Strategy for public interest leaking



Publication Details

Martin, B. (2015). Strategy for public interest leaking. In G. Martin, R. Scott Bray & M. Kumar (Eds.), Secrecy, Law and Society (pp. 219-233). Oxford: Routledge.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Brian Martin

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9781138826854


Leaking in the public interest is a strategy for overcoming organisational secrecy. Employers commonly use five types of methods to reduce public outrage over activities exposed by leakers: hiding the activities (that is, relying on secrecy); discrediting leakers; reinterpreting their actions by lying, minimising the harm caused, blaming others and framing their activities favourably; using official procedures to give an appearance of justice; and intimidating leakers and their supporters. The US government's actions against WikiLeaks and against Edward Snowden illustrate all these methods. An examination of counter-methods suggests strategies for WikiLeaks and for leakers.

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