Recent leaks of classified information have undermined the public’s confidence in the ability of their government to keep secrets. Government officials have alleged that these leaks have caused irreparable harm to America’s national security. However, while government officials criticize leaks, they oftentimes are complicit in leaking information when it serves their political interests. All experts seem to agree that some exposures undermine America’s ability to combat terrorism and counter other national security threats. But, other leaks are viewed as a form of whistleblowing and public accountability. Are there good leaks and bad leaks, and who decides? Should the U.S. government do a better job of protecting secrets? Should leakers be prosecuted? What about those media outlets and other entities who publish national security secrets, should they also be prosecuted?
The University of Florida Student Chapter hosted this debate during the 2014 Annual Student Symposium on Friday, March 7, 2014.
Debate 1: “SHOULD WE BETTER PROTECT GOVERNMENT SECRETS AND PUNISH LEAKS MORE SEVERELY?”
8:15 – 9:15 p.m.
J. Wayne Reitz Union
- Dr. Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs; B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies; Director, Center for Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute
- Prof. Nadine Strossen, Professor of Law, New York Law School; Former President, ACLU
- Moderator: Hon. Jerry E. Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
University of Florida Levin College of Law