As noted, dealing in illegally obtained private communications is practiced equally by Assange and NOTW. That's my comparison. On what grounds do you reject it?
Is there such a crime in the code, "dealing with illegally obtained information"? I don't recall such a law.
Regardless of it, my position is publishers must be absolutely free to publish whatever they get their hands on regardless of source, of course they could be held responsible on libel and defamation grounds but NEVER on grounds of "illegal obtention of information", what a toxic BS.
If it is the publicher who bug the phones, that's another matter.