The Snowden Reader

The Snowden Reader

The Snowden Reader

The Snowden Reader

Synopsis

Silver Medal, Current Events category, 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

When Edward Snowden began leaking NSA documents in June 2013, his actions sparked impassioned debates about electronic surveillance, national security, and privacy in the digital age. The Snowden Reader looks at Snowden’s disclosures and their aftermath. Critical analyses by experts discuss the historical, political, legal, and ethical issues raised by the disclosures. Over forty key documents related to the case are included, with introductory notes explaining their significance: documents leaked by Snowden; responses from the NSA, the Obama administration, and Congress; statements by foreign leaders, their governments, and international organizations; judicial rulings; findings of review committees; and Snowden’s own statements. This book provides a valuable introduction and overview for anyone who wants to go beyond the headlines to understand this historic episode.

Excerpt

Public disclosures of classified information have long played a role in U.S. national security politics, raising questions about secrecy in a democracy, the propriety of government actions, and the protection of civil rights. Until recent events, perhaps the most famous episode involved Daniel Ellsberg, a civilian Pentagon analyst, who released in April 1971 nearly seven thousand pages of a classified study called “History of U.S. Decision-Making Process on Viet Nam Policy” to the New York Times and the Washington Post. After the Times began publishing excerpts from what became known as the “Pentagon Papers,” the Nixon administration attempted to prevent the newspapers from publishing more classified information. The Supreme Court, in a striking decision, held that the U.S. government failed to satisfy the First Amendment’s requirements for imposing a prior restraint on freedom of speech. The government’s prosecution of Ellsberg for violating the Espionage Act also failed because evidence emerged of the government’s clandestine efforts to discredit him with documents obtained from burgling his psychiatrist’s safe.

In June 2013, another historic episode involving disclosure of classified information began when the Guardian, a British newspaper, began publishing stories about secret documents provided to it by Edward J. Snowden, who had worked as a private contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA). To much consternation in national security circles, these stories revealed that Snowden had made available to journalists a vast trove of material pertaining to the NSA’s surveillance and espionage activities. Snowden’s actions embarrassed the U.S. government, raised fears about damage to U.S. national security, sparked controversies about the possible abuse of civil liberties in the United States, and angered citizens and . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.