Monday, July 8, 2013

The Ethics of Whistleblowing

Ben O'Neill has written a brilliant deconstruction on the ethics of whistleblowing for today's Mises Daily (which, of course, I read daily) and how it relates to Edward Snowden and the NSA scandal from a libertarian framework. This is part one of a part-two series.

Says O'Neill:

"For supporters of the massive power apparatus of the US government, Snowden is a criminal, deserving of scorn and imprisonment (or for some, just plain murder). To others such as myself he is an intrepid investigator who succeeded in exposing government wrongdoing where others had failed. But even to some of his supporters Snowden is a hero of the “law-breaking” variety — a man who “stole” government documents to expose the activities of its most corrupt and secretive agencies. Such a circumstance gives cause to stop and examine the basic assumptions of government claims to ownership of the secret information it collects. Implicit in the charge that documents have been “stolen” and that there has been “unauthorized disclosure” is the requirement that the documents and information in question are legitimately owned by the government, and that communication of their contents legitimately requires government authorization."

Read the rest here.

UPDATE (7/18/2013): Ben O'Neill continues on the ethics of state secrecy.

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