Chelsea Manning drafts her own privacy law from prison
Jailed whistleblower Chelsea Manning is not wasting her time behind bars – drafting a bill that would prevent the government from clamping down on others.
Private Manning, who announced her transition to female in 2013, is currently imprisoned in Fort Leavenworth military prison after leaking details of classified documents via Wikileaks.
The whistleblower is currently appealing her 35-year prison sentence and suing for her right to transition behind bars. The US Military has continued to refer to the data analyst by her former gender and former name and until recently blocked gender treatment.
However, the former data analyst is not letting her time behind bars go to waste.
In addition to recently taking up Twitter – which she operates by dictating tweets down a phone – Ms Manning has drafted a bill for the US congress.
The 31-page bill, titled the National Integrity and Free Speech Protection Act, would introduce a number of protections for journalists and their sources, protecting them from prosecution under espionage legislation.
It would substantially restrict the remit of the Espionage Act, as well as expanding public access to official documents.
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Explaining part of the bill, Manning says: “[It would] require the government to prove that the intention and motive of the accused in transmitting or communicating sensitive documents or information was to harm the government or someone else.
“It also requires that the government prove that an accused must have reason to believe that documents could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.
It also prevents security agencies “from compelling a journalist (‘covered person’) to disclose protected information, unless a US judge” determines it is in the national interest
She continues: “This effectively establishes a privilege for journalists to withhold confidential information unless and until a judge makes a through determination to compel disclosure under conditions that require a high burden of evidence in both criminal and civil matters.”
The bill is unlikely to be taken up by Congressmen or actually become law.
Manning recently warned that she is running out of money for her legal appeal.