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CITP Luncheon Speaker Series: Bart Gellman – Comsec for Journalists: The (Sorry) State of the Art

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
12:30 pm


Sherrerd Hall, 3rd floor open space
Princeton, NJ 08544 United States + Google Map

Please note: This talk will not be livestreamed or videotaped.

Food and discussion begin at 12:30 pm. No RSVP required from current Princeton faculty, staff, and students. Open to members of the public by invitation only. Please contact Jean Butcher at if you are interested in attending a particular lunch.

Journalists, like other non-technical professionals, have lagged in responding to the impact of pervasive electronic tracking on their work. The Edward Snowden disclosures called special attention to risks of national security reporting, but the scope of the problem is broader. Too many journalists still make promises of confidentiality to sources that they do not know how to keep. This talk will cover the growing awareness of the problem, the burgeoning efforts of coders to build usable tools, and some of the reasons for their collective failure.


Barton Gellman, a Visiting Fellow at CITP, is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author based at the Century Foundation in New York. He is researching a book on the NSA, Silicon Valley and the surveillance-industrial revolution. Gellman previously spent 21 years at The Washington Post, covering legal, military, diplomatic and intelligence affairs. He returned temporarily to anchor The Post’s coverage of Edward Snowden and the NSA. He is one of three journalists who received Snowden’s leaked archive in the spring of 2013. Gellman’s books include Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency, a New York Times Best Book of 2008. He graduated with highest honors from Princeton and earned an M.Litt. in Politics at Oxford University.