Current problems of protecting the institution of state secrets: Evidence from the United States and Great Britain

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This article deals with topical issues of state secrets protection through the example of the US and the UK security systems. Particular attention is paid to the institutional and legal basis of protection systems. Furthermore, the influence of the disclosure of classified information on the state’s standing in the international community is investigated. As an example of the leaks of confidential data, the cases of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are considered. The framework of this study is a hypothesis which states that disclosure of information, representing state secrets of one of the subjects of international relations, not only inflict enormous harm to the state from within, but also affects its position internationally. To test this assumption, we need to analyse and identify current problems in the protection of state secrets by the example of the United States and Great Britain. Moreover, it is essential to review the influence of the publications of Snowden and Assange on the position of the United States and Great Britain in the international arena. The basis of our research was the legal acts of the USA and Great Britain such as the “Official Secrets Act” (1989), “The President Executive Order 13526” (2009), and “The Data Protection Act” (1998). We have used the materials of periodicals. For example: The New York Times “Swap in spy cases made with Ghana”, The Guardian “Accidental leak of British nuclear submarine secrets”. The materials of the court hearings: “United States v. Reynolds 345 U.S. 1 (1953), El-Masri v. United States – Opposition” and publications on the WikiLeaks website: “US Military Equipment in Afghanistan”, “War diaries” were examined. This study would be useful for anyone interested.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security, ECCWS 2018
EditorsAudun Josang
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781911218852
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameEuropean Conference on Information Warfare and Security, ECCWS
ISSN (Print)2048-8602
ISSN (Electronic)2048-8610

Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Information Systems
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


  • Information leakage
  • Information security
  • Internet
  • State secrets
  • The UK
  • The USA
  • WikiLeaks


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