An overview of whistleblowing and whistleblower protections

This website provides a general overview of lawful whistleblowing in the Intelligence Community (IC) and explains how individuals lawfully disclose critical information to authorized recipients while protecting national security equities.

Message from the Acting Inspector General of the Intelligence Community

Thomas Monheim Portrait

As the Acting Inspector General of the Intelligence Community and a long-time member of the Intelligence Community (IC), I take seriously my oath to support and defend the Constitution and to faithfully discharge the duties of my office. My teammates in the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IC IG) and I are deeply committed to promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness, and to preventing fraud, waste, and abuse in the IC.

Whistleblowers are vital to the IC’s mission. Whistleblowers lawfully share information about potential wrongdoing by “saying something” when they “see something” involving possible violations of law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; abuse of authority; or dangers to public health or safety. By performing this crucial public service, whistleblowers help intelligence agencies address problems while also protecting national security information, and they assist inspectors general and Congress in performing their oversight responsibilities.

Whistleblowing has been encouraged and protected by law and policy since the Nation’s founding. In 1778, the Second Continental Congress unanimously passed the first whistleblower protection, proclaiming that “it is the duty of all persons in service of the United States” to report wrongdoing to the proper authorities or Congress. Since then, Congress and Executive Branch agencies have enacted numerous other whistleblower protections to further encourage whistleblowers to lawfully disclose critical information about wrongdoing. These protections include the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998, Presidential Policy Directive 19, and Intelligence Community Directive 120. These and other authorities generally protect whistleblower confidentiality and prohibit retaliation against those who lawfully report alleged wrongdoing.

Whistleblowing also promotes the Principles of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community, particularly the principles of Lawfulness, Integrity, and Stewardship. Whistleblowing also is consistent with ODNI’s core values, including Courage.

This website contains information about how to report matters and how such reports are handled, and it explains the protections available to whistleblowers. It also gives some illustrative examples of the types of wrongdoing that should be reported. I hope you find this website useful, and I welcome your feedback on how we can make it better.

If you have information about potential wrongdoing in the IC, I encourage you to contact your agency’s inspector general or the IC IG Hotline. Together, we can promote government accountability, strengthen the IC, uphold the rule of law, and better serve our great Nation. Thank you.


Thomas A. Monheim
Acting Inspector General of the Intelligence Community

What is Whistleblowing?

In broad terms, lawful whistleblowing is the process through which an individual provides the right information to the right people while protecting national security equities from unauthorized disclosure.

Learn More about Whistleblowing

What Should I Report?

Lawful whistleblowing provides information about wrongdoing within the IC to those who can take action.

Learn More about what information you should report

How Do I Blow the Whistle?

Lawful whistleblowing occurs when an individual discloses information that he or she reasonably believes evidences wrongdoing to an authorized recipient.

Learn More about how to blow the whistle

What Are My Whistleblower Protections?

There are specific protections for IC employees, civilians, contractors, and military personnel who make Protected Disclosures.

Learn More about whistleblower protections

IG Leadership Support

Michael Horowitz

IG Department of Justice

Susan Gibson

IG National Reconnaissance Office