If you are just receiving information, journalistic protections are fairly powerful. But if you work too closely with the informant, then conspiracy can raise its head.
Let me give two examples (hypothetical):
1) Manning sends Assange the files unsolicited. Assange would be protected.
2) Assange discusses with Manning how to hide his involvement in the disclosure. The discussion might lean towards conspiracy.
The first was just receiving information. The second crosses the line from just transferring information to other activities.
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