UK Secrets Act Changes Preparing: Journalists Can Get Up To 14 Years In Prison For Stories That Shame The Government; They will be treated like foreign spies

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In Britain, preparations are being made to change the Official Secrets Act. Under this, journalists can face up to 14 years in prison for stories that embarrass the government. Not only this, they will be treated like foreign spies.

According to the Daily Mail report quoting Home Secretary Preeti Patil’s office here, journalists who handle leaked documents, found guilty under the new law designed to crack down on foreign spies, do not even defend themselves. will do.

Changes in the law made in 1989

  • Keeping in mind the impact of the Internet and especially this era of quick data transfer technology, necessary changes are being made in this law made in 1989. Human Rights Organization and Law Commission have prepared its blueprint.
  • They say that journalists should be given a chance to defend themselves, but in a paper released for consultation, the Home Office said that such a step can undermine our efforts, which will not be in the public interest.

criticism of the government
Critics say that if this rule were in effect now, the journalist who disclosed that Health Secretary Matt Hannock violated the Kovid protocol would have been prosecuted. In the leaked CCTV footage, he was seen kissing his colleague in the office.

He says that now the matter was revealed through leaked CCTV footage. In such a situation, action could be taken against the journalist who exposed it. After this revelation, Hannock had to resign from his post and his family relations also deteriorated. The government was also heavily criticized in the matter.

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Journalists’ organizations doubt the intention of the government

  • Censorship and open rights groups have also been among those criticizing the new laws. All of them have termed this new law as an attack on the whistleblower. A spokeswoman for the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) says the current law separates provisions and punishment between leakers or whistleblowers, leakers and foreign spies.
  • He says that the government is trying to bridge these gaps. The government wants the maximum punishment against journalists found to have leaked data be increased from two years to 14 years. NUJ has long held that where whistleblowers believe they have acted in the public interest, they should be entitled to have their say before the court and should be protected if a jury agrees with them.

government’s argument
The government says that when these laws were made, the means of communication were limited. The security and sovereignty of any country can be challenged in the blink of an eye by any kind of data today. As such, it is necessary to modify them.

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