MI5 whistleblower launches defense fund for whistleblowers

Annie Machon -- an ex-MI5 spy who left the agency after blowing the whistle on the agency's illegal activities -- has launched a fund to offer financial support to other whistleblowers, called the "Courage Fund to Protect Journalistic Sources."

Machon left MI5 and disclosed that the agency had illegally spied upon British government ministers, that it had lied in order to send innocent people to jail for bombings in Ireland, had conducted illegal wiretaps, and had worked with MI6 in an assassination attempt on Gaddafi.

She announced the fund at the 30th Chaos Communications Congress, in Hamburg, with a stirring, scathing speech that took governments to task for invasive, bulk spying:

“It is incredibly corrosive to the human spirit to know that everything you say, everything you do, even if you just want to have a private conversation with your mother, is being listened to,” she said. “Now we all know we are being listened to and surveyed in this amazingly Panopticon-like manner.”

People like Snowden and Manning must be given support, she said, or civil liberties will continue to be eroded.

“So many journalists write so many stories, but what happens to the whistleblowers? They’re left swinging in the wind,” she said. “If they can’t survive the process of coming forward, then we will not have these people.”

British Ex-Spy Launches Fund to Support Whistleblowers Like Snowden [John Borland/Wired]

(Image: Annie Machon at OHM, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from 91027340@N03's photostream)