Selvarajah Kesavan
5 min readJul 24, 2020


Who is a whistleblower?

A whistleblower is someone who exposes information about wrongdoings that companies or organizations don’t want to share. A whistleblower could be an employee, contractor, or supplier who becomes aware of any illegal activities.

What is whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing is the term used when a person passes on information concerning wrongdoing. The wrongdoing could be in the form of fraud, sexual harassment, deceiving employees, corruption, or any other act which misleads people.

There are four elements of the whistleblowing process:

01) The whistleblower

02) The whistleblowing act or complaint

03) The party to whom the complaint is made

04) The organization against which the complaint is lodged.

Why we need whistleblowing?

Those that choose to whistleblow play a really important role in aiding the government’s fight with corruption. It saves the government and taxpayers millions of pounds per year, and if spotted the government and associated independent enforcing bodies can change their preventative policies to tackle their shortcomings.

How to blow the whistle ethically?

Ethics and morality go hand in hand. If one faces an ethical crisis in the workplace, consider first whether real harm may be done to others if he/she doesn’t do everything in his/her power to correct the situation. Then, commit to acting ethically. No one is obligated to take actions that might harm one’s interests. However, our moral obligation to society does obligate us to right a wrong when we see one that has occurred.

Whistleblowers are critical in a False Claims Act case. Not only are they a key witness to an act of wrongdoing against the government, but they can help stop actions that may endanger the public welfare. If a whistleblower claim is done properly, it can also lead to a substantial financial award.

We must take the right steps in filing a claim under any key whistleblower law, such as the False Claims Act or the Dodd-Frank Act. Here are the steps whistleblower lawyers at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP tell clients who are ready to bring a qui tam matter to light.

Step 1: Get Evidence

whistleblowers want to get documentary evidence of the fraud. Such evidence can include emails, internal studies, billing records, or test results.

Step 2: Presenting the Evidence

Under the False Claims Act, the whistleblower must file a complaint in court as well as submit it to the government, along with a Disclosure Statement that details the alleged misconduct.

Step 3: Government Investigation

Now comes the longest part of the claims process — the government’s investigation. During this time, all aspects of the matter, including the whistleblower’s identity and the investigation itself, will remain confidential.

Step 4: The Decision

If the government decides to bring a case, the whistleblower may be asked to testify at trial or a grand jury proceeding. It’s at this point your identity will be disclosed.

Protection for whistleblowers

To protect whistleblowers from losing their job or getting mistreated there are specific laws. Most companies have a separate policy that clearly states how to report such an incident.

There are at least 50 countries, big and small, rich and poor, in the world that have some form of Whistleblower Protection Laws in their statute books. The USA has the longest history in respect of such laws that goes back to the 1860s. The USA considers Whistleblower rights as a part of free speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution. In most other countries these laws are relatively recent.

There are several Commonwealth countries including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ghana, Uganda, and Jamaica that have whistleblower laws. India joined the ranks in May 2014 when the President of India signed into law The Whistle Blowers Protection Act of 2011. So far there is no law in Sri Lanka to protect whistleblowers of public and private finance though many other countries have provisions in the law to protect them.

Famous whistleblowers of history

There is one name that pops up in history whenever we talk about ‘whistleblowers’ and that is Edward Joseph Snowden. With films, video games, and songs created about him, Edward Snowden is probably the most famous modern-day whistleblower.

While working for the National Security Agency (NSA) as a government contractor, in 2013 he leaked vast amounts of classified information exposing secret global surveillance programs. He’s been labeled a hero whistleblower and an attention-hungry traitor. Regardless, his actions sparked a wide debate about government spying, national security, and individual privacy.

Snowden stated that he leaked the documents to the media rather than using internal reporting mechanisms because whistleblower protections would not have applied to him as a contractor. He was charged with violating the Espionage Act but fled to Russia where he was granted asylum.

after Snowden, the second name that comes in mind when thinking about whistleblowing is, Julian Assange founder of WikiLeaks

some special mentions,

01. Jeffrey Wigand: Exposed safety problems related to the tobacco industry.

02. Sherron Watkins and Cynthia Cooper: The Enron and WorldCom Scandals

03.Mark Felt: Deep Throat and the Watergate Scandal

04. Frank Serpico: Exposing Police Corruption

05. Linda Tripp: helped expose the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky White House affair

06. Chelsea/Bradley Manning: US Army soldier who leaked classified documents to WikiLeaks

07. Coleen Rowley: outlined the FBI’s inaction about pre-9/11 intelligence reports

08. Brad Birkenfeld: exposed a multibillion-dollar international tax fraud scandal relating to UBS

09. Bunnatine “Bunny” Greenhouse: exposed illegality of no-bid contracts in Iraq by a Halliburton subsidiary

do you want a deep dive here is an essay,

Thank you for your time. cheers!!



Selvarajah Kesavan

Software Engineering Undergraduate | University of Kelaniya