In a seven-hour interview with The Guardian, NSA whistleblower and GAP client Edward Snowden urged all professionals with a duty to protect confidentiality – journalists, lawyers, doctors, priests and others – to upgrade their digital security in wake of the surveillance revelations. During the extensive interview, Snowden answered a variety of questions and spoke at length about his future. Snowden also offered that if he “end(s) up in chains in Guantanamo I can live with that.” A short video of the interview is available here.
Snowden provided insight into his daily life in Russia, detailed how NSA analysts routinely share explicit “sexually compromising” photos of surveillance subjects with other agency staff, and asserted his desire for a jury trial (rather than one decided by a single judge) if he eventually returns to the U.S. The full interview will be available on The Guardian website later today.
This blog argues that despite the creation of the SEC Whistleblower Program, retaliatory tactics by corporations continue to cause permanent damage to financial whistleblowers’ careers and lives. In an effort to bolster the anti-reprisal protection within the SEC Whistleblower Program, GAP will present a panel on National Whistleblower Appreciation Day (July 30) examining the state of financial whistleblower protections.
In this Huffington Post column, GAP Executive Director Bea Edwards explains the importance of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay’s public support of NSA whistleblower and GAP client Edward Snowden. Pillay’s recently published report, Edwards argues, puts “an end to the American debates about the meaning of the Fourth Amendment as a protection against unreasonable searches and seizures in the context of electronic data.”
Key Quote: The perspective of the United Nations on the Snowden disclosures is an important development in the debate about government and corporate surveillance, both here and abroad. The report states clearly and repeatedly that wholesale surveillance of populations violates the principle of the human right to privacy. This conclusion, argued in reference to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 17, trumps the self-obsessed discussion about what is legal in this country and what isn’t.
More coverage of the recent bill passed by the House of Representatives that allows federal whistleblowers to appeal their cases for the next three years in any U.S. Court of Appeals with jurisdiction. Further details on the All Circuit Review Extension Act can be found in GAP’s press release.
Key Quote: The 2012 law included several new protections for employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse within the government. The Make-It-Safe Coalition, which includes dozens of groups that advocate for whistleblower protections, said the so-called all circuit review was the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act’s “most significant structural reform.” The Government Accountability Office is required to assess the law’s effectiveness four years after enactment.
GAP and other groups are asking the USDA to release its revised poultry inspection rule for public comment. GAP’s Food Integrity Campaign blogged last week about what USDA whistleblowers are saying about the rule, including that “there will be no food safety under this plan.”
An anti-graft watchdog is calling on the Malaysian government to review that country’s Whistleblower Protection Act. The group claims whistleblowers face reprisal for doing the right thing. Under current law, whistleblowers do not enjoy any protection if they report wrongdoing to any entity other than a government agency.
Dylan Blaylock is Communications Director for the Government Accountability Project, the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.