Is the Vault 7 Source a Whistleblower?
Date Written: 2017-03-15
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20555
Historically, the criminal justice system has been a particularly inept judge of who is a whistleblower. Moreover, it has allowed the use of the pernicious Espionage Act – an arcane law meant to go after spies – to go after whistleblowers who reveal information the public interest.
Not all leaks of information are whistleblowing, and the word 'whistleblower' is a loaded term, so whether or not the Vault 7 source conceives of him or herself as a whistleblower is not a particularly pertinent inquiry. The label 'whistleblower' does not convey some mythical power or goodness, or some 'moral narcissism,' a term used to describe me when I blew the whistle. Rather, whether an action is whistleblowing depends on whether or not the information disclosed is in the public interest and reveals fraud, waste, abuse, illegality or dangers to public health and safety. Even if some of the information revealed does not qualify, it should be remembered that whistleblowers are often faulted with being over- or under-inclusive with their disclosures. Again, it is the quality of the information, not the quantity, nor the character of the source.