Whether or not you agree with their causes or their methods, the revelations of Bradley Manning, and, more recently, Edward Snowden, have had profound impacts. The information released by Manning, and subsequently published by the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and Wikileaks, provided the catalyst for the Arab Spring. At the very least, the revelations of Snowden have fostered a debate about the legitimate extent and methods of the surveillance state. And both have taught us to be more cynical in the face of the “War on Terror”.
For his trouble, Snowden was labelled a traitor, charged under antiquated espionage laws, and has been forced to flee America. Manning has copped it even worse, enduring years in solitary confinement and “suicide watch” while awaiting his trial, and will possibly spend the rest of his life behind bars. But would an Australian fare better? And how widespread is Whistleblowing in Australia? I spoke with Peter Roberts, Senior Lecturer at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, about the state of whistleblowing and whistblower protections in Australia: