Exposing corruption, abuse and war crimes – Whistleblower | DW Documentary

Exposing corruption, abuse and war crimes – Whistleblower | DW Documentary

From Edward Snowden to Wikileaks – whistleblowers are seen by some as heroes defending the public. The system sees them as traitors. What are they really?

In the authorities’ eyes, they are traitors, yet the public at large often sees them as heroes. People are driven to whistleblowing by anger, disbelief and powerlessness. It is a decision from which there is no turning back, a moment when someone obeys their conscience regardless of the consequences. It marks the beginning of a battle against the system in which old allies become enemies.

Revelations by whistleblowers such as Swiss Leaks bring tax authorities around the world billions in revenue. They uncover corruption, data abuse and war crimes – without whistleblowers, the world would be a more naive place. Behind each story, however, is a personal fate: when the auditor Rudolf Elmer disclosed illegal business methods by Swiss banks, his life turned into a thriller. Stéphanie Gibaud, too, a marketing employee at UBS was first put under massive peer pressure and then fired. This is the price that most whistleblowers have to pay – just like Swen Ennullat, who had the gall to cry foul twice!

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