Best Way To Avoid Springing a WikiLeak
by Bill Rounds
How to Vanish
by Bill Rounds: Bank
I have seen
some very good disclosures on Wikileaks. The crown jewel is the
of the helicopter attack on several civilians and journalists.
In particular, the premeditated and deliberate shooting and killing
of a group of people who are clearly unarmed and giving aid to one
victim who is badly injured, and trying to crawl away to safety.
Giving the shooters the benefit of the doubt, the "fog of
war" may have contributed to the act, but not to the investigation
following the attack. The footage released by WikiLeaks calls into
question the accuracy of official military statements and reports
on the incident.
of violence and fraud do not deserve privacy. They deserve sunlight.
But there are still
a lot of legitimate secrets. Good secrets have nothing to do
with violence or fraud. I have seen some of those legitimate secrets
on the tabloid covers at the grocery store, and I have seen some
think the idea of WikiLeaks is a good thing or not, the reality
is that there is a growing capability and
culture of disclosing secrets to the public. It doesn't matter
whether the secrets are legitimate or not. And in most cases, the
law will not protect you if you confide in someone who later reveals
your legitimate, but juicy, secrets.
So how do you
minimize the risk of people revealing your closely held and legitimate
How to Avoid
Disclosure Of Financial Information
banks, accountants and other financial professionals are often required
by law to tattle, a
topic covered thoroughly in the Bank Privacy report. The only
way to avoid financial disclosure is to avoid using the formal banking
system. The best way to avoid the formal financial system is to
use things like Bitcoin
to store and transfer value.
How To Avoid
Disclosure of Business and Personal Information
Where it is
legal, a Non-Disclosure Agreement, otherwise known as a Confidentiality
Agreement or NDA, can help prevent disclosure of your sensitive
information, and can be a way to compensate you in the event of
a disclosure, even if it was an accident.
people to protect their competitive advantage, negotiation strategies,
technical details, trade secrets, personal information, and lots
of other stuff. If you have an NDA, a court can usually prevent
a disclosure or improper use of confidential information before
it causes any damage. This is usually by far the best remedy. It
is not always the only remedy.
You might be
able to get money damages if you can prove that you either were
harmed financially, or that the other person unjustly gained from
using or disclosing the confidential information. In some cases,
you can even get punitive damages.
To Use An NDA
There are lots
of good, free
NDAs you can find on the internet that can be easily tailored
to meet your own needs. Laws can be different in different areas
and language needs to be carefully drafted to protect what you want
to protect, so you might want to have an attorney draft one for
you. A free
sample NDA is usually a good place to start from.
There are also
some good negotiating skills that come into play when using NDAs.
Any information protected by an NDA should be something that you
can summarize into non-confidential generalities. Those generalities
are a way to communicate the essence of the information before you
reveal any real secrets. Once both parties have decided it would
be worthwhile to share more, approach them with an NDA. If you are
too aggressive with asking for an NDA and you make people sign an
NDA before you say a word, you won't be saying very many words.
Where An NDA
Will Not Work
There is some
information that cannot be protected by an NDA. For example, banks
in the US must reveal certain information to the government. Also,
an NDA will be ineffective if it seeks to cover up illegal activity,
evidence of a crime, or is in some other way against public policy.
You can't have someone sign an NDA, reveal your criminal mastermind
plot to them, and expect the NDA to be upheld if they share your
plot with police.
Like it or
not, your valuable and legitimate secrets might be revealed by anyone
you share them with. The law does not protect that information unless
you protect it yourself. NDA's are the best way to prevent valuable
information that are legitimate secrets from being disclosed by
tattletales who are deluded into thinking they are doing some good.
Those aren't the only threats. The book How
To Vanish is full of other tips to help you control how
much of your private information is made public. Sign up for the
email list, if you haven't done so already, to get the latest legal
tools and strategies for protecting and controlling how much of
your private information is available to the public.
with permission from How to
Rounds, J.D. is a California attorney. He holds a degree in Accounting
from the University of Utah and a law degree from California
Western School of Law. He practices civil litigation, domestic
and foreign business entity formation and transactions, criminal
defense and privacy law. He is a strong advocate of personal and
financial freedom and civil liberties.
© 2011 How
Best of Bill Rounds