Whistleblower film wins Best Documentary Oscar


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.

Jailed for Speaking to the Press: Stephen Kim


On Democracy Now!, Peter Maass (The Intercept) described the Obama administration’s prosecution of Stephen Kim under the Espionage Act, treatment typically reserved for whistleblowers.  Kim’s experiences are chronicled in a video documentary, “The Surrender,” by Steven Maing.

From DemocracyNow.org, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015.

A tendency to follow the herd rather than whistleblow may be part of our evolutionary past


By Paul Rauwolf, University of Bath and Dominic Mitchell, University of Bath The Conversation  Published 23 Jan 2015 in The Conversation

Whistleblowing performs a public service that is celebrated in the media, condoned by the public, and increasingly protected by the government. So why are we so reluctant to do it? Recent research we published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology suggests the opposing tendency to complicity may have roots in our evolutionary past.

The Conversation.com

Of course, humans (and many other species) benefit from duplicating the actions of those around us. But what of the cases when we discover that the actions of others are wrong? If the goal is to capitalise on this information, then you should expect that we immediately update our behaviour with the correct information and that the rest of the group will follow.

Victory! Supreme Court rules in favor of Robert MacLean and whistleblowing

Robert MacLean testifies to Congress. Photo by Linda Lewis

Robert MacLean testifies to Congress beside Susan Tsui Grundmann, MSPB Chair. Photo by Linda Lewis

Supporters of whistleblower Robert MacLean rejoiced Wednesday upon learning of his victory at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court decided, 7-2, that MacLean’s disclosure while a TSA air marshal was “not specifically prohibited by law.”.(Department of Homeland Security v. Robert MacLean, No. 13–894)

Sports whistleblowers left twisting in the wind


Photo credit: “FIFA” by Thomas Couto, Flickr CC

Sir Anthony Hooper and Mr. Andrew Smith, of the UK, have published a two-part report on “Whistleblowing in Sport” that challenges sports organizations to do a better job of protecting the integrity of sport. [Part 1] [Part 2]

The creation and maintenance of a culture and regulatory system which encourages whistleblowing is essential to the promotion of sporting integrity. Whilst there are some signs of progress, much more can and should be done to improve the situation.