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New documents leaked by former NSA employee turned whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA and GCHQ consistently spied on WikiLeaks in the past years, recording information regarding the people who accessed the site in the process, regardless of their citizenship

The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom targeted WikiLeaks and other activist groups with tactics ranging from covert surveillance to prosecution.

One document from Government Communications Headquarters, Britain’s top spy agency, shows that GCHQ used its surveillance system to secretly monitor visitors to a WikiLeaks site. By exploiting its ability to tap into the fiber-optic cables that make up the backbone of the Internet, the agency confided to allies in 2012, it was able to collect the IP addresses of visitors in real time, as well as the search terms that visitors used to reach the site from search engines like Google.

Similar surveillance activities have been considered for targeting Pirate Bay users (for copyright-related purposes,) as well as Anonymous hackers (to counter their attacks against U.S. targets).

Juliane Assange posted a message on WikiLeaks, calling for

“the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate the NSA, after documents show U.S. spying on WikiLeaks and its supporters.”

“These documents demonstrate that the political persecution of WikiLeaks is very much alive,”

“The paradox is that Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks organization are being treated as a threat instead of what they are: a journalist and a media organization that are exercising their fundamental right to receive and impart information in its original form, free from omission and censorship, free from partisan interests, free from economic or political pressure.”

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