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[PASSED] Whistleblower Protection Act

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Hulldom
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[PASSED] Whistleblower Protection Act

Postby Hulldom » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:04 am

OOC: While I know this isn't the primary issue with Navalny or Snowden or Reality Winner or....anyone else, a bit inspired by the RL issue of what exactly to do with whistleblowers. If this has been covered elsewhere, feel free to tell me.

Elsewise, a few notes:

1. This is down to about ~3,900 characters.

2. As for category, this works because the other Res mentioned is in that category, but I could also see something like "Civil Rights-Mild" (or Significant) or maybe even "Furtherment of Democracy". Plus sa change. I'm up for whatever. (Suggestions Welcome.)

3. Also, this is very likely to be submitted on *this* nation (see: sig), but will update as time goes on.

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The Whistleblower Protection Act

Category: Civil Rights | Strength: Significant


Observing that some people go to great lengths in order to disseminate information that they believe ought to be public knowledge;

Further observing that some people go to great lengths to stop the dissemination of this information;

Noting that this august assembly has already clarified the freedom of the press in [resolution=GA#155]Freedom of the Press[/resolution], hereby enacts the following:

  1. For the purposes of this resolution:
    1. “Whistleblower” is defined as any person disclosing previously known illegal or improper activity by a government official, business, or any other organization recognized under power of law.
    2. “Media outlet” is defined as any private or public entity which disseminates information to a public in a generally accessible medium.
  2. Whistleblowers and media outlets in World Assembly member states shall not be penalized for the dissemination of information about any government project, initiative, or operation provided that:
    1. The information provided does not constitute a threat to critical operational or national security such that its breakdown would result in the breakdown of territorial integrity or loss of life for those involved.
    2. The information provided does not constitute the publication of personally identifying information of any person involved in said operation, though persons disseminating the information may publicize personally identifying information in the event that information is publicly available or is obtained through legally standardized governmental transparency processes.
  3. Whistleblowers and media outlets may not publish personally identifying information of third parties unless said third party is themselves party to a crime committed by a government official.
  4. Whistleblowers and media outlets in World Assembly member states shall not be penalized for the dissemination of financial information of a government official or for the dissemination of a company or government's financial documents.
    1. Businesses in member nations may not hold either whistleblowers themselves or the media outlets who publicize the information obtained by a whistleblower responsible for damages incurred as a result of the publication of aforementioned information.
  5. Whistleblowers in World Assembly member states shall not be penalized for the publication of direct evidence of a crime which has taken place or will take place.
    1. Direct evidence shall include non-violent video, transcripts, documentation, or another method of storing information which contains evidence of a crime that has been committed or will take place under the terms of national law, international law, or a code of conduct instituted by an organization where the crime committed falls under the prerogative of government or international law enforcement.
    2. Video evidence of crimes involving the exploiting of minors may not be disseminated.
    3. Personally identifying information of crime victims may only be published pursuant to prior World Assembly legislation and with the consent of the victim.
    4. Whistleblowers may be held criminally liable for withholding information from law enforcement of crimes that have been committed, are in the process of being committed, or will be committed under national law or international law.
  6. Whistleblowers may not be tried by member states for crimes such as libel, slander, defamation, or other crimes involving speech unless the information disseminated is proven to be demonstrably false or fits into exceptions noted elsewhere.
    1. Similarly, member state governments may not seek legal recourse against any media outlet unless the information is proven to be demonstrably false or fits into exceptions noted elsewhere.
Last edited by Sedgistan on Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:08 am, edited 30 times in total.
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Postby Hulldom » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:05 am

Change Log, but make it non-bolded.

1. Eliminated the victimhood clause [Clause 4].
New victimhood clause [Clause 5(c)].


1. "hereby" changed to "hereby enacts the following".
2. New clause 4.


1. Change to definition of Whistleblower.
2. "Non-violent" added before "video" in clause 5(a).


1. Some more minor wording changes.
2. Elimination of old Clause 3.
3. Deleted old clause 7/8, instead merged things together so that clause doesn't feel so random.
4. Category changed from Education & Creativity-Free Speech to Civil Rights-Significant


Whistleblowers in World Assembly member states shall not be penalized for the dissemination of information about the private life of a government official provided that said information does not constitute a threat to the physical safety of the official.


