Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald, Alexa O’Brien, David Coombs: The War on Whistleblowers and Their Publishers

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Chicago Bradley Manning verdict protest march Brad-20

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

Ideas At The House on Sep 16, 2013

US Journalist and activist Alexa O’Brien and Australian commentator Robert Manne are joined by video conference with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Guardian Journalist Glenn Greenwald and Chelsea Manning’s Lawyer David Coombs on stage at the Sydney Opera House (moderated by Bernard Keane of Crikey).

Powerful governments are waging a war on whistleblowers and those involved in publishing their material. Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, Manning has been convicted of espionage and is awaiting sentencing, and Julian Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador but cannot step outside its London Embassy. It’s clear that the actions of whistleblowers and their publishers – ‘traitors’ as they are known to some – have come at a significant personal cost, and while the human drama of these stories is engrossing, the focus should be on the very real issues they’ve raised: surveillance, press freedom, privacy, secrecy, and accountability.

The roles of governments and corporations in the future of the internet, and their use and abuse of data, have been put under the global spotlight. In the wake of Manning, Snowden and Wikileaks, we finally have the scope to properly debate the need for government transparency and the trade-off between privacy and security.

Watch our expert panel discuss the implications of the war on whistleblowers for the main actors, and the consequences if that war is lost for the rest of us.

http://sydneyoperahouse.com/ideas

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Bradley Manning’s Attorney David Coombs Breaks His Silence

Hero, Bradley Manning

Image by hragv via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

Dec 4, 2012 by

The case of Army Private First Class Bradley Manning could be among the most significant military cases in US history; Manning is being accused of releasing sensitive information that has comprised the safety of America to the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks. Although some call him a traitor, others see the Private as a hero. Manning’s attorney David Coombs has remained silent when it came to speaking out about the trial to the media until Monday night.

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