Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

On October 3, the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Department of Defense reached a settlement in federal court challenging the DoD's leaking of military and personal information belonging to service members and veterans. The settlement established protocols to identify and prohibit third-party data brokers who sell data for unauthorized commercial marketing purposes.

While this settlement acknowledges long-standing grievances, it does not adequately address the very real damages experienced by the men and women who wear or have worn the uniform of this great country.

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Buried deep inside Congress' recently published report on this year's National Defense Authorization Act, there's an interesting section, in dense legalese, that seems to say: Yo, Pentagon, you need to tell us what the hell you're doing when you're doing it.

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An Air Force veteran told FBI agents that she had leaked classified U.S. documents, but a legal technicality may prevent prosecutors from using the confession as evidence in her upcoming trial, the Associated Press reports.

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Public domain

Her family calls Reality Leigh Winner a patriot who may have made some mistakes but acted with conviction for the good of her country. The federal government portrays her as something more sinister — a threat to national security.

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By going over printing histories and work computer data, the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to trace a leaked report on the Russia investigation to 25-year-old Air Force veteran and federal contractor Reality Leigh Winner.

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In an exclusive interview on Yahoo News, Edward Snowden, the national security contractor and whistleblower who leaked information about U.S. surveillance activities, spoke about his dwindling chances for a pardon. He also took aim at top U.S. intelligence officials, namely: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director David Petraeus.

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