Whistleblower Protection Act reform dies again in the Senate

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For twelve years, whistleblower advocates have labored to convince the U.S. Congress to strengthen the 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA).  The WPA purports to  protect employees of federal agencies (but not intelligence agencies) from reprisal when they report possible waste, fraud and abuse. However, judicial interpretations have relentlessly weakened the law, giving agencies the green light to fire, shun, slander, assault and prosecute  whistleblowers as they choose.  (more…)

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange arrested in U.K.

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The founder of WikiLeaks, the website that publishes leaks and whistleblower disclosures, was arrested early Tuesday in the U.K. on a warrant issued in Sweden (CBS News).  Appearing before Judge Howard Riddle, of the Westminster Magistrate’s Court, Assange refused to agree to be expedited to Sweden, where authorities say they want to question him regarding allegations of rape, molestation and unlawful coercion (Wall Street Journal).  Judge Riddle denied bail.  (more…)

Whistleblowers the Focus of AFI Film Fest

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Over the next few days, the Project on Government Oversight and the DC Labor FilmFest are holding a whistleblower film fest at the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Silver Theater.  Located at 8633 Colesville Road in Silver Spring, Maryland, the theater is an easy walk from the Silver Spring metro (and worth a trip itself).  Stick around after the film and you will be treated to a discussion of the film by live whistleblowers.  (more…)

Is Julian Assange a hero or criminal?

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The release of Afghan war documents by Julian Assange’s organization Wikileaks has prompted many from-the-hip comments and accusations, but also has stimulated thoughtful (and long overdue) dialogue about expanding government secrecy. In this Al Jazeera video, journalists debate the legality and morality of WikiLeaks’ disclosure of classified information, and discuss the potential impacts on whistleblowing and journalism.

The video also includes a clip of Assange carrying a notebook computer as he steps up to the podium at a press conference. What brand of computer, you may ask, does a man on the run trust with his secrets? Answer: an Apple.