Does Wikileaks Support Corporate Whistleblowers?
For those who did not read my previous post about Wikileaks.org, here is an explanation of what Wikileaks does, copied from their website:
“Wikileaks is an uncensorable version of Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. It combines the protection and anonymity of cutting-edge cryptographic technologies with the transparency and simplicity of a wiki interface.
Wikileaks looks like Wikipedia. Anybody can post comments to it. No technical knowledge is required. Whistleblowers can submit documents anonymously and untraceably. Users can publicly discuss documents and analyze their credibility and veracity. Users can discuss the latest material, read and write explanatory articles on leaks along with background material and context. The political relevance of documents and their veracity can be revealed by a cast of thousands.
Wikileaks incorporates advanced cryptographic technologies to ensure anonymity and untraceability. Those who provide leaked information may face severe risks, whether of political repercussions, legal sanctions or physical violence. Accordingly, sophisticated cryptographic and postal techniques are used to minimize the risks that anonymous sources face.”
Now that you know what they do, the excerpt below copied from the Wikileaks “About” page at http://www.wikileaks.org provides information on Wikileaks views regarding Corporate Whistle blowers. I believe that the work these folks are doing will likely have a far reaching impact on our professions, corporate ethics, fraud investigations and governance in general. Read and reach your own conclusions:
“Does Wikileaks support corporate whistleblowers?
It is increasingly obvious that corporate fraud must be effectively addressed. In the US, employees account for most revelations of fraud, followed by industry regulators, media, auditors and, finally, the SEC. Whistleblowers account for around half of all exposures of fraud.
Corporate corruption comes in many forms. The number of employees and turnover of some corporations exceeds the population and GDP of some nation states. When comparing countries, after observations of population size and GDP, it is usual to compare the system of government, the major power groupings and the civic freedoms available to their populations. Such comparisons can also be illuminating in the case of corporations.
Considering the largest corporations as analogous to a nation state reveals the following properties:
1. The right to vote does not exist except for share holders (analogous to land owners) and even there voting power is in proportion to ownership.
2. All power issues from a central committee.
3. There is no balancing division of power. There is no fourth estate. There are no juries and innocence is not presumed.
4. Failure to submit to any order may result in instant exile.
5. There is no freedom of speech.
6. There is no right of association. Even romance between men and women is often forbidden without approval.
7. The economy is centrally planned.
8. There is pervasive surveillance of movement and electronic communication.
9. The society is heavily regulated, to the degree many employees are told when, where and how many times a day they can go to the toilet.
10. There is little transparency and something like the Freedom of Information Act is unimaginable.
11. Internal opposition groups, such as unions, are blackbanned, surveilled and/or marginalized whenever and wherever possible.
While having a GDP and population comparable to Belgium, Denmark or New Zealand, many of these multi-national corporations have nothing like their quality of civic freedoms and protections. This is even more striking when the regional civic laws the company operates under are weak (such as in West Papua, many African states or even South Korea); there, the character of these corporate tyrannies is unobscured by their civilizing surroundings.
Through governmental corruption, political influence, or manipulation of the judicial system, abusive corporations are able to gain control over the defining element of government — the sole right to deploy coersive force.
Wikileaks endeavors to civilize corporations by exposing uncivil plans and behavior. Just like a country, a corrupt or unethical corporation is a menace to all inside and outside it.”
I’ve heard calls for reforms in the board room, but what these folks are talking about goes a little beyond that!