Weeding out WikiLeaks (and why it won't work): legislative recognition of public whistleblowing in Australia

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Title Weeding out WikiLeaks (and why it won't work): legislative recognition of public whistleblowing in Australia
Author Brown, Alexander Jonathan
Journal Name Global Media Journal Australian Edition
Year Published 2011
Place of publication Australia
Publisher University of Western Sydney
Abstract Even in midsummer, the historic Ellingham Hall, Norfolk, is a grey place. For Australians used to brighter sunshine year round, it would retain that slight English dinginess even if its most famous resident was not under house arrest. Yet, among the legal problems facing the Australian citizen Julian Assange, the most important challenges are not especially well known. Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006 as a website dedicated to the secure receipt and anonymous publication of inside information too sensitive or risky for information-holders to release any other way. The bulk if not the entirety of disclosures of public importance since that time were not authorised by the institutions concerned. In other words, as intended, they constitute ‘leaks.’ Questions of when unauthorised disclosure of information is warranted, and by whom and how such judgments are to be made, are not new in democracies that have long wrestled with the public interest value of whistleblowing.2 However, the entry of new media into this territory, spearheaded by WikiLeaks, has brought public whistleblowing to the forefront of international debate as never before. This article reviews key political responses to WikiLeaks, internationally but especially in Assange’s home state of Australia, for their lessons for current and future directions in law reform with respect to public whistleblowing.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://www.commarts.uws.edu.au/gmjau/v5_2011_1/brown_RA.html
Copyright Statement Copyright remains with the author 2011. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this journal please refer to the journal’s website or contact the author.
Volume 5
Issue Number 1
Page from 1
Page to 12
ISSN 1835-2340
Date Accessioned 2011-12-07
Language en_US
Research Centre Centre for Governance and Public Policy; Socio-Legal Research Centre
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Constitutional Law
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/42178
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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