Is Snowden Inspiring A New Wave Of Whistleblowers?
from the courage-is-contagious dept
We noted last week that Japan was bringing in severe new punishments designed to discourage whistleblowing. That might suggest that following Snowden's leaks, there will now be a period of repression where potential whistleblowers lie low to avoid bringing down the wrath of governments on their heads. One person with a better idea than most about what is really going on here is Jesselyn Radack. She's employed by the General Accountability Project (GAP), a leading US whistleblower protection and advocacy organization. Here's part of her biography on the GAP site:
she works primarily with national security and intelligence community whistleblowers, including those from the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, NSA and CIA -- with a special focus on torture, secret surveillance, secrecy, and political discrimination.
That clearly puts her in an excellent position to judge to what extent whistleblowers within the intelligence community are intimidated by the actions being taken by the US government against leaks and the people who make them. This is what she says is happening, as told to ABC News:
"I think the government hopes to chill speech by employees in the national security and intelligence fields, especially those at the NSA and CIA, but the unintended consequence is [that] more and more whistleblowers are coming through the doors of the Government Accountability Project (GAP)," said Jesselyn Radack, referring to the organization where she works as the National Security and Human Rights Director. "I think courage is contagious, and we see more and more people from the NSA coming through our door after Snowden made these revelations."
It would be a truly extraordinary development if a new wave of whistleblowers started to come forward now -- not least because they might inspire yet more people to do the same, leading to a cascade of revelations, and bringing an unstoppable momentum to moves to reform the NSA.