The success of Edward Snowden’s disclosure of National Security Agency surveillance hinged on measures he took to prevent government detection of his communications with journalists. His contact, Laura Poitras, describes using similar measures to avoid tipping off authorities, who would have arrested Snowden and seized the evidence he collected from NSA computers.
Other federal agencies, state and local governments, and businesses also conduct surveillance. Our movements, communications and transactions are monitored in great detail, making it essential for whistleblowers who desire anonymity to develop cyber security skills and a bit of spycraft. It’s especially important for national security and qui tam whistleblowers, but potentially beneficial to others, too.
A Senate hearing in the Dirksen Office Building ended abruptly after someone called in a bomb threat to U.S. Capitol Police. Reportedly, a bomb had been placed in the room next to the hearing room. When word came to evacuate the hearing room, members of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs were listening to testimony from whistleblower Robert MacLean about TSA management failures that threatened aviation security. Sen. Ron Johnson, who chaired the hearing, later said the threat was determined to be false.
When facing the prospect of criminal prosecution for leaking highly classified material to his mistress and later lying about it to the FBI, General David Petraeus found unlikely allies on Capitol Hill. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) have all spoken out against criminally prosecuting the four-star general, in part because they feel he has “suffered enough.” This is not the first time that a high-ranking individual may skirt punishment for infractions that would land a subordinate in jail for years. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was also recently allegedly involved in highly classified leaks to the film producers of Zero Dark Thirty and treated with near impunity.
At an April 13 hearing, members of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs heard testimony from whistleblowers who confirmed that retaliation continues at medical facilities operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. At a previous hearing, on July 8, 2014, whistleblowers described retaliation for reporting inadequate medical services to veterans.
Dr. Maryann Hooker, a VA neurologist, described reprisals that targeted individuals who spoke favorably about whistleblowers as well as the whistleblowers themselves.
OSHA wants employers and employees to know that temporary employees “are entitled to the same protections under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the OSH Act) as all other covered workers.” That includes protection against retaliation for reporting hazardous or unhealthful working conditions to their employer, OSHA or other government agencies. The agency has issued a bulletin on Whistleblower Protection Rights (https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3781.pdf) in connection with its Temporary Worker Initiative,
The bad news is that whistleblower complaints from all workers fare poorly under OSHA. Nationwide, the agency found merit in only 2.7% of cases investigated from 2009 to 2014.
Non-profit whistleblower organizations say that the US Department of Justice has laws in place to protect FBI whistleblowers from retaliation, but the system does not work as intended.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has laws in place to protect US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) whistleblowers from retaliation, but the system does not work as intended, non-profit whistleblower organizations told Sputnik.
“The Justice Department’s program for protecting FBI whistleblowers is broken and does not work,” National Whistleblowers Center Executive Director Steven Kohn said on Thursday.
At the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony, the Oscar for “Best Documentary” went to “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ dramatic portrayal Edward Snowden’s disclosure of massive surveillance by the National Security Agency. Receiving the award were director Poitras, producer Dirk Wilutzky and editor Mathilde Bonnefoy. They were accompanied by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who won a Pulitzer for his reporting on the story, and Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills.