In light of the recent and massive Panama Papers leak, attention is once more focused upon whistleblowers. When does exposing crime become a criminal act itself? What if government agencies and their employees don’t care about the law, and are in fact breaking the law? What are the limits of whistleblowing?
Twenty-five years ago, document leaks routinely involved a few dozen filefolders secretly copied over a few weeks on the office photocopier.
The nature of the leaks has changed. Today we are facing massive unauthorized releases of millions of pages. Innocent lives can be ruined. People can lose everything and even their lives under some conditions.
And yet, we are learning from the leaks that often the very agencies and people who are supposed to be upholding the rule of law and protecting citizens, are actively working to undermine our freedoms and rights and even commiting crimes for personal or other agendas.
Well worth your time to watch Ben Wizner at the Allard Prize forum, and to read the full article below at the Allard Prize website.
From the Allard Prize website:
Did Apple take on the FBI because of Snowden’s revelations?
On March 22, 2016, the Allard Prize and the Centre for Business Law hosted an open forum with Ben Wizner, Director of the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in New York City and principal legal advisor to National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Wizner’s presentation challenged the claims that Edward Snowden’s act of conscience had been in vain, that others would be foolish to follow his example, and that the growing movement for reform would not succeed. Wizner argued, instead, that Snowden’s disclosures had actually strengthened the institutions that are supposed to serve as a check on the reach of the American national security state, specifically the courts, the U.S. legislative branches, and the media.