Liberty and Leakage
Security and intelligent information is critical to security operation within and outside the borders of a country. Any leak may have significant effects to the systems and trust assigned to these institutions. Liberty on the other hand, insinuates that security information be conveyed to the public. This is in line with democracy that calls for accountability and transparency from government and security community. The process of coming up with a leveled playing field for the two scenarios remains in jeopardy. Exposing each and every security detail puts the lives of people/citizens in danger as well as exposing government plans to tackle security threats such as terrorism. Contrary, keeping mum about the security plans accelerates corruption and misconduct amongst security agents. Intelligence leaks attract mixed reactions from affiliated parties. Some of the questions to ask include the authenticity of the leakers and the need to have this information in public domain. Issues, such as the duty of care manifest themselves in this situation. An example is where wiki leaks and pentagon papers leaked and caused uproar from the government as well as the public (Fowler, 2012).
The national security agency (NSA) would defend and disassociate itself from the acts of leakers in an effort to clear the air and cool political temperature in the state. The leakers of such crucial information are people entrusted by government agencies to carry out the management of the same. It brings out the question of accountability and intention of the leakers. A person wonders why the information had to be released at that opportune time and not when an action was taking place. The person leaking secret data may want to attain political goals by portraying government as inhuman and uncaring. The aftermaths of the leakage are national embarrassment, damaged executive authority, national security inconveniencies, wavered public support, change of strategies and security breaches. This crime is covered under espionage act because the damage caused is irreparable. Due to these shortcomings in revealing secret, government must keep some of its plans and strategies in secret. This facilitates smooth handling of security issues and running of all government affairs. Despite protests from activist, wiki leakers and libertarians government must take up the initiative of protecting the public through information control as provided for by the constitution. Securing a nation is not an easy task hence enemies should not be facilitated through information leakages. The reason behind this is that terrorist use security information to plan attacks. The president and his administration are guided by the constitution in determining what is good or not good for the country (Fowler, 2012).
The United States had learned from these actions the hard way. Some laws, such as the first amendment and civil servants act, whistleblower protection enhancement act and sedition act 1918 were adopted to monitor and control leakage of essential government data. These laws seek to establish and protect both the government and the public. First, a tyranny government is denied the opportunity of exploiting citizens while citizens/leakers are prosecuted using the same acts upon determination of the acts intention or legal breaches. An example is where the pentagon paper leaked contained information about the path taken by the United States during Vietnam War from the year 1945-1968. By knowing what happened, Vietnamese government and people were extremely disappointed hence opening up for legal battles.
Fowler, A. J. (2012). The most dangerous man in the world: The inside story on Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks secrets. Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Publishing.