Each week, we dive into the dark waters of individual, corporate and/or governmental corruption and malfeasance to expose the (public domain) details of their wrongdoings.
This week's edition is slightly different as we are taking the opportunity to recognize the importance of the role that whistleblowers make to exposures and the danger they put themselves in to serve the greater good.
decentralize.today offers fully encrypted communications to facilitate secure disclosure and provides guidance on our companion site, privacy.do , on how people can do the same.
So today we are happy to share the news that one of the globe's primary privacy focused e-mail providers has introduced a new service..
Tutanota Launches Whistleblower System
Privacy fans rejoice: Finally European governments realize that whistleblowers need to be protected!
After the corruption scandals at Wirecard and the scandal of EU MP Kaili being bribed by Qatar, European governments are finally increasing whistleblower protection! In Germany and Austria a new law is about to be passed that will bring incentives and protections to whistleblowers so that violations of the law are noticed earlier and can be stopped: the Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz (Whistleblower Protection). To enable SMEs as well as larger companies to comply with the new law, Tutanota now launches the Whistleblower System Secure Connect.
New Whistleblower System
Secure Connect is the new whistleblower system that lets companies add a secure and anonymous reporting channel to their website or Intranet within half an hour.
Whistleblower System for SMEs
Tutanota's whistleblower system Secure Connect has been designed specifically for the needs of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) and brings with it lots of advantages, particularly compared to complicated, extensive whistleblower systems designed for large corporations.
Easy implementation, ready to use within half an hour
Best price-performance ratio: only 32,40 euros/month
Accepts tips in a legally secure and anonymous way
Can be customized with your company's branding
Available in 30 languages
Unlimited number of notices
Unlimited number of administrators
End-to-end encryption for maximum security
No complicated case management, but simple folder structure
Made & hosted in Germany
All-in-all the whistleblower system Secure Connect is the preferred tool for small and middle-sized companies.
Launch before Whistleblower Protection comes into force
The launch of our whistleblower system comes right before the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive comes into force in Germany and Austria.
Both countries, Germany and Austria, plan to adopt the whistleblower protection law in February 2023.
In Austria, the majority of the National Council voted in favour of the law beginning of February. The next step for the law is to pass the Federal Council. It enters into force on the day following its promulgation. After this, companies larger than 250 employees must comply with the law within six months. Companies with more than 49, but less than 250 employees need to comply with the law by December 17th 2023.
In Germany, the Federal Council will pass the law on 10th of February. Then the Federal President must sign the law before it is published in the Official Gazette, after which companies with more than 250 employees must be compliant right away. Companies with more than 49, but less than 250 employees must comply with the new law by December 17th 2023.
You can find more details on the current state of the Whistleblower Protection Act here.
Why is whistleblower protection important?
Whistleblowers are very important to stop bribery, corruption or any other kind of illegal activity, also for companies' reputation. Today lots of large companies have realized that it can be beneficial to their own business to detect illegal activity among their employees or directors early on and have already implemented whistleblower systems.
But also smaller companies like SMEs want to make sure that all employees adhere to current legislation. Having an easy-to-use whistleblower system in place can help a lot to motivate employees with knowledge of illegal activities to come forward and inform the company about potential issues. This gives the company the chance to take adequate measures - before the incident becomes public and harms the company's reputation or even its business.
However, many potential whistleblowers do not blow the whistle for fear that this could lead to negative consequences for themselves - for instance by being fired. That's why an anonymous and encrypted whistleblower system like Secure Connect is needed: to motivate employees to come forward and blow the whistle.
But the Whistleblower Protection Directive goes even further than that: This new legislation reverses the burden of proof. If an employee that has blown the whistle gets fired, the company must prove that informing on the illegal activities within the company was not the reason why this particular employee had been fired.
This is a great move by the legislators and will reduce illegal activities such as bribery, corruption and other incidents in European companies.
"For the first time, politicians recognise that comprehensive protection of whistleblowers is important," says Arne Möhle, CEO of Tutanota. "After scandals like Wirecard, this is not only appropriate, but long overdue! As an innovation leader in the field of secure communication, we see ourselves strengthened in our goal to develop the internet into a secure space. Only through strong encryption and anonymity - as required by the HinSchG - will whistleblowers have the courage to report abuses of the law so that they can be remedied before greater damage is done."