Technology has certainly made a strong impact on the financial industry around the world. The methods used to keep track of large amounts of money are mostly digital and easy to manipulate.
The growing drive to move massive quantities of money a little at a time has made it easier for dishonest professionals to cheat the system, and they do. The ability to gain inside knowledge has changed with the influx of technology as well.
As mischief has been on the rise, so have the people who like to bring the debauchery to the surface. Though there are laws against retribution when an individual uncovers the dirty little secrets of a business or agency, most whistleblowers aren’t able to escape the situation unscathed.
Check out a few of the most outrageous cases, and read a bit about some of the technology era’s most famous whistleblowers.
Former FBI Associate Director W. Mark Felt
Mark Felt is the guy that blew the horn on Nixon’s connection to the infamous Watergate scandal. The Nixon administration was using some of their very high tech tools to engage in some extremely shady (and illegal) behaviors.
Felt’s provision of inside information led to the resignation of President Nixon and a few long-term prison sentences for some of Nixon’s closest aides. Mark Felt went on to work with the U.S. Congress.
Daniel Ellsberg’s role in the Vietnam War
The power of a knowledgeable military analyst lead to one of the most vital leaks of information in the history of the United States. Daniel Ellsberg provided the “Pentagon Papers” to the New York Times and The Washington Post.
The “papers” revealed that President Johnson had been lying about the role of the U.S. in the Vietnam War. Ellsberg actually faced charges of espionage and theft of government property, but he was able to slip free after a high ranking judge determined he had been subject to a mistrial. All the charges were ultimately dismissed.
Former NSA Contractor Edward Snowden
A true outlaw, Edward Snowden is the man responsible for informing the general public about a secret government operation to gather electronic surveillance and information on unknowing citizens.
He leaked sensitive documentation proving that the government had derived a massive electronic surveillance program, and the government charged him with espionage. Snowden ran from the charges, finding safe haven and asylum in Russia.
Former Army Private Bradley Manning
If you’re a fan of the anti-secrecy movement started by WikiLeaks, then you’re a fan of Bradley Manning. This former Army private is responsible for leaking classified documentation and diplomatic records to WikiLeaks.
The U.S. Government charged and found him guilty of espionage, and he was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Manning will be up for parole next year, and has recently changed his name to Chelsea.