Mar 2024: A new whistleblower supported by TSN & new TSN team members

TSN-supported whistleblower, Joshua Farinella, needs to be listened to and protected

On March 20, 2024, The Outlaw Ocean Project published an investigative report about food safety, human rights and labor abuses at Choice Canning Company’s shrimp processing factory in Amalapuram, India.

The report was based on the well-documented disclosures of a brave U.S. whistleblower, Joshua Farinella, who worked until recently as the factory’s general manager.

The Signals Network (TSN) represents Farinella and has assisted him to file formal whistleblower reports with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Customs and Border Protection; and various U.S. federal agencies and members of Congress.

Jennifer Gibson, TSN’s Legal Director, said: “Whistleblowers like Joshua deserve to be fully protected for courageously disclosing what they have witnessed. We all benefit when they speak out. In a world of widespread corporate wrongdoing and disinformation, whistleblowers are our greatest sources of reliable information.”

TSN welcomes the prompt support expressed by Congressman Jared Huffman and U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, as well as the request from the House Committee on Natural Resources to access Joshua’s evidence of potential U.S. law violations.

Read more about Farinella’s case here.

Sign our petition to better protect journalists’ sources

Did you know? The U.S. Congress has never been so close to adopting a federal shield law that would better protect journalists’ anonymous sources.

Right now, the federal government can force journalists to disclose the identity of their sources, or secretly seize journalists’ email and phone records, in order to determine a source’s identity. This urgently needs to change.

Join us in calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the PRESS Act and sign the petition today.

Welcoming our new staff attorney to TSN’s “emergency room”

We’re excited to welcome our newest staff attorney Kristin Brown to the Whistleblower Protection team!

Prior to joining The Signals Network, Kristin worked in both criminal and civil law in areas ranging from capital murder to intellectual property. She co-founded End Rape on Campus (EROC), a non-profit that assists student survivors with filing federal complaints and advocates for policy reform. She also was a legal editor for Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) in Belgrade, Serbia.

We asked Kristin to share some thoughts. She said she feels TSN is a good fit for her because “no two days are the same” when it comes to working internationally with whistleblowers, comparing it to working in an emergency room:

I am excited to work at TSN because being an attorney here provides an opportunity to constantly engage with different topics and areas of the law. I once bonded with a classmate over our mutual love of higher education. We wanted to grow up to become professional students. He is now an emergency room physician, a job that requires constant scholarship in vast and various subjects, and I am a staff attorney at TSN.”

She hits the nail on the head. We’re so glad to have you, Kristin!

Harlo Holmes joins Board of Directors

Harlo Holmes

We’re also proud to welcome Freedom of the Press Foundation’s Harlo Holmes to TSN’s Board of Directors!

Harlo, who is the chief information security officer and director of digital security at Freedom of the Press Foundation, has been a close partner of TSN since our creation.

She strives to help individual journalists in various media organizations become confident and effective in securing their communications within their newsrooms, with their sources, and with the public at large.

She is a media scholar, software programmer, and activist. Harlo was a regular contributor to the open source mobile security collective Guardian Project, where she spearheaded the media metadata verification initiative currently empowering ProofMode, Save by OpenArchive, eyeWitness to Atrocities, and others.

Mark your calendar…

On April 19 at 10 a.m. EST / 4 p.m. CET, TSN will host a livestreamed panel at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy on how journalists can prepare for A.I. whistleblowers.

The talk will include Time magazine investigative reporter Billy Perrigo, Facebook Files whistleblower Frances Haugen. Theranos whistleblower Tyler Shultz, (who is also on our TSN Board of Advisors) and TSN Legal Director Jennifer Gibson. TSN Executive Director Delphine Halgand-Mishra will moderate the discussion

We hope you can tune in to watch the discussion!! Learn more here.

New report: To truly hold Big Tech accountable, whistleblowers need better protections

Over the past decade, the biggest revelations about Big Tech’s activities have come not from tech companies, or even civil society or governments. Instead, they have come from Big Tech’s employees.

In a new report titled “Big Tech Accountability Depends on Better Protection for Whistleblowers,” TSN’s Legal Team examines how, in an industry where transparency is almost non-existent and regulation is hard to enforce, whistleblowers have become a fundamental source of light for those seeking to understand and mitigate the impact the companies are having on our daily lives.

Read the report here.

Unique challenges Black women face when blowing the whistle

In a new story co-published with The 19th, The Markup’s Ese Olumhense digs into how and why Black women whistleblowers not only jeopardize their professional prospects, but often face more intense backlash when revealing wrongdoing at work.

The story includes an interview with TSN-supported Twitter whistleblower Anika Collier Navaroli, who shares her first-hand experience on the issue after providing information to Congress in 2022.

Read the story here.

Op-ed: The death toll of whistleblowing must end now

In a joint op-ed in Newsweek, TSN Legal Director Jennifer Gibson, Constantine Cannon partner Mary Inman and Parallel Story founder Amber Scorah reflect on the years-long journey and hardships faced by Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, who died this month by an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. They also reflect on how society can better help whistleblowers who reveal crucial information that benefits the public.

“Mr. Barnett’s journey took seven years and it still wasn’t over,” they wrote. “During that time, he lost his career, his relationships, he was publicly gaslit and vilified. Seven years is a long time to endure such treatment, especially with little support. What if years ago, he called a helpline and resources were put in place, a plan of action created?”

Read the op-ed here.

Whistleblower news roundup

Whistleblower News

– The U.K.’s veterans affairs minister, Johnny Mercer, faces a potential prison sentence unless he reveals the whistleblower sources behind allegations British troops engaged in war crimes in Afghanistan, reports Ben Quinn for The Guardian.

The latest from ICIJ reports that senior newsroom leaders at Newsmax urged staff to soften coverage of Qatar, according to former and current employees.

– A whistleblower attorney says Boeing whistleblower John Barnett’s case could go on posthumously, reports David K. Li for NBC News.

A new podcast episode of Reveal features reporting by Sukey Lewis, Julie Small, and their “On Our Watch” investigative team at KQED about a father who seeks answers after the sudden death of his son, a correctional officer-turned-whistleblower.

– Australian military whistleblower David McBride and journalist Dan Oakes are “ready to tell the full story,” report Grace Tobin, Mary Fallon and Dylan Welch for ABC News.

We invite you to pay tribute to all whistleblowers through a donation to promote truth, justice and transparency.