Friday, May 06, 2011

The WSJ's Convenient Whistleblower Protection

Boingboing has a good piece today about the Wall Street Journal's somewhat useless "whistleblower" site, Safehouse. By all accounts, it's not very good. It's actually insecure as hell. Even worse, though, it doesn't really protect you from much. Here's the EULA:

"Except when we have a separately negotiated confidentiality agreement… we reserve the right to disclose any information about you to law enforcement authorities or to a requesting third party, without notice, in order to comply with any applicable laws and/or requests under legal process, to operate our systems properly, to protect the property or rights of Dow Jones or any affiliated companies, and to safeguard the interests of others."
Law enforcement is bad enough; much of this whistleblower stuff is about authority. But the real kick to the teeth is the other part. Releasing information "to a requesting third safeguard the interests of others?" The interests of who, exactly?

Think about it a little, though, and it becomes clear. This is a selective whistleblower protection scheme. If you're whistleblowing against someone that the WSJ and its owners like, then you'll get all the protection you could ever ask for. Say something about how Obama's a jerk, or upload some misleading bilge about how the Demmycrats are sizing you up for the Death Panels, or babble some horseshit about birth certificates, and not only will you get protection and anonymity, you'll get the credibility that comes with being a whistleblower for the Journal.

Say anything mean about the Republicans, the Tea Partiers, or any big corp that the WSJ has any relationship with whatsoever, and they'll hang our ass out to dry so fast it'll make your head spin. They'll probably just sit on it long enough to figure out what kind of nonsense they need to grunt out in order to discredit you. Hell, they'll probably "whistleblow" on you for that time you were addicted to Fresh kitten-kebabs back on '97.

(What's that? You've never enjoyed a nice kitty-bab in your life? Don't worry. By the time their anonymous, newly-credible "whistleblowers" are done with you, your own children will think that you can barely stand to eat anything but.)

So, no, it isn't useful, and you shouldn't trust it. It's another goddamned tool for the goddamned conservative movement. It's just another way for them to use their wealthy backers' big wads of cash to grant them legitimacy they don't deserve, and control they should never, ever have.

1 comment:

  1. Remember when Mao said "let a thousand Flowers bloom." It was so he could find them and cut them down. If this gets you talking???