Whistleblower Archive Is Seeking "Priceless" Original Documents From Truth-Tellers
May 24, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology NewsWashington, D.C. – The recently established International Whistleblower Archive (IWA) has announced it is using Archive-It to capture, archive and make accessible whistleblower documents. Archive-It is a web archiving service from Internet Archive, a digital library founded in 1996. The data are stored in the Internet Archive data centers based in San Francisco CA. The collection is accessible from the Archive-It website at http://archive-it.org/public/partner?id=418 . IWA is now actively seeking historical documents from truth-tellers whose cases reveal important information about waste, fraud and abuse in government and business.
Founded last year by longtime whistleblower advocates – along with counselor Donald R. Soeken – the IWA is designed to provide a secure repository for documents that describe the cases of whistleblowers in recent decades.
This comprehensive historical resource will serve as a permanent library for thousands of documents related to the cases of such well-known American whistleblowers as Ernie Fitzgerald (who reported massive fraudulent cost-overruns in Pentagon weapons programs) and FBI whistleblower Fred Whitehurst, who exposed evidence-rigging and other fraudulent practices at the Bureau's major crime laboratory.
"It has taken us several years to get the database on a solid footing," said Dr. Soeken, the founder of a support group for whistleblowers, Whistleblower Support Fund, "and now that we've established this important historical collection on a permanent basis, we want to get the word out to whistleblowers everywhere that we can safely store any and all of their court and other documents for future generations."
"It's extremely important that these materials be gathered and effectively managed, since they represent a priceless resource for all those who will seek to defend and support our brave truth-tellers, far down into the future. Accordingly, the database is now urging all those with documents related to major whistleblowing cases to contact our offices as soon as possible to discuss their preservation in the years ahead."
Dr. Soeken further noted that "for several decades now, courageous American whistleblowers have been calling the world's attention to waste, fraud and abuse of power in government and private industry. Again and again, their brave voices have been heard ringing out in a ceaseless quest for honesty and justice."
"Thanks to our whistleblowers, citizens everywhere have been inspired to stand up for right against powerful forces that often did everything they could to silence these courageous truth-tellers. And yet their conscientious refusal to remain silent (often in the face of brutal reprisals) never weakened, and their willingness to sacrifice their own interests for the sake of the public good provides one of the most triumphant moral chapters in the story of our modern world."
"We're also asking whistleblowers to produce a digitized sound and/or video recording of their memories of whistle-blowing events.
The good news today is that the process of building a permanent archive is already underway. What we need now is for the attorneys, counselors, university professors and journalists who have assisted and written about whistleblowers on important cases to come forward with their documents and submit their websites to be included in the collection."
According to Dr. Soeken, the list of whistleblowers whose public documents will be stored in the Internet Archive already includes such well-known figures as Daniel Ellsberg, Dr. Jim Murtagh, Serpico, Fred Whitehurst and many others.
"This is a huge step forward in protecting the legacy of America's heroic whistleblowers," concluded Dr. Soeken. "We need to begin collecting and storing these priceless documents as soon as possible – and we also need volunteers who are interested in helping out with this crucially important project, or in helping to fund it through our non-profit, tax-exempt foundation."
[Editor's Note: To learn more about the International Whistleblower Archive located on the Internet Archive, log onto http://archive-it.org/public/partner?id=418, then place appropriate tags in the "search all collections" section. You can send e-mails regarding the IWA to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or call at 301-953-7353.]
CONTACT: Donald R. Soeken, LCSW-C, Ph.D.
Director, International Whistleblower Archive