SOCIAL SCIENCES

After Snowden: Privacy, Secrecy, and Security in the Information Age

Thomas Dunne: St. Martin's. 2015. 320p. ed. by . notes. ISBN 9781250067609. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466876057. LAW
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Attorney Goldfarb (In Confidence) edits and provides the introduction and epilog to this collection of essays by government and policy experts. Each contributor focuses on an aspect of what the leaks by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden mean for America in areas including rights, security, and mass surveillance. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barry Siegel's (English, Univ. of California, Irvine; Claim of Privilege) "Judging State Secrets: Who Decides—And How?" is one of the strongest pieces. He provides a fascinating history of the court decisions that have both allowed and challenged the executive branch's use of the "state secrets privilege" in cases involving national security issues. Edward Wasserman's (dean, Graduate Sch. of Journalism at Univ. of California, Berkeley) "Protecting News in the Era of Disruptive Sources" is also powerful and examines the impact of "disruptive sources," those outside the traditional journalist/source relationship (e.g., whistleblowers such as Snowden), and the need for a better system of source protection. His writing could serve as a great discussion piece in journalism ethics classes. Some essays overlap on common topics such as FISA courts.
VERDICT Readers interested in the legal, political, and journalistic ramifications of national security leaks, including students in these areas, will find these essays accessible and discover much to consider in them. For more about Snowden's disclosures, try Glenn Greenwald's excellent No Place To Hide. [See Prepub Alert, 11/15/14.]

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