Whistleblowers, Leakers, and Their Networks: From Snowden to Samizdat, Jason Ross Arnold
Especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Jason Ross Arnold's network approach is a welcome addition to the burgeoning whistleblower literature. It raises important questions about how elites might be kept honest in a globalized remote work world where both labor and capital increasingly have no country. The emphasis on the importance of international context points other scholars of leaks and whistleblowing in the right direction for future research, and the cases covered are fascinating in their own right.
While carefully researched, the structure of the book's overarching argument delivers muddled takeaways. In Chapter 2, Arnold concludes that Edward Snowden is not a whistleblower (p. 33) according to the complex definition he has constructed, which extends Rahul Sagar's excellent work. Yet in the next chapter, the author presents a two-by-two typology of whistleblowers (p. 48) that treats all leaks as manifestations of whistleblowing and would seem to encompass Snowden's actions.
Indeed, in the pages that follow, while emphasizing throughout the importance of context and domain in determining genuine whistleblowers, the term seemingly expands to include every illicit network, from Samizdat in communist countries during the Cold War to international human rights organizations to WikiLeaks and finally to what Arnold calls “exfilt
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