Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Art Of Whistleblowing

Slavoj Žižek: "A market economy thrives on inequality so self-interest will always triumph over the public good."
Hence, for the integrity of the system, whistleblowers are essential.

This is the first of three posts addressing whistleblowing both in football and across a broader systemic base.

In football, matchfixing is rife - in Europe, 60% of associations have experienced scandals in the last two years and yet there is effectively no sports governance and there are no reliable bodies analysing such corruptions as all have inappropriate relationships to the various loci of criminalities. 
Moreover, there is a culture of omertà within the loop where matchfixing is accepted and serves as an illicit currency within the game.

In parallel, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) together with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) give corporations the power to trump national sovereignty and individual rights.
Such abuses may only be addressed by bottom up whistleblowing and hacktivism.
Otherwise the outcome will be a totalitarianism founded on corrupted institutions and a world order devised by and for a global corporate elite.
Globalised markets need globalised regulation.

Whistleblowers should not exist.
Their work should be undertaken by regulators, police, governments and investigative journalists within the Fourth Estate.
But the recent exponential and global growth of whistleblowers across all economic sectors suggests that these entities are a part of the problem rather than the cure.

As there can be no dependence on the law, whistleblowers need to develop skills so that they are able to be more effective in bringing about change by taking the issues to a wider audience.
And this needs to be achieved whilst surfing the zeitgeist of corruption (together with the insider and public perceptions of such corruption) so that personal security profiles may be maintained robustly.
And there is very limited support within the system for whistleblowers - indeed there are very lucrative merry-go-rounds involving institutions, market makers, regulators and even some whistleblowing bodies/charities (eg Public Concern at Work or the FA's Sports Betting Integrity Unit or Federbet).

Corruption forensics and sousveillance are at the core of all whistleblowing and whistleblowers oscillate between black, grey and white markets in their detection work. The reality to be modelled is neo-Bayesian, complex and in a constant state of chaotic flux with the resultant holographic entity needing to be updated in real-time. There are strategic choices that need to be made in order to achieve the best outcomes - in some cases direct action and Fifth Estate activism and, in other cases, realpolitik and incrementalism via the Fourth Estate. 
It all depends on the maturity and solidity of the corrupt mechanism being addressed.

Security is paramount as is the ability to operate invisibly off the radar of the system - I spent over a decade with no bank accounts, no mortgages, disguised rentals, mobile offices across three countries, no utility provision, no telecommunications contracts, numerous PAYG mobiles, no earnings, no tax, numerous parallel internet networks (some encrypted and undertaking creative hacktivism), complex travel arrangements etc.

Protection is paramount all along the continuum from sources to whistleblowers to campaigners, journalists and publishers as any weakness results in a lowest common denominator quantum leap in risk.

We operate via a global cellular network of individuals and well-connected action groups with shared aims and layered security based on the strategies of single issue direct action groups like the Animal Liberation Front.
Face to face security is embedded by selective choice of meetings (we have pulled out of meetings with bodies on numerous occasions through our assessment of their hidden agendas and liaisons) and all meetings are recorded and undertaken with attendant security on hand. Negotiations and the sharing of knowledge are filtered via isolationist boundaries and an assessment of the vertically integrated hierarchies involved. And all meetings are approached with an array of potential strategies both to achieve our goals and to destabilise inappropriate behaviours from other parties at the table.

Creative whistleblowing requires enhanced anonymity with enhanced strategy and protection.

Corruption in football directly mirrors that in the global financial system and much modelling of these infrastructures share similarities. 
But there is a time lag. 
So, whereas insider trading was made illegal in financial markets in Britain half a century ago, it is at the very root of the issue of integrity in football.
Furthermore, the same techniques exist for the hiding of fraudulent behaviour (both with regard to matchfixing and abuses of the transfer market). 
Money is laundered via very particular Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs) using a small network of morally illegitimate onshore/offshore legal entities (in Britain, Panama and elsewhere).

The money sloshing around this shadow system does not yield any tax benefits to the remainder of the planet but merely serves as a sociopathic power grab.
And the figures are colossal.
According to the Tax Justice Network $21 trillion to $32 trillion of private financial wealth is held offshore. $1 trillion is syphoned off from developing countries per annum while the detection rate for tax evasion is just 1% (about the same as the declared instances of matchfixing at 0.7%).
As over 60% of international trade takes place within multinationals, the options for abusive inversion capitalism are considerable as there are no obstacles to the financialisation of the companies nor the creative tax evasion undertaken across different tax environments.
Meanwhile, over 50% of the world's adults lack bank accounts.

The global turnover on football betting markets is estimated at £1 trillion per year.
This cashflow is outside any system - third party ownership and suitcases of money with regard to transfer market corruptions and the stealing of monies off other market players and operators with regard to matchfixing.
This is inversion capitalism in extremis, football has merely become a poker table for psychopathic corruptions involving vast amounts of money.

The solutions are not rocket science.
In football, just six core areas need to be addressed to markedly reduce matchfixing (http://footballisfixed.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/how-to-solve-match-fixing-once-and-for.html)

The key changes will be incremental in any future reality but the changes will still have impact - the adjustment of corruption from being a rigged certainty to a probabilistic outcome will peripheralise the gains that might be achieved via matchfixing.

In the wider global economy, we need openness on corporate ownership and all secrecy jurisdictions, unitary taxation, no tax havens, no unpublished accounts or limited tax disclosures, no use of consolidated financial statements to disguise offshore transactions, no nominees, the banning of offshore trusts, an end to banking secrecy and proper reasons for miscreants to think twice.

When a whistleblower (Jeremy Hammond) faces a 10 year jail sentence for disclosing the inappropriate behaviours of US geopolitical intelligence giant Stratfor while Stratfor is immune to prosecution, what message does this send out to future whistleblowers?
And surely it does not help that the husband of the judge in this case (Loretta Preska) works with Stratfor clients!

© Football is Fixed 2006-2014 
Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed