A whistleblower is a person who reveals activities or information within a corporate, public, or government establishment that are considered illicit, corrupt, or improper. The disclosed data usually pertains to professional malpractice such as corruption, fraud, health standard breaches, or other misconduct that undermine the well-being of the public or infringe upon the rights of a specific individual or collective.
- Corporate whistleblowing: Employees might disclose illegal activity, such as fraud or tax evasion, within their own company.
- Government whistleblowing: Government employees might reveal abuses of power or violations of law within a governmental body.
Advantages and disadvantages of whistleblowing
- Transparency: Whistleblowing promotes transparency, allowing illegal or unethical activities to be exposed and addressed.
- Protection: Many jurisdictions have laws that protect whistleblowers from retaliation, ensuring their safety after revealing sensitive information.
- Retaliation: Despite legal protections, whistleblowers may face retaliation in the form of job loss, harassment, or discrimination.
- Misinformation: Sometimes, the revealed information may be misinterpreted or manipulated, causing unnecessary chaos or harm.
Tips for whistleblowers
- Use secure communication: For both self-protection and protection of the revealed information, it’s recommended to use secure, encrypted communication channels, like VPNs or secure email services.
- Legal advice: Before disclosing information, seek counsel to understand the potential legal implications and protections.