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the department of justice on Thursday announced to seventeen new criminal charges against wikileaks founder Julian a signage saying he violated the espionage act by publishing classified military and diplomatic documents in twenty ten the new charges were part of an expanded indictment that says a sun jun lawfully obtained and published the names of classified sources and conspired with and assisted ex army intelligence analyst Chelsea manning in getting access to classified information the sun was initially charged with conspiring with manning to gain access to a government computer as part of a leak of hundreds of thousands of U. S. military reports and video from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq , sons now faces a total of eighteen criminal counts and could face decades in prison if convicted Thursday's announcement raises serious first amendment issues the ACLU said in a statement quote for the first time in the history of our country the government has brought criminal charges against a publisher for the publication of truthful information this is an extraordinary escalation of the trump administration's attacks on journalism and a direct assault on the first amendment the decision to charges songs with espionage crimes is unusual most cases involving the theft of classified information of targeted government employees like manning and not the people who publish the information itself the justice department said that not only did his son's aid and encourage manning with the theft of classified materials with that he also jeopardize the lives of human resources abroad by publishing their identities the sun has been fighting extradition to the United States since he was arrested last month after Ecuador revoked his seven year asylum in the country's London embassy