In a Washington Post article titled Intelligence security initiatives have chilling effect on federal whistleblowers, critics say, whistleblower lawyer Jason Zuckerman warns of the chilling effect of the Obama Administration’s Insider Threat Program. The article leads with a description of a tense meeting between Senator Grassley and FBI officials in which Senator Grassley’s staff asked how a program designed to uncover internal security threats would at the same time protect whistleblowers. According to the article, the FBI officials “said the FBI would protect whistleblowers by ‘registering’ them.”
The apparent plan to “register” whistleblowers is one of many troubling aspects of a program that hearkens back to the McCarthy era. While there are legitimate reasons to safeguard against the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, the Administration should stay the implementation of the Insider Threat program until there are adequate safeguards to protect whistleblowers.
Experienced Whistleblower Protection Act Attorneys
Zuckerman Law represents whistleblowers before the Office of Special Counsel, Offices of Inspectors General, and Congressional oversight committees. The firm is uniquely qualified to represent whistleblowers in the federal government because two of the firm’s attorneys served in senior roles at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
- Eric Bachman served as Deputy Special Counsel, Litigation and Legal Affairs, OSC, where he spearheaded an initiative to combat whistleblower retaliation at the Department of Veterans Affairs. During Bachman’s tenure at OSC, the number of favorable actions for whistleblowers increased by over 50% agency-wide.
- Jason Zuckerman served as Senior Legal Advisor to the Special Counsel at OSC, where he worked on implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and several high-profile investigations.
The firm has represented whistleblowers testifying before the House Financial Services Committee and vigorously opposed efforts to silence whistleblowers. The whistleblower protection lawyers at Zuckerman Law have also helped federal employees combat unlawful gag provisions in agency policies or agreements. To learn more about the WPA, read our outline published by Practical Law: Whistleblower Protections Under the Whistleblower Protection Act.