Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Aug 21, 2016 To Crack Down on Securities Fraud, States Reward Whistle-Blowers
QUOTE: In the aftermath of the financial crisis, a growing army of confidential informants — better known as whistle-blowers — has helped federal securities regulators identify and prosecute wrongdoers. Now the same thing is happening at the state level...
New York Times Dec 30, 2014 Intelligence, defense whistleblowers remain mired in broken system
QUOTE: Since 9/11, defense and intelligence whistleblowers such as Greenstein have served as America’s conscience in the war on terrorism. Their assertions go to the heart of government waste, misconduct and overreach: defective military equipment, prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, surveillance of Americans. Yet the legal system that was set up to protect these employees has repeatedly failed those with the highest-profile claims. Many of them say they aren’t thanked but instead are punished for speaking out. More than 8,700 defense and intelligence employees and contractors have filed retaliation claims with the Pentagon inspector general since the 9/11 attacks, with the number increasing virtually every year...
McClatchy DC Nov 19, 2014 A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA
QUOTE: UVA's emphasis on honor is so pronounced that since 1998, 183 people have been expelled for honor-code violations such as cheating on exams. And yet paradoxically, not a single student at UVA has ever been expelled for sexual assault. "Think about it," says Susan Russell, whose UVA daughter's sexual-assault report helped trigger a previous federal investigation. "In what world do you get kicked out for cheating, but if you rape someone, you can stay?"
Rolling Stone Jan 10, 2014 Death threats and denial for woman who showed college athletes struggle to read
QUOTE: when CNN asked UNC for comment on Willingham's research, officials initially denied knowing about it, and said: "Such analysis is not part of her job duties at the university." Then, after being shown the e-mails, a spokesperson admitted that Willingham did share her findings and did have permission from the university to do the research...
CNN (Cable News Network) Dec 16, 2013 Judge Questions Legality of N.S.A. Phone Records
QUOTE: A federal district judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls most likely violates the Constitution, describing its technology as “almost Orwellian” and suggesting that James Madison would be “aghast” to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty in such a way.
New York Times Jun 27, 2013 NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama
QUOTE: The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans...under the program, launched in 2001, a federal judge sitting on the secret surveillance panel called the Fisa court would approve a bulk collection order for internet metadata "every 90 days"... The collection of these records began under the Bush administration's wide-ranging warrantless surveillance program, collectively known by the NSA codename Stellar Wind.
Guardian Unlimited Mar 04, 2013 Embattled Scottish Cardinal O'Brien apologizes for 'my sexual conduct'
QUOTE: A Scottish cardinal who had earlier challenged allegations of sexual impropriety -- claims that once again shined an international spotlight on alleged sexual abuse involving Roman Catholic clergy -- reversed course Sunday and apologized....Two Italian publications said Benedict, 85, resigned not because of his advanced age but because of a brewing scandal over the blackmail of gay priests by male prostitutes in Rome.
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 02, 2013 Selling the Home Brand: A Look Inside an Elite JPMorgan Unit
QUOTE: To bolster sales, said the advisers, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retribution, JPMorgan largely pushes its own bank-branded investments, which include a mix of mutual funds. While the practice can be legal, competitors have moved away from such investments after facing perceived conflicts. The concern is that, driven by fees, banks will push their own products over lower-cost options with stronger returns.
New York Times Oct 18, 2012 Boy Scout Files Detail Decades of Abuse Accusations
QUOTE: Regrets and recriminations about how the Boy Scouts of America have policed the ranks of its scoutmasters and other volunteers to guard against sexual predators — and how they have often failed — echo through the thousands of pages of internal documents, police files and newspaper clippings....They do not suggest that scouting was riddled with sexual stalkers.
New York Times Apr 21, 2012 Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle
QUOTE: Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters....The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation. Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.
New York Times Mar 06, 2012 Female service members sue U.S. military for alleged rape, sexual assault
QUOTE: '"Although defendants testified before Congress and elsewhere that they have 'zero tolerance' for rape and sexual assault, their conduct and the facts demonstrate the opposite: They have a high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks, and 'zero tolerance' for those who report rape, sexual assault and harassment," according to the lawsuit...'
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 06, 2012 Web Sites Shine Light on Petty Bribery Worldwide
QUOTE: similar sites are spreading like kudzu around the globe, vexing petty bureaucrats the world over. Ms. Ramanathan said nongovernmental organizations and government agencies from at least 17 countries had contacted Janaagraha, the nonprofit organization in Bangalore that operates I Paid a Bribe, to ask about obtaining the source code and setting up a site of their own.
