Originally published September 1 2015
Return of the Stasi: Germany charges journalists with treason for quoting the government on social media surveillance
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) If you're feeling like the so-called "democratic" West is trending towards authoritarianism rather than espousing, embracing and, above all, protecting freedom and liberty, that's entirely understandable. You're not imagining it.
Consider what has been happening to the Internet in recent years – the most significant tool of communication and free expression to come along since the invention of radio and television. There are efforts by a whole host of governments to find ways to control or at least track what content is posted by citizens who were under the mistaken belief that they were free to do so.
Way back in 2010 Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, noted that because the Internet was used by Wikileaks to expose tens of thousands of secret documents and cables, it was likely that the ruling classes around the Western world would try to find ways to exert more control over the Internet.
Fast-forward to the present day. Just recently, the Obama Federal Communications Commission proposed new regulations that it didn't want the public to see or learn about, that essentially amounts to a federal government takeover of the Internet. Under the intentionally misleading mantra of "Net Neutrality," it is neither "neutral" nor non-obtrusive.
Curbs on freedom of speech
I reported on this issue in February 2015:
On February 26, a small group of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats -- three, to be exact -- voted to give the federal government the instant authority to reclassify the Internet from a free, uninhibited mode of communication and commerce into a "public utility" the same as your old phone company, so it can now be "better regulated" -- and all under the phony guise of making everything more "fair." Now, when Comcast or Verizon provide services to your home, they will have to do so "in the public interest," whatever that means.
But the U.S. isn't the only democracy seeking to undermine the free and open nature of the Internet; the German government is looking to do the same thing, just in a different manner – via the use of bullying scare tactics.
As reported by the news site DW, German prosecutors are currently investigating a pair of journalists for the extreme crime of treason:
The Federal Prosecutor General is investigating two German journalists suspected of treason for releasing confidential information online. Charges have been filed against the two reporters who run the blog, Netzpolitik.
Journalists Andre Meister and Markus Beckedahl were informed about the investigation in July; the pair published the official notification letter on their blog site July 30.
Prosecutors referred specifically to two articles that were published this year – one in February and the second in April – in which the reporters were believed to have quoted a report by Germany's domestic intelligence agency proposing to monitor the Internet, and social networks in particular (sound familiar?). The document allegedly referenced was categorized as "classified document-confidential," DW reported.
Germany seems to be devolving back into their former police state in regards to how they are treating these journalists. For other stories about the operations of the police state throughout the world go to PoliceState.news
Seeking to control information – like Obama
The news site quoted other German media as reporting that the Federal Prosecutor called in a consultant to help determine whether the document published was indeed a state secret. Also, other officials reportedly plan to determine who the unnamed informants were that supplied the document to Meister and Beckedahl.
If they are found guilty, they could face up to one year in prison.
"We are not witnesses, but as accomplices, we are as liable as our unnamed sources," the two journalists wrote. "It has been a long time since Germany acted against journalists and sources in such a manner."
Others are viewing the government's heavy-handed assault as an attack of press freedoms.
German journalists union DJV condemned the decision to launch an investigation, saying the process was "an inadmissible attempt to muzzle two critical colleagues," DJV head Michael Konken said. The union is demanding that all investigations against Beckedahl and Meister be stopped.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., as CNN has reported, the Obama administration has invoked the 1917 Espionage Act more times than any previous administration, in an attempt to control information and hide the administration's activities.
Not exactly ardent defenders of freedom, Washington and Berlin.
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