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Protect Whistle-Blowers – Letter to the Editor

Letter to the editor of The New York Times from Phillips & Cohen partner Sam Brown discussing the need to protect whistleblowers in the largely unregulated technology sector.

Insiders Warn of OpenAI’s Reckless Race to No. 1,” by Kevin Roose (The Shift, front page, June 5), is a reminder of how much we rely on whistle-blowers to step forward and alert the world to dangerous conduct, often motivated only by their own ethical standards and at their own peril.

It is also a stark reminder that whistle-blowers currently rely on a patchwork of protections and programs run by individual agencies for particular industries.

We need a broader, comprehensive approach to whistle-blower protections that will cover all employees in the largely unregulated technology sector, which remains shrouded in secrecy despite producing new and inscrutable products that affect our lives in ways we have yet to fully understand.

Artificial intelligence and social media are the most urgent examples of industries that desperately need the transparency that only whistle-blowers can provide, but we should take this opportunity to expand whistle-blower protections even more broadly so that we do not need to wait for the next open letter from insiders to learn whom we have left out.

Sam Brown
The writer is a whistle-blower attorney.

June 18, 2024

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