Public Lab Research note

New Whistleblower Website Promises Transparency in Appalachia

by warren | January 13, 2012 19:55 13 Jan 19:55 | #686 | #686

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "csuggs4" <>
Date: Jan 13, 2012 11:07 AM
Subject: [MJ info] RELEASE: New Whistleblower Website Promises Transparency in Appalachia
To: "MJS List" <>, <>


January 10, 2012
Contact: Jim Tobias
Phone: 248-763-0088


CHARLESTON, WV — Today marks the launch of Honest Appalachia, a new website designed
to empower whistleblowers throughout Appalachia. According to a description on its website,
Honest Appalachia is a secure website meant to assist and protect whistleblowers who wish to
reveal proof of corporate and government wrongdoing to citizens throughout the region.

Whistleblowers will be able to upload documents to the Honest Appalachia website using security
technology that will keep their identity hidden, even in the face of legal action. Project organizers
plan to work with local journalists to analyze and publish the information they receive.

From coal and gas companies to banks and zoning boards to local and state governments, the
organization says it wants to hold institutions accountable and help make Appalachia a more
transparent place.

“We believe our country desperately needs watchdogs at the local, state and regional level, and
our website has stepped in to help fill the gap,” a statement on the project’s website said. “We are
committed to being objective and professional in our presentation of the documents and
information we receive from whistleblowers.”

Honest Appalachia has been in development for a year and is being operated by a team of
computer scientists, freelance journalists and transparency activists in Appalachia and beyond. It is
funded by a seed grant from the Sunlight Foundation, a government transparency group based in
Washington D.C., as well as by private donations.

In addition to its work with whistleblowers, the organization will provide assistance to other
individuals and groups who are working on similar projects. Honest Appalachia, which was
inspired by international transparency organizations like Wikileaks, is designed as a low-cost
replicable model that can be adapted to other regions around the country and the world.

“We believe the world has too many secrets for one website,” said the project’s organizers, in a
written statement online.

For more information go to

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