news analysis: The Age of Big Leaks

On balance, those gargantuan disclosures seem largely beneficial — even if not all diplomats, intelligence officers and tax lawyers would join the applause. But the big leaks of the current era are not all about war and peace, government oversight or financial equity. For journalists, the catnip appeal of scoops can overwhelm careful judgment about the value of the disclosures and problematic questions about sources.

What about the Sony Pictures leaks — an act of vengeance by the North Korean leader for an insulting movie — which exposed mostly gossip, business secrets and employee Social Security numbers? What of the leaks of personal information from, which helps facilitate extramarital affairs?

What, for that matter, about the 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails and 20,000 more pages of emails to and from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, that Mr. Stone

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