New York Times Feb 27, 2012 Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here
QUOTE: After accusations of sexual impropriety with female students, John Friend, the founder of Anusara, one of the world’s fastest-growing styles, told followers that he was stepping down for an indefinite period...Yoga teachers and how-to books seldom mention that the discipline began as a sex cult — an omission that leaves many practitioners open to libidinal surprise.
New York Times Feb 10, 2012 The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to Read
QUOTE: a bombshell piece about Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis, a 17-year Army veteran recently returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. According to the Times, the 48-year-old Davis had written an 84-page unclassified report, as well as a classified report, offering his assessment of the decade-long war. That assessment is essentially that the war has been a disaster and the military's top brass has not leveled with the American public about just how badly it’s been going.
Rolling Stone Jan 29, 2012 Words matter in Penn State perjury case
QUOTE: the story began with an assistant coach at Penn State, Mike McQueary, who testified that nearly 10 years ago he walked in on former coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in the football team's locker room showers. McQueary, who was a graduate assistant at the time, said he had no doubt that he witnessed "severe sexual acts" that were wrong and "over the lines." Yet, as a transcript shows, each time McQueary's story was told it became less specific, until others at the end of the line reacted as if what he had seen was no big deal.
CNN (Cable News Network) Nov 11, 2011 For Disabled Care Complaints, Vow of Anonymity Was False
QUOTE: For years, New York State has assured its employees who care for the developmentally disabled that there was a way they could confidentially report any concerns they had about the treatment of those in their care. And for years the state has been routinely breaking its promise.
New York Times Oct 26, 2011 When Secrets Aren’t Safe With Journalists (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: operational computer security is still not taught in most journalism schools, and poor data security practices remain widespread in news organizations....Until journalists take their security obligations seriously, it will be safer to leak something to WikiLeaks — or groups like it — than to the mainstream press.
New York Times Jan 03, 2011 A Clear Danger to Free Speech
QUOTE: THE so-called Shield bill, which was recently introduced in both houses of Congress in response to the WikiLeaks disclosures, would amend the Espionage Act of 1917 to make it a crime for any person knowingly and willfully to disseminate, “in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States,” any classified information “concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States.” Although this proposed law may be constitutional as applied to government employees who unlawfully leak such material to people who are unauthorized to receive it, it would plainly violate the First Amendment to punish anyone who might publish or otherwise circulate the information after it has been leaked.
New York Times Dec 08, 2010 ‘Operation Payback’ Attacks Fell Visa.com (The Lede)
QUOTE: A group of Internet activists took credit for crashing the Visa.com Web site on Wednesday afternoon, hours after they launched a similar attack on MasterCard. The cyber attacks, by activists who call themselves Anonymous, are aimed at punishing companies that have acted to stop the flow of donations to WikiLeaks in recent days. The group explained that its distributed denial of service attacks — in which they essentially flood Web sites site with traffic to slow them down or knock them offline — were part of a broader effort called Operation Payback, which began as a way of punishing companies that attempted to stop Internet file-sharing and movie downloads.
New York Times Dec 02, 2010 Swedish Court Confirms Arrest Warrant for WikiLeaks Founder
QUOTE: Sweden’s highest court refused on Thursday to allow Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing organization, to appeal a court order seeking his arrest to face questioning over alleged sex crimes...
New York Times Dec 01, 2010 How Lieberman Got Amazon To Drop Wikileaks
QUOTE: [Amazon's] terms of acceptable use include a ban on illegal activities (it's not yet clear whether Wikileaks has broken any laws) and content "that may be harmful to our users, operations, or reputation." It also prohibits using Amazon's servers "to violate the security or integrity of any network, computer or communications system," although Wikileaks obviously obtained the cables long before hopping on Amazon's servers.
Talking Points Memo (TPM) Nov 28, 2010 Leaked Cables Offer Raw Look at U.S. Diplomacy
QUOTE: A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.
New York Times Oct 27, 2010 Glaxo to Pay $750 Million for Sale of Bad Products
QUOTE: GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug giant, has agreed to pay $750 million to settle criminal and civil complaints that the company for years knowingly sold contaminated baby ointment and an ineffective antidepressant — the latest in a growing number of whistle-blower lawsuits that drug makers have settled with multimillion-dollar fines.
New York Times Jul 01, 2010 Change in IRS rules could block rewards for whistleblowers
QUOTE: When information from whistleblowers helps the IRS recover unpaid taxes, the informants are entitled to as much as 30 percent of the proceeds. However, the new manual explains that the tipster is out of luck if, instead of yielding a payment to the IRS, the tip stops a refund or reduces a credit.
Washington Post May 19, 2010 Whistle-Blowers Become Investment Option for Hedge Funds
QUOTE: Informants who turn in tax cheats have to wait years to get their share of any reward from the I.R.S.’s recently expanded whistle-blower program. So hedge funds, private equity groups and other big investors...agreeing to buy a percentage of those future payouts in exchange for a smaller amount upfront to the whistle-blowers.
New York Times May 15, 2010 Toyota had attack plan against congressional testimony, documents show
QUOTE: Toyota officials sought to develop a public relations campaign to attack the credibility of key witnesses who have testified before Congress about acceleration problems with the company's cars...
Washington Post Mar 02, 2010 Scientists Taking Steps to Defend Work on Climate
QUOTE: For months, climate scientists have taken a vicious beating in the media and on the Internet, accused of hiding data, covering up errors and suppressing alternate views...Tentatively and grudgingly, they are beginning to engage their critics, admit mistakes, open up their data and reshape the way they conduct their work.
New York Times Nov 05, 2009 Who's in Big Brother's Database?
QUOTE: these new centers in Utah, Texas, and possibly elsewhere will likely become the centralized repositories for the data intercepted by the NSA in America's version of the "big brother database" rejected by the British.
New York Review of Books (NYRB) Aug 25, 2009 Probe: New Orleans flood control pumps not reliable
QUOTE: Huge flood-control pumps installed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina don't protect the city adequately and the Army Corps of Engineers could have saved $430 million in replacement costs by buying proven equipment, a federal investigation finds.
USA TODAY Aug 22, 2009 Ridge's Telling Tale, or Just Another Tell-All?
QUOTE: There is something about the Beltway culture that seems to discourage protest resignations. Instead, the well-worn path is to collect your grievances, find a publisher, hit the talk-show circuit and recast yourself as a painfully honest critic of the administration you once saluted.
Washington Post Aug 18, 2009 Court offers guidelines on when to unmask anonymous posters
QUOTE: when do accusations of wrongdoing justify the removal of anonymity from the sources of anonymous statements made via the Internet.
Ars Technica Aug 07, 2009 A $191 Million Question: How a relationship between an Army official and a private contractor led to allegations of collusion and impropriety
QUOTE: Reforms a decade ago, intended to make the system [procurement system] more efficient and entrepreneurial, had unintended consequences: insufficient oversight, conflicts of interest, unprecedented outsourcing and an endlessly revolving door that leads government officials into the offices of contractors.
Washington Post Jun 28, 2009 In Kenya, corruption exposé is too hot to sell
QUOTE: When British journalist Michela Wrong published her book about the crushing effects of Kenyan corruption a few months back, she knew her material would be explosive. Even today, no bookstore in Kenya offers her book, "It's Our Turn to Eat" for sale. Many booksellers, noting past lawsuits for defamation, fretted over reprisals by politicians named in the book.
Christian Science Monitor Jun 03, 2009 Inspector Predicted Problems a Year Before Buffalo Crash
ABSTRACT: [Inspector] Mr. Monteleon said his supervisors [FAA] were too “cozy” with Colgan [Airline]...
New York Times Mar 19, 2009 Soldiers’ Accounts of Gaza Killings Raise Furor in Israel
QUOTE: In the two months since Israel ended its military assault on Gaza, Palestinians and international rights groups have accused it of excessive force and wanton killing in that operation, but the Israeli military has said it followed high ethical standards and took great care to avoid civilian casualties.
New York Times Jan 09, 2009 FDA scientists allege mismanagement at agency
QUOTE: Nine scientists at the Food and Drug Administration have written a letter to President-elect Barack Obama and his transition team, alleging gross mismanagement.... at the agency that has "placed the American public at risk."
CNN (Cable News Network) Aug 14, 2008 How (Not) to Fix a Flaw Experts say disclosing bugs prevents security flaws from festering.
QUOTE: argues that researchers need to be protected as they investigate these types of flaws. "It's extremely rare for a court to bar anyone from speaking before that person has even had a chance to speak," she says. "We think this sets a terrible precedent that's very dangerous for security research."
Technology Review Jul 15, 2008 At the Uneasy Intersection of Bloggers and the Law
QUOTE: A grand jury subpoena sent by prosecutors in the Bronx earlier this year sought information to help identify people blogging anonymously on a Web site about New York politics called Room 8. The subpoena carried a warning in capital letters that disclosing its very existence “could impede the investigation being conducted and thereby interfere with law enforcement” — implying that if the bloggers blabbed, they could be prosecuted.
