Open Rights Group Leeds: 14 years in prison for doing journalism?! An in-depth look at the Espionage Act

Did you know that journalists and whistleblowers could soon be sent to prison for 14 years for exposing corruption and government wrongdoing?

Imagine living in a society where abuses of power, corruption and wrongdoing could go unreported and unchallenged - it could be closer than you think...

Join us on Wednesday 12th April to find out from Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, about what the new law means for journalists and whistleblowers and what you can do to stop the Law Commission's proposals.

About the Espionage Act

The Law Commission is advising the Government how to update the law about classified state secrets - they want a new Espionage Act to increase the penalties, and allow journalists handling secret documents to be treated like spies.

Their proposals would stop investigative journalism and public-interest whistleblowing concerning the secret state.

Would you risk 14 years in jail just for examining secret documents?

Whistleblowers and journalists wouldn't be able to use a public interest defence to protect themselves if they were prosecuted under the proposed Espionage Act. Instead, government staff would have to raise concerns internally. Journalists would have to turn down requests to investigate and report - or risk jail.

Journalists and whistleblowers wouldn't have to give the documents to foreign powers, cause harm or even publish the documents to be jailed for 14 years.

Event Details

Location: The Sovereign Suite, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Leeds, LS1 4AE.

Timings: Please arrive from 18:15, the event will begin at approx. 18:30, there will be the opportunity to socialise before and afterwards.

Our lead speaker for the evening will be Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, who will be providing an overview of the proposed law and its implications followed by a Q&A style discussion.

About the speaker:

Since joining Open Rights Group in January 2009, Jim has led numerous campaigns on digital rights issues, most recently against the Investigatory Powers Act (Snoopers Charter) and the Digital Economy Bill.

He was named as one of the 50 most influential people on IP issues by Managing IP in 2012. In the same year ORG won Liberty's Human Rights Campaigner of Year award alongside 38 Degrees, for work on issues from copyright to the Snooper’s Charter.

Before joining ORG, Jim worked as External Communications Co-ordinator of the Green Party. At the Green Party, he promoted campaigns on open source, intellectual property and digital rights. He was also a leading figure in the campaign to elect their first party leader, Caroline Lucas MP.

Sign the petition

Nearly 20,000 people have already signed the Open Rights Group's petition, demanding the Law Commission drop plans to criminalise journalists and public-interest whistleblowers. Speak up by signing the petition today! Thank you.

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