1. Some minor wording changes.
2. 3(a) merged with clause 3.


1. definition of media outlet changed to "any private or public entity which disseminates information to a public in a generally accessible medium"
2. minor deletions for parsimony's sake in clauses 1(a) and 1(b); "such as locations of personal residences" deleted from clause 2(a)
3. "personal" changed to "physical" in clause 2(a)
4. clause 2(b) re-worded and "The information provided does not constitute the publication of.." deleted, changed to clause 3
5. otherwise" removed from new clause 4 after "materials"
6. old clauses 4 and 5 merged to constitute a new clause 5
7. old clause 6(b): "Publication of information does not preclude a report of crime to a law enforcement organization authorized to enforce national law or international law." removed.
8. wording of old clause 6(c) changed to "Whistleblowers may be held criminally liable for withholding information from law enforcement of crimes that have been committed, are in the process of being committed, or will be committed under national law or international law."
Last edited by Hulldom on Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:52 pm, edited 12 times in total.
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Greater Cesnica
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Postby Greater Cesnica » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:27 am

This sounds like a draft I can really get behind. Just wanted to clarify this from clause 6(a):
which contains evidence of a crime that has been committed under the terms of national law or a code of conduct instituted by an organization where the crime committed falls under the prerogative of government law enforcement.

Unless I've missed something here, this doesn't include acts that are considered crimes or unlawful under international law, such as war crimes and the such, right? If that is the case, it would be a glaring omission. Would lead to more Chelsea Manning type situations occurring, with the book being thrown at people over the release of stuff like the "Collateral Murder" video.

Besides that, I see no other concern with this right now. Would absolutely support and vote for it.
Last edited by Greater Cesnica on Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:38 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Greater Kopmakia » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:29 am

Overall it's a pretty good act, I'd say.
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Postby Tinhampton » Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:27 pm

GA#155 does not contain the phrase "media outlet" anywhere in its text (and 1b would probably be a HoC violation if it did anyway); its preferred jargon is "news media organi[z]ation."

The current draft is a bit wordy and could do with some snippenenenenenenening - the below is about 3,600 characters:
The World Assembly,

Concerned that, while some people go to great lengths in order to disseminate information that they believe ought to be public knowledge, others go to great lengths to stop the dissemination of this information, and

Observing that this august assembly has already legislated to clarify the [resolution=GA#155]Freedom of the Press[/resolution], enacts as follows.

  1. For the purposes of this resolution:
    1. a “whistleblower” means any person disclosing previously classified, or unknown, information to the public,
    2. a “member” means a World Assembly member state, and
    3. “direct evidence of a crime” means any material (including audio, video and text) which contains evidence of a crime that has been committed, is being committed or will be committed; where that crime falls under the prerogative of law enforcement and is defined by national law or an organization's code of conduct.
  2. No member shall penalize any whistleblower for disseminating information about any government project, initiative, or operation, unless such information constitutes either:
    1. a threat to critical operational security or national security such that its publication would result in the breakdown of territorial integrity or loss of life for those involved, or
    2. the publication of personally identifying information of any person involved in said operation (although whistleblowers whose actions are covered by this clause may disclose personally identifying information in the event that such information is already publicly available or has been obtained through legally standardized government transparency processes).
  3. No member shall penalize any whistleblower for disseminating information about the private life of a government official, unless such information constitutes either:
    1. a threat to the personal safety of the official, such as locations of their private residences, or
    2. the publication of personally identifying information of any third party, unless said third party is either the victim of or otherwise party to a crime perpetrated by a government official.
  4. No member shall penalize any whistleblower for disseminating the financial information of a government official.
  5. No member shall penalize any whistleblower for disseminating financial documents or materials otherwise obtained from a company or government official; nor may businesses in member states hold either whistleblowers themselves or news media organizations who publicize such documents obtained from a whistleblower responsible for damages incurred as a result of such information being published.
  6. No member shall penalize any whistleblower for publishing direct evidence of a crime, but such publication shall not preclude a report of that crime to law enforcement.
  7. Whistleblowers may only be held criminally liable for withholding direct evidence of a crime from law enforcement if:
    1. they refuse to share such evidence with law enforcement concurrent with media publication, or if
    2. the relevant crime takes place prior to the publication of such evidence, and they fail to report such evidence to law enforcement.
  8. Neither whistleblowers nor news media organizations in member states who publicize information obtained from a whistleblower shall be penalized (including by being charged with crimes involving speech, such as libel, slander and defamation) for sharing such information, unless it is proven to be demonstrably false or fits into the exceptions provided in clauses 2, 3, and 7.
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Hulldom
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Postby Hulldom » Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:53 pm

Re: Tin's concern about illegality.

