettled time-honored understandings of the role of mass media in American democracy.

Is it just me, or is contemporaneity becoming Orwellian far faster than I can keep up with?

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