President Joe Biden is continuing with a diplomatic effort to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the United Kingdom, continuing an attempt from the Trump administration to prosecute Biden for journalism that embarrassed US elites.
Biden’s Department of Justice released a statement responding to a British court ruling declining an American request to extradite Assange, citing the Australian citizen’s mental condition and the likelihood of his own suicide if incarcerated in the United States’ punitive ADX Florence supermax prison.
“While we are extremely disappointed in the court’s ultimate decision, we are gratified that the United States prevailed on every point of law raised. In particular, the court rejected all of Mr. Assange’s arguments regarding political motivation, political offense, fair trial, and freedom of speech. We will continue to seek Mr. Assange’s extradition to the United States.”
The US government has maintained that Assange unlawfully published confidential information. No evidence suggesting Assange’s journalism endangered US military service members and federal personnel has ever emerged, leading many to question the political nature of the prosecution against Assange.
The US government has until Friday to file a notice of appeal in the decline of extradition. Assange has been incarcerated in HMP Belmarsh for allegedly violating terms of a computer hacking conviction in the 1990’s. The ruling against extradition makes it unlikely he’ll be sent to America to be prosecuted on espionage charges, but Biden’s government seems still determined to ram through the political prosecution.
Assange has been a target of the deep state and oligarchs for years, most prominently for exposing the rigged 2016 Democratic Primary that was orchestrated to box out Bernie Sanders and enshrine Hillary Clinton as the party’s nominee.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott Pledges to Outlaw Big Tech Censorship
Texas has had enough.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is pledging to outlaw Big Tech’s left-wing censorship, announcing his support of a bill in the Texas State Senate that would open social media monopolies to lawsuits from users at a state level.
State Senator Bryan Hughes Senate Bill 12 would provide legal recourse for users of Big Tech platforms who are banned from the services to return, designating Big Tech monopolies such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook as common carriers.
“They are common carriers and they cannot discriminate against people … it’s a violation of the first amendment,” Hughes said. “This is going to protect Texas’ free speech and get them back online.”
I am joining @SenBryanHughes to announce a bill prohibiting social media companies from censoring viewpoints.
It's un-American, Un-Texan, & soon to be illegal.https://t.co/zSdirRa1pj
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 5, 2021
“These are the areas that used to be the courthouse square where people would come and talk,” said Abbott of the legislation. “Now, people are going to Facebook and Twitter to talk about their political ideas, and what Facebook and Twitter are doing — they are controlling the flow of information, and sometimes denying the flow of information.”
“Texas is taking a stand against big tech political censorship. We are not going to allow it in the Lone Star state.”
The law establishing legal recourse against online censorship may prove legally durable enough to avoid breaching Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That law provides immunity for user-created content on internet platforms, and doesn’t give social media platforms a right to discriminate against active or potential users on the basis of political ideology.
The future for fighting Big Tech censorship lies at a state level. While some state Republican officials have proven reluctant to separate themselves from the lucrative business lobbies of Big Tech oligarchs, Hughes’ approach seems legally innovative enough to give free speech defenders a fighting shot at free expression online.
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