Can a member of the Secretariat weigh in as to whether "media outlet" as currently defined would be a House of Cards violation? Has been edited to adjust what Tin said about the language in GAR #155, but just making sure.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:57 pm

Looks like substantive reliance to me. Obviously not a member of the Secretariat, but was involved in the HOC litigation back then.

That said, I wouldn't not welcome a definitions exception.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Hulldom » Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:17 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:Looks like substantive reliance to me. Obviously not a member of the Secretariat, but was involved in the HOC litigation back then.

That said, I wouldn't not welcome a definitions exception.

So....what does that mean and if it does constitute an illegality, what would you suggest in terms of making it not so illegal?
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:42 pm

Hulldom wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:Looks like substantive reliance to me. Obviously not a member of the Secretariat, but was involved in the HOC litigation back then.

That said, I wouldn't not welcome a definitions exception.

So....what does that mean and if it does constitute an illegality, what would you suggest in terms of making it not so illegal?

While extrajudicial, the well-established test for House of Cards (in the gloss at least) – EDIT. See also Sciongrad, NationStates (9 Dec 2017) viewtopic.php?p=33057948#p33057948 (explaining House of Cards violations occur only 'if relying on previous resolutions has some substantive effect in the new proposal'). – is that there must be a substantive reliance on a previous resolution by a proposal's operative clauses. Vide Safeguarding Nuclear Materials [2017] GAS 12 viewtopic.php?p=33109496#p33109496. The meaning of a substantive reliance is not previously established in the case law, but I think it's well understood to mean when a proposal has an operative clause which no longer makes sense if the previous resolution were repealed. In this case, the definition of 'media outlet' would no longer be valid.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Hulldom
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Postby Hulldom » Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:30 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:
Hulldom wrote:So....what does that mean and if it does constitute an illegality, what would you suggest in terms of making it not so illegal?

While extrajudicial, the well-established test for House of Cards (in the gloss at least) – EDIT. See also Sciongrad, NationStates (9 Dec 2017) viewtopic.php?p=33057948#p33057948 (explaining House of Cards violations occur only 'if relying on previous resolutions has some substantive effect in the new proposal'). – is that there must be a substantive reliance on a previous resolution by a proposal's operative clauses. Vide Safeguarding Nuclear Materials [2017] GAS 12 viewtopic.php?p=33109496#p33109496. The meaning of a substantive reliance is not previously established in the case law, but I think it's well understood to mean when a proposal has an operative clause which no longer makes sense if the previous resolution were repealed. In this case, the definition of 'media outlet' would no longer be valid.

So would said House of Cards be demolished (I kid. I mean to say is this proposal legal then) if I give "media outlet" its own independent definition?
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:59 pm

If you did that there would be no substantive reliance (or any reliance at all) on a prior resolution.

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Hulldom
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Postby Hulldom » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:45 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:If you did that there would be no substantive reliance (or any reliance at all) on a prior resolution.

Changed the definition, so should (hopefully) be good now.
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Postby Hulldom » Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:13 pm

Bump. Surely there have to be more thoughts on this?

Also, category is something I'd like a discussion on. Is E&C-Free Press best or would Civil Rights-Mild (/Significant) be better?
Last edited by Hulldom on Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Imperium Germaniae » Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:49 pm

Hulldom wrote:Bump. Surely there have to be more thoughts on this?

Also, category is something I'd like a discussion on. Is E&C-Free Press best or would Civil Rights-Mild (/Significant) be better?

I really like this proposal and it has my 100% support. I personally think it should be Civil Rights-Mild. Civil rights tend to be rights to protect people from discrimination and keep things fair. With whistleblower protection, it ensures people can speak up to injustices in the system. Also E&C tends to focus on promoting the arts and education so whistleblower protection to me doesn't seem to fit very well.
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Hulldom
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Postby Hulldom » Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:07 pm

Imperium Germaniae wrote:
Hulldom wrote:Bump. Surely there have to be more thoughts on this?

Also, category is something I'd like a discussion on. Is E&C-Free Press best or would Civil Rights-Mild (/Significant) be better?

I really like this proposal and it has my 100% support. I personally think it should be Civil Rights-Mild. Civil rights tend to be rights to protect people from discrimination and keep things fair. With whistleblower protection, it ensures people can speak up to injustices in the system. Also E&C tends to focus on promoting the arts and education so whistleblower protection to me doesn't seem to fit very well.

