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Journalism, Whistleblowing and the Security State

Event Date: 20 November 2014
Room B04
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, Birkbeck, University of London in collaboration with the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and Media Reform Coalition  presents:

Journalism, Whistleblowing and the Security State

This unique event brings together a group of whistleblowers from the US national security state to address UK academics, activists and journalists. Panellists will discuss recent threats to independent journalism and whistleblowing on both sides of the Atlantic, placing developments in the context of massive surveillance and the on-going War on Terror.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Matthew Hoh, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and former US embassy representative in Afghanistan who became the highest-ranking U.S. official to publicly renounce policy in Afghanistan in 2009.
  • Coleen Rowley, an attorney and former FBI special agent who was among the first to expose some of the agency’s pre-9/11 failures, and was one of three whistleblowers named as Time Magazine’s persons of the year in 2002.
  • Norman Solomon is the coordinator of ExposeFacts.org and the author of a dozen books on media and public policy including *War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death*.
  • J. Kirk Wiebe is a retired National Security Agency whistleblower who worked at the agency for 36 years until October 2001. Since then, he has made several key public disclosures regarding the NSA’s massive surveillance programmes.
  • Katharine Gun is a former translator for the GCHQ who leaked a top secret memo in 2003 revealing NSA spying operations at the UN. Gun was subsequently charged under the Official Secrets Act but the case was dropped after the prosecution offered no evidence. Given the backdrop of impending war with Iraq at the time, Daniel Ellsberg called Gun’s leak “the most important and courageous” he had ever seen.

The meeting is  chaired by Dr Justin Schlosberg from the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck

Order of speakers: Justin Schlosberg, Katharine Gun, Matthew HohColeen Rowley, J. Kirk Wiebe and Norman Solomon

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