Sarah Harrison

WikiLeaks journalist

The WikiLeaks perspective on national security, surveillance, freedom of information, diplomatic records, and war.

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International Willy Brandt Prize 2015

Sarah Harrison is a journalist at WikiLeaks, the Internet-based publishing organisation which makes headlines around the world by releasing suppressed information about corporate, government and military corruption and misconduct. She is also the Acting Director of the Courage Foundation, an international organisation that protects whistleblowers and truth tellers; raising money for their legal defence and running their public defence campaigns, as well as campaigning for whistleblower protections and the public’s right to know generally.

Sarah gained international recognition when she took a flight with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and remained with him for four months in Russia whilst working as part of the WikiLeaks team that rescued him from U.S. persecution and advised on his asylum application to Russia. Though a British citizen, after leaving Snowden safe in Moscow, her lawyers advised her not to return to the U.K. following her courageous work with Snowden, due to the U.K.’s extremely broad anti-terror laws. She therefore remained unable to return home for three years until the middle of 2016 when, after the UK High Court ruled that journalists should be protected from certain procedures under these laws, she made the journey home.

Formerly with the Centre for Investigative Journalism and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Sarah joined WikiLeaks in 2010, before the publication of the Afghan War Diary. Since then, she has worked on WikiLeaks' publications, including the U.S. diplomatic cables, The Iraq War Logs, The Spyfiles which detail the global surveillance industry and The Saudi Cables amongst many others. In 2015 Germany’s major centre-left political party SPD awarded her with the International Willy Brandt Prize for ‘special political courage’, stating that Sarah “exemplifies the pursuit of transparency and its use against escalating surveillance. Sarah Harrison has with her commitment to WikiLeaks and especially in the company of Edward Snowden showed great political courage.”

She is an expert in media affairs, from source protection to politically controversial publishing. Through her journalistic work at WikiLeaks and having worked with some of the world’s most prominent dissidents and information activists, she is particularly knowledgeable in issues surrounding whistleblowing, freedom of information, surveillance and asylum.


Sarah Harrison


Sarah tailors each presentation to the needs of her audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest her range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Practicalities of Fighting for a Free Internet

In the wake of Snowden's revelations we understand that governments around the world have secret policies, secret inter-agency collaborations, secret programs and corporate partnerships to spy on everything we do electronically, and have been lying about them in public. Increasingly people around the world are now calling for a "free" internet. But what does this really mean and how can it be achieved?

The phrase of the day is "internet governance." But is this the only answer to the problems the internet faces? Will all the time and money being spent on these discussions bear the fruit we need? Does the focus on "internet governance" give too much responsibility to lawyers and policy specialists, and leave out technologists and publishers? Is it realistic that legislative reforms will be enough to stop this culture of secret government and corporate influence?

Sarah explores issues fundamental to a free internet - access to information, net neutrality and privacy, and how organisations like WikiLeaks engage in direct kinds of action to defend and spread these ideals. She outlines what is realistic to achieve in the fight for a free internet, and the most practical ways to move forward to protect ourselves and the public at large.


Keynote address

Wikileaks, Manning and Snowden: From USA to USB


One of the largest conferences about ecommerce and technology:
It all worked out very well, Sarah did a great job on stage captivating the audience.

An independent think-tank:
Dear Sarah — Thank you — on behalf of [ . . . ] — for your important contribution to the success of the 11th [ . . . ]. The inputs and ideas that you have shared with us on stage were thought provoking and very inspiring. This also shows in the enthusiastic feedback from our participants.