All 28 members of aÂ House committee voted to pass strong, new whistleblowerÂ protections in February. That’s a strong start to a bill that the Government Accountability Project says “will create a gold standard for public employees free speech rights.”
This proposal must still clear the full House, pass the Senate and get signed. But how encouraging to have such a strong bipartisan start!Â
Nothing advances free speech as powerfully as protecting employees who step foward to report organizational misdeeds. As I understand it, this bill would protect government employees, including those with national security roles. But I am not aware that this proposal has any bearing on corporate whistleblowers. Anyone know?
Here is the text of the HouseÂ bill.Â I think that a companion bill was introduced a bit earlierÂ in the Senate but has not yet been acted on. Here is a Government Accountability press release on thatÂ as well as a link to the Senate textÂ .
Meanwhile, if you just gotta leakÂ before the protections are in place, the New Scientist magazine recently published provocatively titled, “How to leak a secret and not get caught.” Quick hint: visit Wikileaks.org. Here is the FAQÂ and here is what the group says it is about:
Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interests are oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations.
Open government guide forÂ citizenÂ journalists:Â A search brought me to the Reporter’s CommitteeÂ for Freedom of theÂ Press, asÂ impressive a group of newsgatherersÂ as I’ve ever seen assembled.Â Moreover thisÂ seem to be workhorse groupÂ as well as aÂ showhorse group. For instance, the committee recently published Open Government Guide for each of the 50 U.S. states. What a great resource for local journalists and new media startups.