View Poll Results: Should the law develop a way of protecting whistle blowers of criminal activities?

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  • Yes, Courts could develop a doctrine

    12 66.67%
  • Absolutely not, we should prosecute aggressively

    2 11.11%
  • Other

    4 22.22%
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Thread: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

  1. #31
    pinqy's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
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    Today @ 08:46 AM

    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    Quote Originally Posted by kaya'08 View Post
    Yes pinqy, that is why the point of the OP is to promote discussion on making the law more flexible towards whistle blowers. So the issue is no longer "he broke a law, therefore must be arrested" but instead "he broke a law but under what circumstances, given the contents of the leaks, is this permissible"?
    You asked why the government is after him. The answer is that he broke the law.

    Simply saying "well he broke the law and should be arrested" is not only an indifference to justice,
    I kind of thought that was the definition of justice

    but a mandate to excuse the U.S government of using the law to shut up it's workers in order to break the law.
    except no intentional violations have been shown except in a dozen cases over 10 years where all perpetrators were punished or resigned.

    It is a foul excuse to deprive the liberty of somebody who has exposed unconstitutional activities (stop assuming we are talking about Snowden, this is a hypothetical discussion about whistle blowing illegal and/or unconstitutional US activities in general).
    except the law explicitly allows whistleblowers and prohibits reprisals.

    I'm not sure I understand the grammar of this quote. Are you asking me how the mass surveillance of the general populace is an invasion of privacy?
    1. a watch kept over a person, group, etc., especially over a suspect, prisoner, or the like: The suspects were under police surveillance.
    2. supervision or superintendence.
    Surveillance | Define Surveillance at

    I'm not aware of any "mass surveillance." A database that requires pre-approval and has restricted access and can only reveal an visual's identity with an specific warrant is not surveillance (or do you consider a phone book "mass surveillance" too?) And access to emails of specific foreign targets overseas is hardly mass surveillance.

    Pinqy, are you suggesting that terrorists had no clue that there phone calls and emails were being intercepted prior to these leaks?

    The only thing terrorists have learnt from this is that they can tick one box off their Jihadist to-do list, that being: "scare the US into depriving everybody of their liberties as we do our own people". Well done intelligence services. One point to theocratic bullying.
    How exactly have your liberties been deprived? Again, are you that arrogant to think anyone at any of the 16 intelligence agencies knows anything about you? And apparently the Brazilians and Germans, at least weren't't aware we were spying on them (which is neither illegal nor unconstitutional). And the terrorists may not have been aware of the scope or methods.

    It's going to take a lot more than "the government isn't going to bother looking at your phone calls and emails but collect them and store them for as long as they want" to assure me of anything.
    So you are that arrogant. American phone calls are not stored. I don't actually remember exactly how the prism database works, but if memory serves only foreign emails are collected in the first place.

    I think recent events should have taught you by now that this kind of blind faith and trust in your government is misplaced.
    Not being paranoid is not blind faith. I've read the transcripts of the various hearings. There is plenty of protection and oversight.
    Not that them looking at my data is the point, is it?
    Actually, it kind of've been complaining of the 4th ammendment being raped and loss of liberty, but if not yours, then whose? Who exactly has had their rights violated or liberty taken?

    It's blanket surveillance, they don't care about targeting specific people. They just harvest data and see what they get.
    Seriously? You believe they have that much time, money, and people to sort through all the information on the planet? That's idiotic.
    Therefore, since the world has still/Much good, but much less good than ill,
    And while the sun and moon endure/Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for ill and not for good.

  2. #32
    Sporadic insanity normal.

    The Mark's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    Today @ 02:52 PM

    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    In my mind, if someone is a "whistle blower", the reaction to their action should depend on the effects caused.

    If by blowing said whistle they caused harm to someone who did not deserve it (say, for example, leaking info on undercover agents working inside a radical Islamic terrorist organization, leading to deaths).

    Then they should not be protected.

    But if they, for example, leaked info that "damaged" someone who deserved to be damaged (for example, a corrupt elected or appointed public official [or private, even] who loses their position due to a leak exposing their corruption), then hell yes they should be protected from reprisals (which you know damn well would happen if any of that official's friends remain in power).

    tl;dr - it depends.

    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #33
    JumpinJack's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Dallas, TX
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    Today @ 08:01 AM

    Re: Should we protect whistle blowers when....

    Quote Originally Posted by kaya'08 View Post
    The United States has been caught red handed in a web of lies, deceit and subversion of the law on a scale even the most ardent of conspiracy theorists find hard to grapple with.

    From bugging the phones of allied leaders, the embassies of friendly nations and entire populations, American leaders have been scuppering to justify there illegal and/or grossly disproportionate war on privacy by insulting the memory of the victims of 9/11 and countless terrorist attacks across the nation.

    And although blaming terrorist elements for government misbehavior has become a bit of a banality since the Arabic unrest, the federal government insists it has been pushed into a corner by radicals, that it is fighting it's corner on the behalf of liberty, and that mass surveillance is it's means.

    Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have fallen foul of the United States, as it uses it's authority to attempt to smoke them out of every nation and embassy on Earth.

    But despite arguments as to whether or not these men have endangered US lives, the question remains: Should we protect whistle blowers who reveal blatantly disproportionate and obviously criminal activities sanctioned by the US government regardless of secrecy classification (ie, a legal entitlement to whistle-blowing)? Or should Courts remain indifferent as to the content of what has been leaked and concentrate instead on whether or not it can be proved that an individual caused the leak and charge accordingly (status quo)?

    Maybe the Courts could develop a doctrine to determine what constitutes a "legal entitlement to whistle-blowing".

    Like: would a reasonable actor regard the act as disproportionate, was the act contrary to the constitution of the United States and/or it's laws, was the realization of the act required or genuinely thought to be required in giving effect to the survival of the state or it's allies?

    On the other hand, maybe aggressively pursuing whistle blowers, regardless of what it is they leaked, is the only sure way of protecting U.S national security as a way of setting a precedent that leaks of any form, which could aid enemy countries, are not tolerated?
    Snowdon and others like him (who's that Wikileaks creep?) - they are not whistleblowers, IMO. There are laws protecting certain activities of the U.S. spy agencies. If someone wants to report criminal activities within those agencies, there are procedures for reporting that. Because it involves covert operations, the people who leak those activities are not whistleblowers, no matter what their reasons are. Whether they give the information to a specific country for money, or give it to the public at large (which in essence gives it to all countries), makes little difference. I believe they do it for selfish, monetary reasons in both cases.

    I believe that the reason these guys "leak" the information is not for the betterment of the country (they always leave the country for greener shores afterwards, right?). It is for money and self-gratification, fame, etc. It is for themselves.

    Real whistleblowers report on corporations and corporate executives. There are no avenues to report the wrongdoing because the wrongdoing is BY the corporation itself. The activities normally harm people, directly or indirectly (dumping toxic waste, putting chemicals in cigarettes to make them more addictive, covering up nuclear facility irregularities, etc.).

    Real whistleblowers are not criminally charged because they haven't committed a crime. They will get fired probably, and maybe violated a written agreement, and can be sued civilly.

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