General Assembly Resolution # 624
A resolution to repeal previously passed legislation.
General Assembly Resolution #539 “Whistleblower Protection Act” (Category: Civil Rights; Strength: Significant) shall be struck out and rendered null and void.
The World Assembly finds as follows:
Privacy is an important right. People who work for the government have privacy rights in the same way normal citizens do. The vast majority of people who work for the government, being inferior officers thereof, take salaries and live peacefully. The provision in section 4, which indemnifies media outlets from punishment for "the dissemination of financial information of a government official", is at best the World Assembly saying that "if you have nothing to fear, you have nothing to hide". At worst, it opens government workers to identity theft and harassment. Privacy rights are sometimes overridden by other important public interests. Release of such information should be judged on a case-by-case basis: a civil servants' personal financial information should not be turned into public knowledge without a credible suspicion of malfeasance.
Section 3 prohibits the media from publishing a person's personally identifying information (such as names) unless that person is party to a crime committed by a government official. This is a substantial limit on the freedom of the press: media outlets would no longer be able to report on crimes committed entirely by private individuals and unconnected to government action. This not only harms press freedom, but also the ability of the press to report on private misdeeds, meaning more unethical behaviour goes unreported, harming society writ large.
Section 6(a) prohibits 'seek[ing] legal recourse' for libel unless the statement was "proven to be demonstrably false". "Proven" is in the past tense. Such a bar in effect closes off all recourse: to have something proven false in a court of law, it must first be proved before a judge, which cannot directly happen because "seek[ing] legal recourse" is prohibited. Both governments and citizens ought to have a right not to be lied about, destroying that right indulges in the worst incentives for misinformation and slander.
Replacement for this vital legislation should be passed which corrects these flaws.
Now, therefore, be "Whistleblower Protection Act" repealed.