When I looked through the proposals earlier to see if someone like this existed, the one which this sort of extends in GA #155 is in the aforementioned category. Hence why it's there for now. Thanks for the feedback!
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Postby Tinfect » Thu Jan 28, 2021 10:24 pm

Hulldom wrote:Observing that some people go to great lengths in order to disseminate information that they believe ought to be public knowledge and that some people go to great lengths to stop the dissemination of this information;


"What an individual believes," said Feren, again paired with the Imperium's military representative, "Is not necessarily reflective of reality, or the law."

Hulldom wrote:“Whistleblower” as any person disclosing previously classified, or unknown, information to the public.


"The appropriate term, is 'treasonist', Ambassador. Or perhaps 'saboteur', as the case may be."

Hulldom wrote:Whistleblowers in World Assembly member states shall not be penalized for the dissemination of information about the private life of a government official provided that said information does not constitute a threat to the physical safety of the official.


"This, is plainly unacceptable. Government personnel are possessed of exactly the same privacy rights as any other citizen; whether it poses a direct threat to their life, is irrelevant, if the disclosure would be illegal."

Hulldom wrote:Whistleblowers may not publish personally identifying information of third parties unless said third party is the victim of a crime perpetrated by a government official or themselves party to a crime committed by a government official.


"This clause seems unnecessary, at least in the latter part, and possibly harmful in the former. The privacy of victims is not violable simply on the grounds of their being victims."

Hulldom wrote:Whistleblowers in World Assembly member states shall not be penalized for the dissemination of financial information of a government official or for the dissemination of a company or government's financial documents.


"Again, concerns arise in the inclusion of government personnel; such information is highly private and necessarily secure. The public has no need to know what sorts of dinner a person has simply on the basis that they are in government."

Hulldom wrote:Media outlets in World Assembly member states shall not be penalized under law for sharing information obtained from a whistleblower unless said information fits into exceptions as provided in clauses 1(a), 1(b), 2(a), 2(b), 3, and 6(b).


"Given the broad allowance of privacy violations, this is a highly dangerous clause.

The Imperium considers this legislation salvageable; the current acceptance of blatant violations of the right to privacy aside, the Imperium does not see any outstanding issues at this time."
Last edited by Tinfect on Thu Jan 28, 2021 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Imperium Germaniae » Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:42 am

Hulldom wrote:
Imperium Germaniae wrote:I really like this proposal and it has my 100% support. I personally think it should be Civil Rights-Mild. Civil rights tend to be rights to protect people from discrimination and keep things fair. With whistleblower protection, it ensures people can speak up to injustices in the system. Also E&C tends to focus on promoting the arts and education so whistleblower protection to me doesn't seem to fit very well.

When I looked through the proposals earlier to see if someone like this existed, the one which this sort of extends in GA #155 is in the aforementioned category. Hence why it's there for now. Thanks for the feedback!

Yeah this proposal seems like a weird limbo between Civil Rights-Mild and E&C Free Press to me. Hopefully someone more experienced than me can shed light on which is better.
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Postby Hulldom » Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:57 am

Tinfect wrote:
Hulldom wrote:Observing that some people go to great lengths in order to disseminate information that they believe ought to be public knowledge and that some people go to great lengths to stop the dissemination of this information;


"What an individual believes," said Feren, again paired with the Imperium's military representative, "Is not necessarily reflective of reality, or the law."

Hulldom wrote:“Whistleblower” as any person disclosing previously classified, or unknown, information to the public.


"The appropriate term, is 'treasonist', Ambassador. Or perhaps 'saboteur', as the case may be."

Hulldom wrote:Whistleblowers in World Assembly member states shall not be penalized for the dissemination of information about the private life of a government official provided that said information does not constitute a threat to the physical safety of the official.


"This, is plainly unacceptable. Government personnel are possessed of exactly the same privacy rights as any other citizen; whether it poses a direct threat to their life, is irrelevant, if the disclosure would be illegal."

Hulldom wrote:Whistleblowers may not publish personally identifying information of third parties unless said third party is the victim of a crime perpetrated by a government official or themselves party to a crime committed by a government official.


"This clause seems unnecessary, at least in the latter part, and possibly harmful in the former. The privacy of victims is not violable simply on the grounds of their being victims."

Hulldom wrote:Whistleblowers in World Assembly member states shall not be penalized for the dissemination of financial information of a government official or for the dissemination of a company or government's financial documents.


"Again, concerns arise in the inclusion of government personnel; such information is highly private and necessarily secure. The public has no need to know what sorts of dinner a person has simply on the basis that they are in government."

