What is a whistleblower?

Not surprisingly, the term is an American one. In the USA a destinction is made between two types of whistleblowers: Government and corporate. The definition depends on whether the person blows the whistle on confidential information from a public or private business or organisation. The common ground for both types of whistleblowers is that they reveal secrets, which they believe, should come to the public’s knowledge. These secrets can vary widely in both gravity and impact. In the worst cases they concern actual violations of the law. But less than that can do it. The latest example of whistleblowing in Denmark is an example hereof:

In 2004 Mr. Frank Søholm Grevil leaked confidential reports from his place of employment, the Military Intelligence Service. The reports concerned the grounds for the decision of Danish participation in the war against Iraq. The reports did not document actual violations of the law, but they could – according to Grevil – show the Danish public, that the primeminister had mislead the parliament and the rest of the Danish population, when he presented his arguments for the Danish participation in the American lead coalition.

Another example is the former head of the Danish Aircraft Accident Investigation Board, Mr. Jørn Madsen, who after being fired in the year 2000 came forward in a series of articles in the newspaper Information and in a special edition of the investigative TV program The Report. Here he spoke out about Scandinavian Airlines System’s (SAS’) role in his own case of being fired, of general problems with flight safety within SAS, and about alcohol abuse and malpractice within the Accident Investigation Board during the time of his predecessor.

The whistleblower is usually driven by her or his own guilty conscience. She or he often has the feeling of possessing a knowledge, which should be brought to the attention of the general public and perhaps even the authorities. The whistleblower will risk anything from being fired to being prosecuted as a consequence of her or his actions. If you recognize this situation, there is help to be found right here on this website. You can for instance receive counseling concerning whether or not your case is grave enough to run the risk of facing the consequences that such revelations might have. This goes both financially and personally. You can also receive guidance and counseling on how and to whom you can best process your confidential knowledge.