Whisleblowers fear Trade Secrets Act
The European Parliament is debating the Trade Secrets Protection Act critics say threatens to turn whistleblowers into criminals. The bill is aimed to protect European companies from corporate spying by their rivals in other parts of the world. But critics fear that the legislation will make it possible for corporations to define any information they do not want released as a trade secret, and then prosecute journalists or whistleblowers who release it to the public. Campaigner Martin Pigeon, from Corporate Europe Observatory in Brussels says the Trade Secrets Protection Act would have potentially criminalized the release of the Panama Papers. On the flip side, supporters of the bill say there is nothing to worry about because it contains a defense for those who release information exposing criminal wrongdoing or who are acting in the public interest. The bill will still need to be passed into law by national parliaments across the 28 nations of the EU, assuming the bill is approved by the European Parliament [bbc].