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A New Kind of Leaker for an Internet Age (NYT)
What does a leaker look like? Sometimes, people who reveal secrets remain in the shadows, and the public is left to guess at their motivations, agendas and states of mind. Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old man behind the recent revelations about the National Security Agency’s pursuit of phone and computer data, upended that history. He is a new kind of leaker of the wired age: an immediately visible one with a voice and the means to go direct with the public. In a era of friction-free Web communication, he disdained the shadows and stepped into view with a lengthy video interview he gave to The Guardian, which broke the story based on information he provided. He stated his motivation plainly, saying, “The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.” HuffPost / The Backstory The Guardian has labeled Snowden a whistleblower after the NSA contractor revealed himself Sunday as the source for several recent surveillance scoops. But some news organizations have been less quick to describe Snowden as a “whistleblower,” opting instead for terms like “source” or “leaker.” The Washington Post / Erik Wemple News organizations’ hesitancy to use “whistleblower” may well derive from the term’s meaning. According to this definition, a whistleblower is an “informant who exposes wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it.” Clearly Snowden was looking to stop something here, but whether it was wrongdoing depends on whether you’re director of national intelligence James Clapper or, say, a civil liberties advocate. The Guardian Snowden is a “hero” who has exposed “one of the most serious events of the decade — the creeping formulation of a mass surveillance state,” Julian Assange said on Monday. The WikiLeaks founder said the question of surveillance abuses by states and tech companies was “something that I and many other journalists and civil libertarians have been campaigning about for a long time. It is very pleasing to see such clear and concrete proof presented to the public.” The New Yorker / Daily Comment He is a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison. The American government, and its democracy, are flawed institutions. But our system offers legal options to disgruntled government employees and contractors. They can take advantage of federal whistleblower laws; they can bring their complaints to Congress; they can try to protest within the institutions where they work. But Snowden did none of this. Instead, in an act that speaks more to his ego than his conscience, he threw the secrets he knew up in the air — and trusted, somehow, that good would come of it. We all now have to hope that he’s right. Read more
Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’
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Atlantic Media’s new military and defense site — Defense One — has an editor. Kevin Baron, most recently Foreign Policy’s national security reporter and E-Ring blog author, is joining the site as its executive editor.
“Atlantic Media, with its commitment to high quality journalism and a digital pedigree, is the right media company to address the evolving needs of this community into the future,” said Baron, in a statement. “I could not be more pleased to join this important venture.”
Baron is also the vice president of the Pentagon Press Association and a two-time George Polk Award winner.
With the Oscars now over, let’s continue the self-congratulatory awards news with The American Society of Magazine Editors’ Digital Ellies finalists. Leading the way with 10 nominations is Condé Nast. Golf Digest, GQ, The New Yorker and Wired were selected for doing great things in the digital realm.
Runner-up was Time Inc.with six nominations for Cooking Light, EW.com, People, Sports Illustrated and Time. The Washington Post Company held down third place with four nods for Foreign Policy and Slate.
Below is the full list of finalists. If you happen to work at one of these publications, pat yourself on the back and be sure to humblebrag about it on Twitter.
For Slate.com, it set a record of 15 million unique visits, and broke the 100 million page view mark for the first time. The Week’s website set records for unique visitors at 1.86 million, and hit an all-time high with seven million page views.
Foreign Policy’s site did well too. It set a record for unique views with almost three million, and grabbed 21.4 million page views in May, beating its previous high of 13.4 million.
Thanks for dying Osama! Too soon? Yeah, probably too soon.
The Wall Street Journal posted a notice to readers yesterday revealing that a November 10 “New Global Indian” online column by freelance writer Mona Sarika had “been found to contain information that was plagiarized from several publications, including the Washington Post, Little India, India Today and San Francisco magazine.”
“In the column, ‘Homeward Bound,’ about H-1B visa holders returning to India, Ms. Sarika also re-used direct quotes from other publications, without attribution, and changed the original speakers’ names to individuals who appear to be fabricated.”
The Journal has taken down the article, which was Sarika’s only story for the paper. Sarika blogged on The Huffington Post about India, Pakistan and Iran over the summer, and wrote this article for Foreign Policy in October. Her HuffPo bio says she’s a graduate student from India living in New York.
Earlier: Wall Steet Journal Expands To India