Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Alison Glick, GAP International Program Officer
(202) 457-0034 EXT. 111

Press Release

Media Advisory: Expert Panel on the Public Interest and Whistleblowing

Disclosures in the Public Interest: Should national security whistleblowers have a public interest defense?

Last month marked two years since NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shocked the world with his disclosures about mass surveillance. In the United States, reactions to his revelations have ranged from the Secretary of State urging him to “man up” and return from his exile in Russia to face espionage charges, to an outpouring of support from the civil and privacy rights communities. Internationally, Snowden has garnered support from a myriad of individuals and organizations. Most recently, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted overwhelmingly for a resolution that calls on “the United States of America to allow Mr. Snowden to return without fear of criminal prosecution under conditions that would not allow him to raise the public interest defense.”

What is understood by the public interest defense against criminal charges in Europe and elsewhere? How are persons who disclose national security classified information treated in other democracies? What has changed since Snowden and Manning? How is, and should, the public interest be taken into consideration in classification and declassification determinations? In the US, what trends can be observed concerning classification and declassification? Are there areas where progress could be made in advancing consideration of the public interest?

Join the Open Society Foundations for an expert panel discussion about the public interest and whistleblowing


WHERE: Open Society Foundations, 1730 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC Conference Room A

WHEN: Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Panel: 12:15– 1:45 p.m. Sandwiches will be available at noon.

WHO: Morton Halperin, Senior Advisor at the Open Society Foundations.

Steven Aftergood, Director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.

Bill Leonard, Chief Operating Officer, National Endowment for Democracy; former Director of the Information Security Oversight Office.

Beatrice Edwards, International and Program Director of the Government Accountability Project (GAP).

Anna Myers, International whistleblowing expert and incoming GAP Executive Director.

Moderator: Sandra Coliver, Senior Legal Officer for Freedom of Information and Expression at the Open Society Justice Initiative. See her blog on the PACE vote.


The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is a 30-year-old nonprofit
public interest group that promotes government and corporate
accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending
whistleblowers, and empowering citizen activists. We pursue this
mission through our Nuclear Safety, International Reform, Corporate
Accountability, Food & Drug Safety, and Federal Employee/National
Security programs. GAP is the nation's leading whistleblower protection

Despite Outcry, Japanese Prime Minister Urges Swift Release of Fukushima Wastewater Into Sea

South Korea has said the release of the radioactive wastewater poses a "grave threat" to marine life.

Julia Conley ·

Colin Powell, Who Helped George W. Bush Lie Nation Into Iraq War, Dead at 84

"It's crucial to remember just how important Colin Powell was to selling the Iraq War, and how deliberately he used his public credibility to boost the lies that pushed us into the war. That is his biggest legacy."

Jon Queally ·

'Indefensible': US Billionaires Became $2.1 Trillion Richer in 19 Months of Pandemic

New analysis shows that just 745 individuals have combined $5 trillion in wealth—most of which will never be taxed—as nations reels from pain inflicted by Covid-19.

Jon Queally ·

Coalition Urges Biden to Make 'Transformative Change' in Approach to Global Food and Agriculture

"This pro-corporate agriculture agenda must change under your watch."

Andrea Germanos ·

Mondaire Jones Warns Against Watering Down Human Infrastructure Proposals

The New York Democrat is advocating universal programs, not means-tested ones, for programs in the Build Back Better plan.

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo