Issue Date: December 3, 2012
Whistle-Blower Rights Expanded
A law signed last week by President Barack Obama lays out new rights for federal whistle-blowers, including government scientists who challenge censorship. The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act expands protections for federal whistle-blowers, clarifies what disclosures are protected, and sets larger penalties for violating whistle-blower rights, according to a White House statement. “The legislation recognizes for the first time that censorship of federal information is as harmful to the country as other types of waste, fraud, and abuse in government,” Celia Wexler, senior Washington representative for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a blog post. UCS lobbied for new whistle-blower protections for government scientists for 14 years. “A scientist who exposes the censorship of federal information … is just as much a whistle-blower as the federal worker who exposes embezzlement or accepting bribes,” Wexler wrote. The bill received bipartisan support in the Senate and House of Representatives.
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