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What are your thoughts on whistle blowers?


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I don't think you can draw any single rule on whistle blowers. It'll always come down to a balance of what is for the public good and that is rarely an easy line to draw. The bulk release of illegally obtained information without review is likely to cross that line in most people's opinion. In the UK there are legal protections for public officials as long as they are acting in good faith. Which again will often be a difficult line to draw. To a certain extent you have to have confidence in the justice system. 

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6 hours ago, Alex Mercer said:

People obtain information illegally and spread to the public. Do you side with the whistle-blower or not and why?

People like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange 

"Whistle-blower" has an official designation (in the US, at least)

"On the simplest level, a whistleblower is someone who reports waste, fraud, abuse, corruption, or dangers to public health and safety to someone who is in the position to rectify the wrongdoing." (emphasis added)

https://www.whistleblowers.org/what-is-a-whistleblower/

i.e. they report incidents and infractions to someone within the system. Leaking to the press and outside world is not whistleblowing. In the US, they are supposed to be afforded legal protection from retaliation from reporting on the organization for whom they work.

Neither Snowden nor Assange are whistle-blowers. Assange wasn't even inside of the system, and only received information from leakers, so he's not even a whistle-blower by any relaxed, lay definition of the term.

If you want to discuss leaking private/classified information, then call it what it is.

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I'm 100% aligned with both Klaynos and Swansont above.

It really depends on the details of the situation and varies case-by-case. There is no way to remain reasonable and rational when attempting to apply "one size fits all" thinking on this type of issue.

It's also no longer "whistle blowing" when the information is being cascaded through external channels or media outlets without regard for the safety of our personnel or our country. If the internal processes (or local ombudsmen) in place to address these sorts of ethical issues have already been tried and failed, then it MAY be appropriate to take other steps outside the system, but this once again returns us to the "it depends on the details of each individual case" territory.

After that, and beyond the process focused discussion, these decisions all occur within the subjective territory of what constitutes the "public good," and "which" public is benefiting or being harmed by the release / leak. This obviously will differ from one person to the next. Ask 10 people what's in the public good and you'll get 10 different answers.

Finally, I'm also far less sympathetic to the leaker and their good intent / positive motivations when their source (and/or their funding) is from some other nation state which has a clear agenda... where the leak is basically being used as a soft / non-kinetic attack on another nation state or on democracy itself (like the Podesta emails or disinformation campaigns on social media, for example).

Worse yet... even I myself am inconsistent on this subject within my own thinking. By example, I'd be far more open to an attack on another country launched by my own than on an attack launched on my country by another... or from my employer on to a competitor. 

This is anything but a simple question which leads to simple and binary yes/no answers. Nuance matters here, and the ONLY correct answer is that "it depends" and varies case-by-case. 

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14 minutes ago, scientiaphilia said:

Whistleblowers are who I side with. Because I prefer knowledge and protecting myself from puppet masters who use secrets to control the masses.

I appreciate the sentiment, but what if there was a valid process in place to address concerns, maybe even an ombudsman, and they circumvented them? What then? Still have your full unwavering support, or do these issues maybe have degrees of nuance that aren’t so well represented with binary thinking?

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10 minutes ago, iNow said:

I appreciate the sentiment, but what if there was a valid process in place to address concerns, maybe even an ombudsman, and they circumvented them? What then? Still have your full unwavering support, or do these issues maybe have degrees of nuance that aren’t so well represented with binary thinking?

Binary thinking is what I learned today because of you. I found binary thinking to be intriguing. Otherwise, I am adamant on defending whistleblowers who care about preventing the masses from being vulnerable to tyranny. History has proven people are capable of war, brainwashing, oppressive classism, abusive sexism, toxic racism, short-sighted actions that backfire, bribery, greed, anti-intellectual censorship, and other issues. All of that with cynicism makes me have an inclination to trust honest people who say truths rather than keep information from the public.

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12 hours ago, scientiaphilia said:

Whistleblowers are who I side with. Because I prefer knowledge and protecting myself from puppet masters who use secrets to control the masses.

There's a very thin line between a whistle-blower and a traitor; would you prefer to know that you're about to be hit by a train, or just whistle down the track's?

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

There's a very thin line between a whistle-blower and a traitor;

No, there isn’t.

As I described above, anyone who might be branded a traitor is leaking information, not whistle-blowing.

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On 6/15/2021 at 1:53 AM, iNow said:

You typed a lot of words there, but didn’t actually answer my question. 