New York Times May 14, 2008 Whistleblower Exposes Practices of Wal-Mart, JC Penney Importers: U.S. Attorney settles custom fraud case related to apparel made in China
QUOTE: customs fraud case that saw goods manufactured in China falsely labeled as made in Korea or Russia, and sold as such in the United States at Wal-Mart, JC Penney, Family Dollar Stores, Kohls and Marshalls stores. The benefit to the subterfuge was that the importers—Intertex Apparel Group, J.J. Basics and Ben’s Clothing—could evade quotas on goods manufactured in China and dodge customs fees...
CRO Magazine May 06, 2008 F.B.I. Raids Office of Special Counsel
QUOTE: The office of the official responsible for protecting federal workers from political interference was raided by F.B.I. agents on Tuesday as part of an investigation into whether he himself mixed politics with official business. The raid took place at the office of Scott J. Bloch, the head of the Office of Special Counsel. Computers and documents were seized by agents trying to determine whether Mr. Bloch obstructed justice by hiring an outside company to “scrub” his computer files...
New York Times Feb 19, 2008 Web Site That Posts Leaked Material Ordered Shut
QUOTE: In a move that legal experts said could present a major test of First Amendment rights in the Internet era, a federal judge in San Francisco on Friday ordered the disabling of a Web site devoted to disclosing confidential information.
New York Times Feb 19, 2008 Employer retaliation cases reach U.S. Supreme Court
QUOTE: When can workers sue against acts of retaliation by employers? Two cases slated for hearing this week may help clarify.
Christian Science Monitor Feb 18, 2008 Google News Slow To Reinstate UN Critic: Inner City Press accused Google of UN complicity
QUOTE: a whistleblower in UNDP's legal department had his office computer impounded and was told, you have visited InnerCityPress.com multiple times. While the interrogation reflected contempt for the freedom to read and freedom of the press, the issue goes far beyond the corporate culture at UNDP, to that of Google. The Government Accountability Project also criticized Google for delisting Inner City Press.
WebProNews Nov 21, 2007 Group Says St. Patrick’s Sells Sweatshop Goods
QUOTE: The group, the National Labor Committee, which has unearthed past examples of abusive work conditions, said it had bought crucifixes in the Roman Catholic cathedral that had been assembled by workers toiling under deplorable conditions.
New York Times Oct 10, 2007 When US-made 'censorware' ends up in iron fists: Despite Burma's record of repression, it's probably legal for American companies to sell Internet filters there, export lawyers say. But is it ethical?
QUOTE: Absence of federal regulation has allowed so-called censorware of at least four California companies to end up in the hands of foreign governments shown to block citizens' access to political, religious, and other websites.
Christian Science Monitor Jul 19, 2007 Safety Falters As Chinese Quiet Those Who Cry Foul
QUOTE: The case of Zhang [Zhijian] and other would-be whistleblowers opens a window into the weaknesses of China's regulatory system, which in recent months has come under global criticism after a string of recalls of unsafe pet food, toothpaste, toys, tires and seafood.
Washington Post Jul 07, 2007 Whistle-Blower's Fight For Pension Drags On: Former Defense Official Seeks Private Relief Bill
QUOTE: Federal investigations found Barlow was unfairly fired, winning him sympathy from dozens of Democratic and Republican lawmakers and public interest groups. But for 17 years, he has fought without success to gain a federal pension, blocked at every turn by legal and political obstacles also faced by other federal intelligence whistle-blowers.
Washington Post May 17, 2007 Commerce Inspector General Broke Whistle-Blower Law, Report Finds
QUOTE: The Commerce Department's inspector general, who is supposed to look into complaints of wrongdoing by government officials, committed "egregious violations" of the federal law that protects whistle-blowers by retaliating against two subordinates, a government investigation has concluded.
Washington Post May 14, 2007 Lawmakers Warn Watchdog
QUOTE: The lawmakers, as well as two federal agencies, are investigating allegations that [Commerce Inspector General Johnnie E.] Frazier -- whose job it is to root out waste, fraud and abuse at the Commerce Department -- has himself misspent money, abused government travel and retaliated against employees who raised concerns.
Washington Post May 08, 2007 Justice Dept. Allows Immunity Deal for Former Gonzales Aide's Testimony
QUOTE: Goodling, who resigned last month as Gonzales's senior counselor and White House liaison, has invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to answer questions from House and Senate investigators about the firings. She worked closely with D. Kyle Sampson, then Gonzales's chief of staff, on the dismissals and is also the subject of an internal Justice Department investigation of whether she weighed political affiliation in reviewing hiring decisions for career prosecutors.
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