Past Event

State of Silence: The Espionage Act, Politics, and Press Freedom

December 6, 2023
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Pulitzer Hall, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 World Room

Since the passage of the Espionage Act in 1917, the U.S. secrecy regime has expanded with no overall vision, limiting the press, restricting political dissidents, and keeping citizens in the dark.

After opening remarks from Jameel Jaffer (Knight Institute Executive Director), a panel of legal experts and journalists will discuss the contemporary politics of the Espionage Act, including its use in the prosecution of former President Trump, the ongoing efforts to extradite Julian Assange to the United States, and the prospects for reforming the act to reduce the harms it poses to American democracy. They will also discuss the forthcoming book State of Silence: The Espionage Act and the Rise of America’s Secrecy Regime (Basic Books, November 2023), by Sam Lebovic (Knight Institute Senior Visiting Research Scholar 2023-2024; George Mason University). A reception will follow the panel.

Opening Remarks

Jameel Jaffer, Knight First Amendment Institute


Sam Lebovic, Knight Institute Senior Visiting Research Scholar 2023-2024

Mary-Rose Papandrea, UNC Chapel Hill School of Law

Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept

Margaret Sullivan, Guardian US


Katy Glenn Bass, Knight First Amendment Institute

Co-sponsored by the Knight First Amendment Institute and the Columbia Journalism School.

Contact Information

Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University