The Whistleblower Protection Blog’s most popular posts during the past year covered a wide range of whistleblower topics including court victories improving whistleblower rights, the introduction of new whistleblower legislation,  and the Congressional celebration honoring whistleblowers.

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On January 22, the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (Sam Adams) selected retired NSA Technical Director William “Bill” Binney to receive its 2015 award for integrity in intelligence. The award was presented  at a ceremony in Berlin, Germany.

As a 36-year intelligence agency veteran, William Binney resigned from the NSA in 2001 and became a whistleblower after discovering that elements of a data-monitoring program he had helped develop were being used to spy on Americans. Binney explained that he “could not stay after the NSA began purposefully violating the Constitution.”  
Continue Reading NSA Whistleblower Wins Sam Adams Award

Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden issued the following press statement today in regard to the National Intelligence Agency’s plans to implement continuous monitoring of security clearance holders and it’s impact on whistleblowers who communicate with members of Congress:

Grassley, Wyden Press for Answers on Continuous Monitoring of
Whistleblower and Legislative Branch Communications

            WASHINGTON – Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden are pressing the Director of National Intelligence to explain in detail how the intelligence community plans to implement continuous monitoring of security clearance holders without undermining legal protections for whistleblowers or constitutional protections for the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branch.

In a letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Grassley and Wyden noted that any monitoring within the executive branch must preserve the rights and confidentiality of whistleblowers when making protected disclosures to Congress or Inspectors General.

The senators wrote, “If whistleblower communications with Inspectors General or with Congress are routinely monitored and conveyed to agency leadership, it would defeat the ability to make protected disclosures confidentially, which is especially important in an intelligence community context.  Truly meaningful whistleblower protections need to include the option of a legitimate channel for confidential disclosures.  Inspectors General and Congress provide such an option.  However, if potential whistleblowers believe that disclosing waste, fraud or abuse means putting a target on their backs for retaliation, they will be intimidated into silence.  The failure to provide such protected alternatives could result in whistleblowers choosing to make unprotected disclosures in public forums, with potential negative consequences for national security.”
Continue Reading Senators Demand Answers on Surveillance of Whistleblower Communications with Congress

NWC Executive Director Stephen Kohn spoke to CBS Evening News tonight about the chilling effect the FDA’s illegal whistleblower surveillance program has on employees’ willingness to report serious health and safety issues. You can TAKE ACTION to stop the government’s highly intrusive and harmful surveillance program by sending an email to your elected officials.

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf

Yesterday, Senator Charles Grassley and Representative Darrell Issa released a letter asking the Obama Administration for assistance in assessing the e-mail monitoring policies of all federal agencies. This letter was sent in light of Congressional and Office of Special Counsel investigations into the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) illegal targeting of whistleblowers for highly-intrusive monitoring.