I don't think there is an efficient process to address and eliminate concerns/issues when there are rigged systems that treat people differently based on how much money, power, and popularity they have. Orphans who weren't born in countries that their foster parents take them to migrate to will have a harder time gaining political power when there are countries that only allow people who were born into those countries to become politicians in specific occupations. There is also a discrimination against people whose religions, mannerisms, political views, and such do not match the political narrative that the countries have at times. For example, French politicians have mostly different mannerisms, political views, opinions on religion, and other things than Saudi Arabian politicians do. This is why there are political systems that are rigged to favour people with particular political opinions, religious opinions, manners, and other things depending on where those political systems are. So, sometimes trying to address concerns can be challenging to do. What do you think?

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2 minutes ago, scientiaphilia said:

I don't think there is an efficient process to address and eliminate concerns/issues when there are rigged systems that treat people differently based on how much money, power, and popularity they have. Orphans who weren't born in countries that their foster parents take them to migrate to will have a harder time gaining political power when there are countries that only allow people who were born into those countries to become politicians in specific occupations. There is also a discrimination against people whose religions, mannerisms, political views, and such do not match the political narrative that the countries have at times. For example, French politicians have mostly different mannerisms, political views, opinions on religion, and other things than Saudi Arabian politicians do. This is why there are political systems that are rigged to favour people with particular political opinions, religious opinions, manners, and other things depending on where those political systems are. So, sometimes trying to address concerns can be challenging to do. What do you think?

This is related to whistleblowing…how?

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20 hours ago, iNow said:

Unsure why it’s so hard for you. It wasn’t a trick question. Pretty straight forward and reasonable, really. 

I was preoccupied with things that kept me from answering your question.

1 minute ago, swansont said:

This is related to whistleblowing…how?

This isn't related to whistleblowing. This was a response to iNow's question.

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9 minutes ago, scientiaphilia said:

This isn't related to whistleblowing. This was a response to iNow's question.

My question was related to whistleblowing. 

I agree that your responses were not (neither of them).

On 6/14/2021 at 7:29 PM, iNow said:

I appreciate the sentiment, but what if there was a valid process in place to address concerns, maybe even an ombudsman, and they circumvented them? What then? Still have your full unwavering support, or do these issues maybe have degrees of nuance that aren’t so well represented with binary thinking?

 

19 minutes ago, scientiaphilia said:

So, sometimes trying to address concerns can be challenging to do. What do you think?

I tend to agree, but your reply was focused on politics. This question is one of ethics and whistleblowing occurs in other places outside of governments, too. 

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On 6/15/2021 at 12:26 PM, dimreepr said:

There's a very thin line between a whistle-blower and a traitor; would you prefer to know that you're about to be hit by a train, or just whistle down the track's?

I know there's a difference between a traitor and whistleblower. There are whistleblowers that have helped the people become deprogrammed from their brainwashing indoctrination to keep them from being easily controlled puppets for government authorities who only care about money and power. The rise of mass surveillance, censorship, heavy government regulations, people being replaced by machines in the businesses, indoctrination institutions disguised as public schools, social credit systems, gun control laws, and other things are threatening creative freedom, artistic freedom, intellectual freedom, artisans who are trying to find jobs with good wages and good employee benefits that will let them be creative with their hands in the midst of people being replaced by machines in the businesses, job opportunities, and so forth. If being a traitor means helping people not become easily brainwashed puppets for authorities, then there are whistleblowers who have been traitors. Who knows if there are whistleblowers that were willing to get hit by a bus to protect people from tyrannical governments?

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13 hours ago, scientiaphilia said:

I know there's a difference between a traitor and whistleblower. There are whistleblowers that have helped the people become deprogrammed from their brainwashing indoctrination to keep them from being easily controlled puppets for government authorities who only care about money and power. The rise of mass surveillance, censorship, heavy government regulations, people being replaced by machines in the businesses, indoctrination institutions disguised as public schools, social credit systems, gun control laws, and other things are threatening creative freedom, artistic freedom, intellectual freedom, artisans who are trying to find jobs with good wages and good employee benefits that will let them be creative with their hands in the midst of people being replaced by machines in the businesses, job opportunities, and so forth. If being a traitor means helping people not become easily brainwashed puppets for authorities, then there are whistleblowers who have been traitors. Who knows if there are whistleblowers that were willing to get hit by a bus to protect people from tyrannical governments?

My point was, the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is from the perspective of the observer.

If what you say is true (you'll need evidence), what can you do about it?

Perhaps, whistle down the track's is the better option, if you can't prove what you think...

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A whistle-blower is one who reports wrongdoing to their chain of command or a designated point of contact outside the chain. There’s nothing traitorous about reporting suspected criminal behavior to the authorities.

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29 minutes ago, swansont said:

A whistle-blower is one who reports wrongdoing to their chain of command or a designated point of contact outside the chain. There’s nothing traitorous about reporting suspected criminal behavior to the authorities.

Indeed, that's the perspective...

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