Tuesday, June 5

Anonymous - Project Mayhem 2012 Tips

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The goal of Project Mayhem 2012 is to essentially mass leak the corporations. In the spirit of the whole thing, I'd like to contribute my 2 cents as a veteran whistleblower as to some things to look for and pitfalls to avoid if you want to participate in Project Mayhem 2012's cache of corporate greed deeds:

1 - Question Everything!! It amazes me how uninformed people are about their role in the business and how they affect the end game. For example, customer-facing employees of corporations in every industry couldn't tell you what a service fee is for or why it costs as much as it does. It just is what it is, Sir/Ma'am. Similarly, operations employees (i.e "Back End", "Corporate", "Data Entry", etc) often have no personal attachment to how their numbers and letters on a screen are affecting real life people.

Because of this both sides are able to work succinctly together without pesky morality butting in. Don't be afraid to ask your boss why a service or late charge is how much it is. When you notice a change, question it. This brings me to my next point:

2 - Research Everything!! In this day and age of high speed internet, Google, Social Media, and Wikipedia, there is no excuse for not being well versed (if not an expert) at whatever you do to make a living within a year or 2. If you constantly work with a product or service you don't understand, Google it. Check the news. Something may seem normal to you simply because a corporation is doing it, and they'd obviously never break the law (hahahahahahahahaha). Your research may turn up different results, however.

3 - Document Everything!! Saying your company is up to no good is one thing. Proving they are is an entirely different beast. Understand that just because something is obvious to you, it's not obvious to everyone else. Seriously think through what you would need to show in order to prove to people that what you're saying is happening is actually happening. The burden of proof is on you.

Keeping a journal helps you organize your thoughts and focus on key words that will make your search easier. It'll also help you root out what's actually important. Think about how your job affects the world. What impact do you have on someone's daily life?

Now think about emails, voicemails, training materials, IM's, post it's, systems, etc that you have access to. Just telling someone that your boss is purposely losing customer mail in order to foreclose on homeowners (True story) isn't going to be of much service. You're working on proprietary software and many people won't understand just a screenshot or picture. Get as many examples as you can.

4 - Include Jargon Translations!!  Ok so that one didn't need the exclamation points, but you get the idea. We don't all work with you. We don't know what a code 39 is or what the Rembrandt system is or what the QUASI screen is or any of that, and your company certainly isn't going to respond if anyone calls to ask if botching a code 39 is illegal.

5 - Don't Ever Be Afraid!! Fear is a common tactic used against whistleblowers. Trust me. I've seen some shit in my day. Stand up for what you believe in, and don't let anyone intimidate you into believing you're wrong when you know you're right. It's called having courage and integrity. There are many of us out there who admire that quality and will assist you in every way we can.

You, as a single individual will always be able to react quicker than your company as a giant machine. You always have the upper hand. I've been asked "why can't someone else do that?" more times than I care to think about. Nobody else can do it because nobody else in the position you're in has the balls to do anything about it.

Remember...The power of people is in volume

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