logo_full






Leaks, Laws, & Liberty:
Whistleblowing & The American Way

Experts Say Leaking Information is
as American as Apple Pie?!

image

In some cases, leaks have changed the course of American history while shaping the nation’s laws. There are a number of statutes that criminalize leaking information, yet not all leaks are necessarily criminal.

Leaks in modern history that are certain to remain historically notable include those of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Shadow Brokers’ NSA Hacking tools data dump, and the early days of The Trump Presidential Administration.  Despite taking up significantly more air time in media outlets, the majority of leaks from the offices of President Trump remain unsubstantiated.  The leaks of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and the Shadow Brokers have had an immediate and lasting impact on American history.

In the case of Edward Snowden, we encourage students to read our book ‘The Government, Privacy, and You’ (free copies of which can be requested using the ‘OUR PROJECT’ section of our website – which you’re already on).  As of the publication date of this post, Mr. Snowden remains in Russia with the possibility of being charged with treason, espionage, and criminal release of classified information hanging over his head.

Chelsea Manning – who was recently released from prison following a presidential order of clemency issued by President Barack Obama in his last days in office – released information to WikiLeaks that had significant impacts on American foreign policy.  Most notably, Manning released a video of an airstrike in Afghanistan in which over 80 civilians were killed by US forces after the details of the operation had been held back from public release, and the release of diplomatic communications which (upon their release) resulted in many of the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings of 2010-2012.

The Shadow Brokers was a hacker collective that released reports and files created by the NSA.  The information included a number of tools and exploits that could be used to monitor or control people’s personal electronic devices.  Following the Edward Snowden leaks (which revealed the US government had digitally programs that involved at least the possibility of domestic surveillance), the implication of the Shadow Brokers release was that the NSA had tools for spying not just on terror suspects but American citizens.

These are just a few examples of leaks that changed the history of America and the perception of the administrations in power at the time of their release.   Republican, Democrat, Independent, Liberal, Conservative, or Moderate – information leaks have impacted administrations and governments of all types throughout American history.

————————–
Questions:

1)  What is a government leak you’re already familiar with? If you don’t know one, research one and summarize it in 1 – 6 sentences:

2) Regarding that whistleblowing incident – who do you believe was ‘right’ in the situation, and what about what you know about that whistleblowing incident leads you to that conclusion?  

3) Whistleblowing is a  challenging subject for the people coming forward:  They might have legal protections to their job and their freedom, but how can they be expected to stay at a place where they betrayed the trust of the organization (even if the organization was doing something bad)?

4) Whistleblowing can also be a  challenging subject for people being reported on: What if the whistleblower is wrong and what the company/person was doing is allowed? If they fire the ‘whistleblower’ they can face major punishments (financial penalties) for firing the person (it’s called retaliation).  What can be done to prevent situations of false / improper whistleblowing? An example would be people posting videos of how fast food is made on Tick Tock.  If a company isn’t pretending the food is ‘natural and organic’, why should (or shouldn’t) their employees really be allowed to post videos of that process?   


Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/why-leaking-information-american-apple-pie-n724466?cid=public-rss_20170226

Shh…
The Apps Are Listening!

image

Are your mobile phone’s apps listening to you?  You might not think so, and yet a recent article on Wired.com reports that there’s a good chance your phone is listening to you right now as your read this article

Disclaimer: If you are reading this in Project REAL’s App, rest assured we are not listening to you, and encourage you to check our app’s permission settings in your phone if you would like verification.

According to the article, a large amount of the most downloaded apps in the iTunes, Google Play, and Windows Apps stores require users to grant them permission to access a phone’ s microphone.  This permission is then used by the app to listen for ‘ultrasonic beacons’ – sounds the human ear can’t detect that trigger a reaction in the app.  If you’re familiar with Shazam, imagine if you were home listening to music while doing your homework and you opened the app to find it had not only recorded every song that played while you listened, but ordered those songs from an online music store!

To some this revelation is concerning, though to others it just doesn’t matter.  Perhaps you don’t mind if a McDonalds app hears an ultrasonic frequency that lets it know you skipped school to catch a matinee of the new movie you’ve been dying to see.  Perhaps they’ll use that information to decide to partner with the film’s producers if there’s a sequel.  What if you have an app from your workplace on your phone and it tells your employers you were at a movie on a day you called in sick?  Suddenly, the thought of your phone listening for ultrasonic beacons without your consent each time becomes rather frightening, doesn’t it?

 

————————–
Questions:

1) Why should there be or not be laws preventing these techniques? 

2) Why Should consumers have a right or not have a right to be notified every time an app wishes to listen for beacons? 

3) Why should there be or not be time limits (where an app can only listen for so much time after each authorization to do so)?  

Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here::

https://www.wired.com/2017/05/hundreds-apps-can-listen-beacons-cant-hear/




Thank you for letting us watch the civil case!  It was cool because it was a real case and not one played out. I had a lot of fun watching the other kids act out a session.  Thank you for your time.

- Kaylie [Hewetson Elementary - Grade 5]

Project Real
2020-12-11T20:39:35+00:00
Thank you for letting us watch the civil case!  It was cool because it was a real case and not one played out. I had a lot of fun watching the other kids act out a session.  Thank you for your time. - Kaylie [Hewetson Elementary - Grade 5]

My favorite part of the fieldtrip to the courthouse is when I got to play the part of Ron. I got to go on the witness chair and speaking. I helped Potter to be not guilty. Thank you for the great opportunity.


- Johnathan M  [Harmon Elementary - Grade 4]
Project Real
2020-12-16T21:47:04+00:00
My favorite part of the fieldtrip to the courthouse is when I got to play the part of Ron. I got to go on the witness chair and speaking. I helped Potter to be not guilty. Thank you for the great opportunity. - Johnathan M  [Harmon Elementary - Grade 4]

Thank you for letting us experience court for the first time.  It was the best experience ever, thank you for everything. You really made me think about being a judge. Thank you


-Mina L [ Twitchell Elementary - Grade 5]

Project Real
2020-12-16T22:04:09+00:00
Thank you for letting us experience court for the first time.  It was the best experience ever, thank you for everything. You really made me think about being a judge. Thank you -Mina L [ Twitchell Elementary - Grade 5]
0
0
Project Real


icon_support_offerings
activities
icon_support_project
The Project
icon_support_resources
Resources


Connect with us
LinkedIn
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

Sign up to receive Project REAL news and updates.


     

    Project REAL • 6325 S. Jones Blvd #300 • Las Vegas, NV • 89118   |   702.703.6529   |   info@projectrealnv.org
    ©2024 Project Real