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Purdue Says It Overreacted by Deleting Video of Journalist Who Showed Classified Slides

Purdue University says it overreacted when it took down a video of the journalist Barton Gellman’s recent presentation on national-security journalism because it contained classified slides released by Edward Snowden.

Mr. Gellman wrote in a blog post on Wednesday that the university confirmed it had deleted the video of his presentation after consulting with the Defense Security Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Defense. The episode amounted to “an overreaction while attempting to comply with regulations,” wrote the university’s assistant vice president for strategic communications, Julie Rosa, to Mr. Gellman. She went on: “I’m told we are attempting to recover the video, but I have not heard yet whether that is going to be possible.”

At issue were a handful of slides in Mr. Gellman’s September presentation, part of the university’s “Dawn or Doom” colloquium, displaying slides released by Mr. Snowden, a former government contractor, that remain classified by the government.

In his post, Mr. Gellman refers to a “facility security clearance” that Purdue has to perform classified research for the government, and surmises that the classified slides had violated the terms of the university’s agreement with Washington.

Here’s a cached version of his blog post. (Mr. Gellman was one of the journalists who first reported on the documents released by Mr. Snowden.) Apparently, it was a tweet from the exiled former contractor himself (and new Twitter user) that overloaded the Century Foundation’s website with traffic:

On Twitter, Mr. Gellman solicited examples of similar cases:

Here’s our coverage from the latter case at the Johns Hopkins University.

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