EU ‘trade secret law’ may criminalize whistleblowers & journalists, petition warns

The European Parliament has passed a bill designed to protect companies from “theft of trade secrets.” Critics say it could lead to prosecution of whistleblowers and reporters, and hinder journalistic activity. They have launched a petition against the bill.

The EU legislation “creates excessive rights to secrecy for businesses” and “threatens democracy,” says an online petition filed against the bill. The petition has so far gathered over 155,000 signatures out of 200,000 needed.

The new law could render revelations such as the Panama Papers illegal, critics say. Edouard Perrin, a reporter who worked on the Panama Papers investigation, has already been charged with revealing sensitive information in Luxembourg.

The same applies to Antoine Deltour, a former employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the whistleblower who initiated the leaks.

In November 2014, Perrin and Deltour revealed secret tax rulings in Luxembourg that allow multinational corporations to dodge taxes in the EU. The pair now face trial for “trade secrets’ violations.”

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