Friday, March 31, 2017

3 Whistleblowers Who Changed The World As We Know It

Health Nut News | Mar 31, 2017 | Erin Elizabeth

The psychology behind whistleblowing is a tough gray area, mired in controversy over whether the whistleblower is a hero or a villain. Harm and distrust follow whistleblowers when not properly protected, making it harder for people and employees to inform the government and the people of corruption. Below are three whistleblowers who helped shaped and reform whistleblowing protection laws.

Mark Felt

Mark Felt was a previous 2nd and 3rd Associate Director of the FBI. Mark Felt, also known popularly as “Deep Throat”, provided important information to two Washington Post reporters that showed illegal activities taking place by the FBI under President Nixon’s administration, who were also covering up the activities. This lead to the government scandal known as Watergate, and ultimately to President Nixon’s resignation.

The Watergate Scandal left the American public wary of its own government, leaving a way for President Carter to campaign for more control over federal offices. Once in office, Carter created the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, in an effort to protect any Federal employees from negative actions stemming from the release of information pertaining to illegal activity within federal offices. Eleven years later, this act was updated by President Bush and became the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989.

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz, a young graduate from Stanford, created several platforms that allowed for easy petitioning. Swartz contributed vastly to preventing SOPA’s (Stop Online Piracy Act) passage, an Act that would have made it easier for the U.S. Government to spy and put difficult hardships on ISPs that would negatively affect their consumers.

Aaron Swartz co-authored and developed DeadDrop (now known as SecureDrop), a platform which allows whistleblowers to discreetly submit important documents and disclose critical information online without self-disclosure.

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, a previous employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, made news when he released particular information pertaining to NSA’s involvement in spying, along with leaking private NSA frameworks to the press. Snowden left the country before leaking the information, claiming that the U.S. government’s whistleblower protection did not extend to employees of America’s intelligence agencies. In response, President Barack Obama issued an order that amended previous whistleblower protection acts to extend toward American intelligence employees.

Throughout history, whistleblowers have paved the way to better protection for those seeking to do good. There is more protection than ever before for whistleblowers with the help of whistleblower protection law firms such as Kohn, Kohn, and Calapinto, who helped create the Whistleblowing protection agency, Securities and Exchange Commission, to help aide whistleblowers.

*Article originally appeared at Minds.

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