Week 4 - Whistleblowing and WikiLeaks

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  • Whistleblowing and WikiLeaks
    • Key terms and definitions
      • Whistleblowing
        • Whistleblowers expose wrongdoings and practice against risk of often imprisonment
        • Usually ordinary citizens
        • Release information allegedly in the public interest
      • Internal vs External whistleblowing
        • Internal - whistleblowing within an institution
        • External whistleblowing - releasing information to the public
    • Key questions
      • Who can be a whistleblower?
        • The issue of the "democratisation of whistleblowing"
      • What counts as information "in the public interest"?
      • Should we be worried about digital leaks?
    • Case studies
      • Edward Snowden
        • NSA files
          • Citizenfour
      • Bradley Manning
        • WikiLeaks
          • Is WikiLeaks journalism?
          • Radical openness and transparency
            • Hacker ethic
        • Cablegate, Collateral Murder
          • Faces a lot of jail time
            • Massive digital leak on Lady Gaga CD
      • Daniel Ellsberg
        • 1970s Pentagon papers - first famous "whistleblower"
        • Did not face jail
        • Hailed as hero
        • Hand photocopied physical documents
      • Julian Assange, owner of
        • WikiLeaks
          • Is WikiLeaks journalism?
          • Radical openness and transparency
            • Hacker ethic
        • "Messenger becomes the message" focus on the whistleblower
    • Whistleblowing and the Media
      • Whistleblowers important part of investigative journalism
        • Watchdog - important in enabling journalists perceived role in society
      • Concerns for journalists
        • Reliability of sources
          • Tricky because anonymous or encrypted sources harder to check
        • May have ethical concerns
          • Did this person break the law to get this information?
      • Concerns for whistleblowers
        • Most reporting of whistleblowers is positive but not all
        • "Messenger becomes the message" focus on the whistleblower
      • Yochai Benkler's "networked 4th estate"
        • The traditional news industry’s treatment of WikiLeaks throughout this episode can best be seen as an effort by older media to preserve their own identity against the perceived threat posed by the new networked model

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