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Whistleblowers in an Era of Big Data Historical Background: - Daniel Ellsberg, Vietnam, and “The Pentagon Papers” - COINTELPRO and Intelligence Reform.

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Presentation on theme: "Whistleblowers in an Era of Big Data Historical Background: - Daniel Ellsberg, Vietnam, and “The Pentagon Papers” - COINTELPRO and Intelligence Reform."— Presentation transcript:

1 Whistleblowers in an Era of Big Data Historical Background: - Daniel Ellsberg, Vietnam, and “The Pentagon Papers” - COINTELPRO and Intelligence Reform in the 1970s Today’s Internet Age: - Julian Assange and WikiLeaks - Edward Snowden Exposes the National Security Agency

2 Broad Questions for the Day Do whistleblowers help or harm (or potentially both) international society? What does the rise of Big Data mean for individual privacy and government transparency? -What role will investigative journalism play in the electronic age? How do democracies handle the tension between SECURITY and LIBERTY?

3 Daniel Ellsberg – The Disillusioned Insider Excerpt from The Most Dangerous Man in America (2009) Worked for Dept. of Defense on Vietnam in mid- 1960s, initially supports the war Begins doubting the war’s effectiveness and its morality while at RAND Corp.

4 Ellsberg Takes Action Has access to secret Pentagon report on history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam Report portrays private U.S. pessimism about war in contrast to optimistic public statements 1969: Ellsberg makes photocopies and seeks outlet to expose duplicity – Does not leak diplomatic vols.

5 “The Pentagon Papers” Hit the Press Congressmen largely uninterested -exception: Mike Gravel (D-AK) Taken to New York Times; Concerns about prosecution by Espionage Act but still published in June 1971 Nixon admin. stops NYT; Other newspapers print instead; Court rules against Nixon injunction Exposes the “Credibility Gap”

6 Ellsberg on Trial Ellsberg and friend Anthony Russo put on trial for violating Espionage Act, theft, and conspiracy in summer of 1971 Mistrial due to “improper government conduct” (illegal wire-tapping, tampering with judge)

7 Unintended Result: The Watergate Scandal Nixon admin. (not implicated in Pentagon Papers) use “Plumbers” to break into office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist Wiretapping and break- ins precedent for Watergate that leads to Nixon’s resignation in 1974…and increases Credibility Gap further

8 Exposure of FBI’s COINTELPRO Program Also takes place in Vietnam War era COunter INTELligence PROgram J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI, and domestic spying on “subversives” On Hoover’s “Enemies” List: MLK and Civil Rights leaders, homosexuals, anti-war activists

9 COINTELPRO Shut Down in 1971 Impact of break-in of FBI office in PA in March 1971 – 1971 – new documentary by Laura Poitras, journalist in contact with Snowden Surveillance and other intelligence issues taken up by the Church Committee in 1975 – post-VN, Watergate – Frank Church (D-Idaho)

10 Church Committee: Review of U.S. Intelligence Agencies Investigated CIA, FBI, NSA, IRS, others Concern over opening citizens’ mail, intercepting telegrams Exposed CIA support for assassination of foreign leaders Substantial “mission creep” by agencies Result: OVERSIGHT - Intell. Cmtes formed in both houses of Congress, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and FISA Court

11 WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, the Hacker-Activist Established in 2006 by Australian Assange Role of Technology: layering/obscuring identity of leaker for protection WikiLeaks initially releases docs in full (no redactions)

12 WikiLeaks’ Major Leaks (2010) “Collateral Murder” video, Apr. Afghan War Diary, 91k docs, July Iraq War Logs, 400k docs, Oct. State Dept. Cables, 250k docs, Nov. – “Cablegate” largest leak ever – Released in collaboration with NYT, The Guardian (UK), and Der Spiegel (Germany) – U.S. gov’t does not stop

13 Source: Private Manning How discovered? Bragging to hacker Charged and Convicted in Aug under Espionage Act – 35 years in prison, dishonorable discharge

14 Diplomatic Fallout? Tunisia and Arab Spring U.S. Gov’t Concerned about: -Endangering assets/informants -Jeopardizing ongoing programs and negotiations -Embarrassing statements

15 Snowden and NSA Context Restructuring and Growth of Intelligence Agencies post-9/11 -Patriot Act -George W. Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping Washington Post’s “Top Secret America” series (2010): secret-america/

16 Edward Snowden – The Contract (Worker) Assassin Former CIA systems analyst and Booz Allen Hamilton employee contracted by NSA Leaks NSA information to few journalists, esp. Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian A Wanted Man: Hong Kong -> Russia Snowden in his own words, June 2013: https://www.youtube.com/wa tch?v=5yB3n9fu-rM

17 Revelations about the National Security Agency’s Mass Surveillance Brings Concerns about Privacy to the Forefront -spying on foreigners in U.S. PRISM – data mining , Social Media, and Cell Phones Justified targeting or pre-emptive dragnet? Gen. Keith Alexander, head of NSA -Snowden made U.S. less safe, helped terrorists -Lied to Congress about # of terrorist plots thwarted

18 Impact: International and Domestic Heightened domestic scrutiny and discussion about surveillance -The Security vs. Liberty conundrum Listening in on foreign leaders’ private cell phones – Angela Merkel of Germany – U.S. refuses to release Merkel’s NSA file, April 2014 Future Reforms by Obama Administration – FISA Court – A New Church Cmte?

19 More from Snowden’s Guardian The Guardian and Washington Post win 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Glenn Greenwald, now part of First Look Media and editor of its online “The Intercept” (https://firstlook.org/theinterc ept/) The Snowden Files by Luke Harding, who also wrote Inside WikiLeaks


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