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Edward Snowden the Public Interest Defense: How Can We Protect Whistleblowers?

Whistleblowing, Classification, and the U.S. Public Interest: What Reforms Are Possible? (July 15, 2015)

It’s been two years since whistleblower Edward Snowden shocked the world with his disclosures about mass surveillance by the National Security Agency.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted overwhelmingly for a resolution that calls on the United States “to allow Mr. Snowden to return without fear of criminal prosecution under conditions that would not allow him to raise the public interest defense.”

How is the public interest defense understood in Europe and elsewhere? How are persons who disclose national security classified information treated in other democracies? How should the public interest be taken into consideration in classification and declassification determinations?

Listen to this recent panel discussion on the public interest and whistleblowing above.

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