ABA book looks at balancing act between transparency, secrecy and the First Amendment

A new book from the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University offers in-depth analysis of the balance of secrecy, security and transparency in our democracy. This fundamental tension, which was clearly intended by the Founding Fathers to ensure an effective and accountable government, lies at the heart of challenges for those who seek to protect our nation's borders and interests and those whose job it is to inform and enlighten the public about the activities of its government.

"Whistleblowers, Leaks, and the Media: The First Amendment and National Security" delves into the various areas of law surrounding the recent and well-known cases of NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Private First Class Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, among others. Are these individuals whistleblowers, exposing the inner workings of an overreaching government? Or are they traitors, inhibiting America's ability to defend itself against threats?

Edited by experts in the fields of journalism and national security, the book features contributions from lawyers, government officials, heads of public interest organizations, First Amendment scholars, members of the press and law professors. It offers a fascinating and detailed look at the fundamental and necessary tension between secrecy and transparency in American society.

Published: Fri, Nov 28, 2014