Federal Leakers’ Aim to Jolt Public Discourse



Protest for Edward Snowden

In an era of friction-free web communication, more and more leakers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are coming out of the shadows and stepping out to the public to expose American secrets leaving people to guess at their motivations, agendas and states of mind.

Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former employee of a National Security Agency subcontractor admitted to one of the most significant thefts of highly classified secrets in U.S history this summer. The documents that Snowden turned over to the press revealed a massive program to gather U.S. telephone records into a database for anti-terrorism and counterintelligence investigations.

“The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong,” said Snowden in an interview with The Guardian.

The day after The Guardian’s first Snowden story, The Washington Post revealed leaked documents about PRISM, the program used by the NSA to access records at major…

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