House Approves Military Whistleblower Protection Act Makeover
Last Thursday, the House of Representatives approved section 1714 in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, which overhauls the discredited Military Whistleblower Protection Act (MWPA) of 1988. The reform is a consensus between House and Senate negotiators, with no Senate opposition expected when that chamber votes on the NDAA this week. GAP's blog has more.
Associated Press: Vermont Auditor Hoffer Seeks Whistleblower Protection
On Friday, Vermont's auditor asked lawmakers to legislatively ensure that the identities of whistleblowers "who want to report problems in state government" can remain anonymous. Before a state committee, Auditor Doug Hoffer said that his office could be compelled, under current law, to release the names of whistleblowers.
Key Quote: “When I came into office I learned that people who contact my office and want to share information about what they consider to be wrongdoing — waste, fraud and abuse and so forth — I cannot protect their identify, which I think has a chilling effect on their calling my office." Hoffer said Friday after he testified in front of the Legislature’s Public Records Legislative Study Committee. “It’s to our benefit for more people to call my office rather than fewer.”
Related Article: Vermont Public Radio
Washington Post: By Cracking Cellphone Code, NSA Has Ability to Decode Private Conversations
The latest revelation from a disclosure by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden illustrates that the agency has the ability to break very popular "cellphone encryption technology," giving the federal government the ability to "decode most of the billions of calls and texts that travel over public airwaves every day."
Also related to Snowden, last night 60 Minutes featured an interview with NSA head Keith Alexander which has already been thoroughly criticized by others. In the segment, Alexander disagreed with the notion of providing Snowden amnesty for his actions.
Is FDA's Voluntary Plan Enough to Tackle Excessive Antibiotic Use?
GAP's Food Integrity Campaign discusses FDA's final proposal to phase out non-therapeautic use of certain antibiotics on farm animals. Concerns regarding the plan include the fact that the guidelines are voluntary and not aggressive enough to enact real change.
Dylan Blaylock is Communications Director for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.