Hulldom wrote:Media outlets in World Assembly member states shall not be penalized under law for sharing information obtained from a whistleblower unless said information fits into exceptions as provided in clauses 1(a), 1(b), 2(a), 2(b), 3, and 6(b).


"Given the broad allowance of privacy violations, this is a highly dangerous clause.

The Imperium considers this legislation salvageable; the current acceptance of blatant violations of the right to privacy aside, the Imperium does not see any outstanding issues at this time."

Ambassador Rosenkranz: "The Hulldomian delegation, with the assistance of our long-time assistants Marsha Heyward and Walter Rosby, has tweaked this draft. We have removed the first offending clause and the victimhood exception for the second. However, we disagree vehemently with the your assertion about the financial documents clause, it would require nothing of the sort, however much it might be embarrassing for the Hulldomian public to learn about our legation assistant's [Walter Rosby] requirement for only the freshest of lobster from the lobstering areas off New Hibernia and the enormous expenses that incurs. We also disagree vehemently with your assertion that media outlets should not themselves be subject to the same regulations as whistleblowers."

OOC: Actually deleted that clause and instead include "media outlets" alongside "whistleblowers" in the main clause.
Last edited by Hulldom on Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rhino-Lions » Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:22 am

The Nation of Rhino-Lions fully supports this Legislation, as the protection of these whistle blowers is crucial to maintain integrity and transparency within our nations, as well as well as help keep citizens informed so that they may be aware of their governments actions and can vote accordingly.

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Hulldom
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Postby Hulldom » Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:12 pm

Bump?
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Hulldom
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Postby Hulldom » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:59 am

Victimhood clause has been added. I know some of you in the WA Discord brought this up last night (thank you Bananaistan for the feedback!) and hopefully that's addressed.
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Postby Araraukar » Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:51 am

OOC: In a hurry and on mobile, sorry short post - has the issue of industrial espionage been fixed? Earlier the combo of definitions and prohibitions meant industrial espionage couldn't be punished.
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Founded: Nov 16, 2018
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Hulldom » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:10 am

Araraukar wrote:OOC: In a hurry and on mobile, sorry short post - has the issue of industrial espionage been fixed? Earlier the combo of definitions and prohibitions meant industrial espionage couldn't be punished.

Wasn't dealing with "industrial espionage" as it were. Different issue I'm targeting here-reporting illegal actions by bad government and industry actors. That isn't industrial espionage.
Card fiend. WA-current alt of Boston Castle.
WA Ambassador: Emile Rosenkranz.

Views not those of Thaecia and her government. Though that should've been obvious.

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Araraukar
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 15384
Founded: May 14, 2007
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Araraukar » Thu Feb 04, 2021 12:01 pm

Hulldom wrote:
Araraukar wrote:OOC: In a hurry and on mobile, sorry short post - has the issue of industrial espionage been fixed? Earlier the combo of definitions and prohibitions meant industrial espionage couldn't be punished.

Wasn't dealing with "industrial espionage" as it were. Different issue I'm targeting here-reporting illegal actions by bad government and industry actors. That isn't industrial espionage.

OOC: No but unless you specify the secrets being publicized are not industrial secrets necessary for product development/production (there is a patent resolution, for example) then industrial espionage would be covered. Unintentionally but still. EDIT explanation: Some businesses are state-owned.
Last edited by Araraukar on Thu Feb 04, 2021 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
- Linda Äyrämäki, acting ambassador in the absence of miss Leveret
Araraukar's RP reality is Modern Tech solarpunk. In IC in the WA.
Giovenith wrote:And sorry hun, if you were looking for a forum site where nobody argued, you've come to wrong one.
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Hulldom
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 45
Founded: Nov 16, 2018
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Hulldom » Thu Feb 04, 2021 12:32 pm

Araraukar wrote:
Hulldom wrote:Wasn't dealing with "industrial espionage" as it were. Different issue I'm targeting here-reporting illegal actions by bad government and industry actors. That isn't industrial espionage.

OOC: No but unless you specify the secrets being publicized are not industrial secrets necessary for product development/production (there is a patent resolution, for example) then industrial espionage would be covered. Unintentionally but still. EDIT explanation: Some businesses are state-owned.

This proposal explicitly does not mention such. It mentions the acceptable categories for publication in clauses 2 and 5.
Card fiend. WA-current alt of Boston Castle.
WA Ambassador: Emile Rosenkranz.

Views not those of Thaecia and her government. Though that should've been obvious.

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