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Debate Rages On About Edward Snowden: Whistleblower or Traitor?

The case of Edward Snowden has been highly debated for much of the past year. To give an idea of just how complicated the situation is, there are 21 different federal laws in existence that protect workers that act as whistleblowers. However, a large number of employers and employees do not have a full understanding of the way these laws apply to particular situations, and this is evident in the Snowden case.

Snowden is currently a fugitive living in Russia and is accused of sharing secrets of national security. The debate centers on whether he committed treason in revealing these secrets and should be punished, or whether he should be protected under the laws that exist to protect whistleblowers.

While this story has been much larger in scope than most whistleblower law cases, it still is relatively the same in principle. Do employees have the right to expose illegal or unethical practices happening in their company? Should they be protected under the law for doing so? Most people would answer “yes” to both of these questions, but the Snowden case isn’t as black and white.

Whistleblowers in America do receive protection from the government when they alert the proper authorities of potential wrongdoing within their company. The question at stake in the Snowden case is whether the information that he revealed is comparable to the information revealed by whistleblowers in typical companies. Some believe Snowden should be protected under the law, as the collection of the personal information of American citizens would violate illegal search and seizure laws. But are there extenuating circumstances at play because Snowden works for a federal security organization?

This debate will not be settled any time soon. But in the meantime, it is important to be in touch with a whistleblower attorney if you are suffering from a crisis of whether to expose potentially illegal practices by your company. An experienced Dallas attorney can offer you protection and potentially help you seek monetary damages.

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In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
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  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

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