Snowden Speaks on Whistleblowers and the Criminalization of Journalism

December 11, 2020

Edward Snowden, somewhat of an expert on high-profile whistle blowing and its aftermath, recently shared his thoughts on the freedom of the press with journalist Glenn Greenwald. Citing the interview, Newsweek reports, “Edward Snowden Says ‘War on Whistleblowers’ Trend Shows a ‘Criminalization of Journalism.’” The trend described by the former CIA worker spans the political spectrum, beginning under President George W. Bush, expanding during President Obama’s two terms, and continuing (to put it mildly) under the current administration. Reporter Meghan Roos quotes Snowden:

“‘The threats against the press go far beyond physical violence,’ Snowden said, pointing to the spike in attacks on journalists catalogued by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. Snowden serves on the board of directors of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which oversees the tracker. ‘What we see is an increasing tendency to silence journalists who say things that are in the minority,’ he said. ‘You see threats against journalism—particularly female journalists—online, social media, just because people don’t like what’s being reported. They don’t like the facts that are being brought to them,’ Snowden said.”

Greenwald asked whether Snowden is concerned that President Elect Biden, who of course was President Obama’s Vice President, will continue the persecution. He replies that, until there is a real policy shift, the freedom of the press will continue to erode. Snowden continues:

“Trying to silence the publication of facts—which are valuable and important to the public, to the continuation of democracy, but uncomfortable to government—when they understand that that is something that must be accepted, that is what defines a democracy, rather than going, ‘No, we need to shut these people up; we’re going to throw them in a hole, we’re going to ruin their life, whatever. We’re going to de-platform them,’ or whatever the new tactic is, this is going to continue to be a problem, and the freedom of our press is going to continue to decline.”

Newsweek requested comment from Biden’s team, but had not heard back by the article’s deadline. We are also curious to know the President Elect’s position on the issue.

Cynthia Murrell, December 11, 2020


One Response to “Snowden Speaks on Whistleblowers and the Criminalization of Journalism”

  1. Music Pie on December 11th, 2020 7:46 am


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