Whistleblowers not Protected in Intelligence Contractor Industry
Edward Snowden’s decision to leak National Security Agency (NSA) information not only raised concerns about Americans’ privacy and the national security state, but it also brought attention to how little protection whistleblowers like Snowden have in the intelligence community.
Current federal law provides employees working for the federal government with whistleblower protections if they want to report potential abuses.
But legislation adopted last year (the Whistleblower’s Protection Enhancement Act) excluded intelligence workers from receiving the same help federal workers enjoy.
President Barack Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19), issued in 2012, did grant intelligence workers directly employed by the federal government enhanced whistleblower protections against retaliation.
Federal workers employed in intelligence gathering can tell their complaints to the inspector general of the agency employing them or with members of Congress sitting on the intelligence committees.
However, intelligence employees working for private companies like Booz Allen Hamilton (such as Snowden) can be fired by their employers if they report potential abuses to inspectors general.
“I would say that there is a gaping loophole for intelligence community contractors,” Angela Canterbury, director of public policy at the Project on Government Oversight, told the International Business Times. “The riskiest whistle-blowing that you can possibly do on the government is as an intelligence contractor.”
To Learn More:
Snowden Leak Highlights Few Whistleblower Protections for Intelligence Contract Employees (by Mike Elk, In These Times)
Loopholes Exclude Intelligence Contractors Like Snowden From Whistleblower Protections (International Business Times)
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