NY AG Adopts First-of-its-Kind, Advanced Whistleblower Submission System
NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James today announced her office’s new secure whistleblowing system – The N.Y.A.G. Whistleblower Portal. The N.Y.A.G. Whistleblower Portal is an open-source whistleblower submission system. It enables the simple and secure transmission of information and two-way anonymous communication with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). It is designed to enable witnesses to unlawful or fraudulent conduct who, in the past, were concerned with communicating electronically, to report what they know without compromising their identity. The Whistleblower Portal utilizes the TOR web browser to protect an individual’s identity, location, and information they provide. Whistleblowers may simply download the TOR browser, access the whistleblower site, and then fill out a simple form with the subject of the communication, a description, and upload any relevant files.
The New York Attorney General’s Office is the first governmental agency in the United States to offer whistleblowers the capability to directly transmit documents and send and receive communications electronically without their identity being traceable. The Attorney General’s Office’s whistleblower website can be found at: https://ag.ny.gov/whistleblower.
“Whistleblowers serve a critically important function in our democracy,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “Whistleblowers call out illegal, corrupt, and fraudulent behavior, often at great risk to themselves. Our advanced Whistleblower Portal will help to attract, engage, and protect whistleblowers, and in turn enhance fairness and the rule of law in our society. At a time when some are leveling threats against those who seek to call out corruption, New York will stand up for all those who fight for transparency and justice.”
Whistleblowers are essential to fulfilling the central mission of the Attorney General’s Office – protecting the citizens of New York. Whistleblowing insiders are particularly critical in opaque industries, where transparency is limited. For example, last year, the Attorney General’s Office published a report detailing the lack of transparency in the virtual currency market and, more recently, has announced investigations into unreported data breaches and privacy violations on internet platforms.
The OAG takes special care to protect whistleblowers. While the OAG still encourages complainants (including whistleblowers) to identify themselves, it recognizes that many people have legitimate concerns about their anonymity because they are reporting conduct by their employers, associates, or members of their community. The N.Y.A.G. Whistleblower Portal gives members of the public wishing to remain anonymous more protection than ever before in submitting information to the OAG. People should understand, however, that though the transmission of this information will be anonymous, the content of the communication is not guaranteed to remain confidential.
Whistleblowers may also make submissions to the OAG through online forms, or by mailing or e-mailing downloadable forms.