Where's The Line Between Whistleblowing And Criminal Leaking Of Classified Works?
from the is-there-a-line? dept
This all has become very pertinent again, as it appears that the US Army has finally charged intelligence analyst Bradley Manning with violating the Espionage Act for his leaking of certain "classified" information to Wikileaks.
And that leaves us back to square one of a very difficult question: what's the difference between whistleblowing and criminally leaking classified works? It seems like the line is pretty clear. If the "leak" is designed to expose otherwise illegal activities, that should be protected in some manner. If the leak, on the other hand, has nothing to do with exposing illegal activities and, instead, is just to reveal secret (but legal) information, it probably falls on the other side of the line. Where Manning's actions fall on this spectrum are still not at all clear -- but it seems like folks are rushing to push him into one or the other camps already. Hopefully some more details will come out and it becomes clear where he really falls (no matter what a court may decide...).