#ijf18talk by James Risen. Moderated by Stefania Maurizi.

The Biggest Secret. My Life as a New York Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror was published in The Intercept on 3 January 2018.

James will talk about his seven-year legal fight against the U.S. government, which threatened to put him in prison unless he revealed his confidential sources. He refused, and ultimately won the battle.

to be followed by

a discussion on the topic of "How to get secret and confidential documents. From FOIA to leaks, the struggle to acquire factual information."

Throughout the last eleven years, WikiLeaks has continued to reveal classified documents in the public interest, though the price has been very high. In fact, the organisation has been under investigation by the Grand Jury since 2010 while its editor, Julian Assange, is arbitrarily detained by the UK government and its most famous source, Chelsea Manning, spent 7 years in prison. For the last five years journalistic sources like Edward Snowden have remained in exile. John Kiriakou and Jeffrey Sterling, who exposed the CIA's human rights violations and abuses, spent years in prison. The struggle to obtain factual information relative to some of the most carefully guarded secrets of our governments is paved with major successes, failures and with the sacrifice of editors and sources, while the Freedom of Information Act, which could provide a channel to obtain factual information free of risk, is significantly limited. What, if anything, can be done to win the struggle and lower the risks for sources, editors and reporters?