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Whistleblower Cybersecurity Crisis Training: Stakeholder Press Conference Exercise (Edward Snowden)

Whistleblower Cybersecurity Crisis Training: Stakeholder Press Conference Exercise (Edward Snowden)



Cybersecurity Crisis Training: Stakeholder Press Conference Exercise (Edward Snowden)

Purpose: This exercise is designed to give you practical experience in handling real-life cybersecurity threats or attacks for their organization. Through this exercise, you will better understand how the types of cyber-attacks described in class are applied, take a shot at forming policy solutions, and sharpen you communication skills.

Deliverables: Prepare a sample press packet.  This press packet should include the following items:

Press Release (1 page)

Short technical background sheet (1-2 pages)

•  This section should describe in more detail the technical issues of the problem at hand.  It may also include pictures and diagrams.

Frequently Asked Questions (1 page)

•  This section should anticipate questions other stakeholders or the media would ask in response to the problem and should provide your organization’s answers.


Read the material found via the links below. Additional research on stakeholder positions is strongly suggested as well. You may use any resource you deem necessary to prepare your statement, press kit, and for Q&A.

Potential roles:

There are two important stakeholder roles in this cybersecurity legal case. You may choose to take on one of two different roles:

•  US Citizens

•  U.S. National Security Agency

Select one of the following scenarios

Scenario: A 36-year NSA veteran, William Binney resigned from the agency and became a whistleblower after discovering that elements of a data-monitoring program he had helped develop — nicknamed ThinThread — were being used to spy on Americans.

William Binney FRONTLINE’s Interview Dec. 13, 2013.

Scenario: Mark Klein was among the first to expose the NSA’s domestic wiretapping efforts. The former AT & T technician watched the construction of the secret switching room at the telecom’s facility on Folsom Street in San Francisco

NSA Leak Vindicates AT&T Whistleblower

Scenario: Daniel Hale, a former National Security Agency (NSA) official has been charged with giving classified documents on drone warfare to a journalist.  Hale, 31, was indicted by a grand jury on five charges relating to the alleged leak. Each charge carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence. The US justice department said Hale was arrested.

Ex-NSA official charged with leaking classified drone documents

Scenario: Thomas Tamm stumbled upon the existence of a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be eavesdropping on U.S. citizens. The unit had special rules that appeared to be hiding the NSA activities from a panel of federal judges who are required to approve such surveillance. Tamm exposed the Bush administration’s domestic warrantless eavesdropping program that intercepted private email messages and phone calls of U.S. residents without a court warrant.

The Whistleblower Who Exposed Warrantless Wiretaps

Whistleblower Facing Ethics Charges Over NSA Leak

Scenario: Edward Snowden leaked classified information from the NSA in 2013 when he was contractor employee for the CIA.  The documents disclosed global surveillance program by the NSA and the Five Eves Intelligence Alliance working with telecommunication companies and European governments.

Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower

Assignment: Your assignment is to explore one of these incidents further, using your research to present it from the perspective of your assigned stakeholder. Your goal is to hold a press conference which explains the controversy and your organization’s future plans or suggested policy changes in response to it.

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