Paths To Knowledge (dot Science)

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Whistleblowing in the Public Interest

Posted by pwl on January 8, 2010

Police statement on the Climategate whistle-blower investigation:

“Norfolk Constabulary continues its investigations into criminal offences in relation to a data breach at the University of East Anglia. During the enquiry officers have been working in liaison with the Office of the Information Commissioner and with officers from the National Domestic Extremism Team. The UEA continues to co-operate with the enquiry however major investigations of this nature are of necessity very detailed and as a consequence can take time to reach a conclusion. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

It’s seems that anything that isn’t approved by those controlling those in charge at the National Domestic Extremism Team is considered “extremism”.

“The policing of domestic extremism focuses on criminal activity or potential crime and disorder sometimes associated with single-issue campaigns. NETCU fully supports people’s right to demonstrate lawfully and we recognise that most protest campaigns are conducted peacefully and legally. However, we also recognise that within some campaigns there are a small minority of individuals with extreme views and who are prepared to break the law in order to further their cause. These individuals sometimes try to hide their illegal activities by associating themselves with otherwise lawful campaign groups. Our work focuses on that criminal minority and not the majority of peaceful and lawful campaigners.”
http://www.netcu.org.uk/about/about.jsp

What a strange police unit.

So they consider a whistle-blower to be an extremist? That’s backwards.

“Although whistleblowers are often protected under law from employer retaliation, there have been many cases where punishment for whistleblowing has occurred, such as termination, suspension, demotion, wage garnishment, and/or harsh mistreatment by other employees. For example, in the United States, most whistleblower protection laws provide for limited “make whole” remedies or damages for employment losses if whistleblower retaliation is proven. However, many whistleblowers report there exists a widespread “shoot the messenger” mentality by corporations or government agencies accused of misconduct and in some cases whistleblowers have been subjected to criminal prosecution in reprisal for reporting wrongdoing.

As a reaction to this many private organizations have formed whistleblower legal defense funds or support groups to assist whistleblowers; one such example in the UK is Public Concern at Work. Depending on the circumstances, it is not uncommon for whistleblowers to be ostracized by their co-workers, discriminated against by future potential employers, or even fired from their organization. This campaign directed at whistleblowers with the goal of eliminating them from the organization is referred to as mobbing. It is an extreme form of workplace bullying wherein the group is set against the targeted individual.”

Has anyone engaged the PCaW in regards to the Climategate?

Public Concern at Work (PCaW) is the independent authority on public interest whistleblowing. Established as a charity in 1993 following a series of scandals and disasters, PCaW has played a leading role in putting whistleblowing on the governance agenda and in developing legislation in the UK and abroad. All our work is informed by the free advice we offer to people with whistleblowing dilemmas and the professional support we provide to enlightened organisations. pcaw.co.uk

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