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Thomas C. Ellington

Since the early years of the Cold War, two countervailing trends have been present in the treatment of officially held information in the United States. On the one hand…

Abstract

Since the early years of the Cold War, two countervailing trends have been present in the treatment of officially held information in the United States. On the one hand, as the foundations of U.S. information policy were being set after World War II, wartime practices were remade and made permanent in a crisis atmosphere, with the establishment of a classification system (essentially the same one used to this day) by executive order, as well, as the passage of the Atomic Energy Act in 1946 and the National Security Act in 1947. However, even as the practice of official secrecy took root, the United States took the lead in formalizing standards of openness by statute, beginning with the 1946 passage of the Administrative Procedures Act and culminating in the passage (and 1974 strengthening) of the Freedom of Information Act. This article traces the development of U.S. information policy since World War II and describes the impact of official secrecy on decision making and democratic practice more generally.

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Government Secrecy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-390-4

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Book part

James A. Vela-McConnell

This chapter presents an investigation of the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church through the lens of stigmatization for the purpose of elaborating the theory…

Abstract

This chapter presents an investigation of the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church through the lens of stigmatization for the purpose of elaborating the theory, making it more widely applicable across multiples levels of analysis. Much like individuals, organizations must engage in information management in order to conceal discrediting information that would blemish their reputation. Given the number of people who comprise an organization, such secrecy relies on teamwork in order to contain damaging information. Based on an analysis of investigative journalist accounts of the scandal between 1985 and 2014, I present a typology representing the system of organizational secrecy developed by the Catholic Church. While organizations like the church have more structural resources at their disposal to ensure information control is maintained, their size and the varying levels of commitment to secrecy on the part of individual members of the team ultimately work against them.

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Oppression and Resistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-167-6

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Article

Nathan Robert Neale

Research addressing the impact of tacit and explicit pay secrecy policies on organizational climates is fairly limited. While researchers desire to explain the impact of…

Abstract

Purpose

Research addressing the impact of tacit and explicit pay secrecy policies on organizational climates is fairly limited. While researchers desire to explain the impact of such policies on individuals' pay satisfaction, a direct effect has not been supported. This study seeks to better explain how these policies are related to ethical climates and pay satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

This study draws on ethical climate theory to show the influence of ethical climate types on job satisfaction and a moderating effect of explicit and tacit pay secrecy policies on this relationship. This is accomplished through designing this study by using existing scales from the literature in a survey methodology. A pilot study of 246 undergraduate students was used to validate the measures. Then, a sample of 217 adults was obtained to test the proposed relationships. Linear regression is employed to analyze the data and to test the existence of direct and moderating effects.

Findings

The five empirically tested ethical climates each have a direct effect on pay satisfaction. Explicit pay secrecy policies has a positive moderating effect on the relationship between rules, law and code ethical climates, and pay satisfaction. Tacit pay secrecy policies moderate the relationship between caring, rules, law and code, and independence ethical climates and pay satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The findings strengthen the literature by demonstrating a stronger relationship between ethical climates and pay satisfaction. While some of the moderating effects were significant, others were not. This was surprising, but present avenues to further test ethical climate theory and the impact of pay secrecy policies.

Practical implications

This study presents practical implications for managers. Understanding how these policies may be viewed differently, depending on the type of climate that is experienced within an organization may help managers evaluate using them. Trying to protect employees or the organization itself by enacting these polices may backfire and create additional problems. Managers may want to evaluate the manner that they communicate these polices through formal or informal means, depending on the type of climate experienced within the workplace.

Originality/value

This study is the first to examine the influence of explicit and tacit pay secrecy policies on the relationship between ethical climates and employees' satisfaction with pay. It leads to a number of directions for further research that may continue to build upon this study in order to further advance scholarly understanding of the importance of ethical climates and pay secrecy policies.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article

L.C.O. Klaus

After discussing recent academic attempts to assess the status of worldwide military transparency and accountability in nations which adopted open governance paradigms…

Abstract

Purpose

After discussing recent academic attempts to assess the status of worldwide military transparency and accountability in nations which adopted open governance paradigms, this paper tries to show that such countries allegedly committed to democracy and open data should coherently fight for military transparency and citizen inclusion in the governance process, avoiding the prevalence of military secrecy over military transparency. The most important contribution of the paper is discussing the lack of military transparency, until now taken for granted as a traditional armed forces ’informal right, and proposing concrete definitions of military transparency and secrecy within the context of the open government partnership. In addition to the definitions, an exploratory model of how military accountability can affect military transparency has been suggested.

Design/methodology/approach

For the proposed endeavour, first a description on the context of open governance where the involved public defence sector is inserted is given. Second, notions of military transparency and secrecy are proposed. Finally, the paper discusses when military secrecy could be granted and what it means for military information to be unjustifiably kept secret. At the end, the urge of the citizen involvement to open the still insulated military governance systems is highlighted.

Findings

This paper proposes notions of military secrecy and military transparency and suggests the second term as a broader notion which includes the first. This paper also indirectly identifies the conditions for the inadmissibility of military secrecy and calls attention to the bad externalities of unjustifiably holding public information back.

Research limitations/implications

The consideration of the proposed notions of military secrecy and military transparency could minimize the traditional excuse of military confidentiality that armed forces worldwide tend to not to convey public information to the public while making military accountability perfectly possible without overexposing its strategies regarding national defence.

Practical implications

Providing armed forces and citizens with concrete definitions of military secrecy and military transparency could not only help military institutions to develop a sincere transparency policy based on open government terms, but it could also guide interested media and citizens with their control and oversight tasks by establishing clear limits for alleged secrecy while releasing the borders for military transparency.

Social implications

The suggested approach for military transparency and secrecy is not only adequate to the globalized strategy of open governance but also mainly a way to finally reward citizens’ often misused and manipulated trust.

Originality/value

It is the first attempt of an academic definition for military secrecy and military transparency taking into consideration the open government terms and aiming at improving military accountability.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Article

George J. Moscarino and Michael R. Shumaker

This decree by the Nazi Government in 1933 is probably the single most important event leading to the advent of bank secrecy laws as we know them today. This criminal…

Abstract

This decree by the Nazi Government in 1933 is probably the single most important event leading to the advent of bank secrecy laws as we know them today. This criminal provision was enacted to halt the German Jews' movement of assets out of Germany and into Swiss banks — a movement that was occasioned by the Government's attempt to seize the Jews' assets. Swiss banks were chosen because of their geographic proximity, but more so because of Switzerland's then unofficial policy of confidentiality over banking deposits and transactions.

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Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

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Article

Bonita Erbstein

The year 1986 did not bode well for investment banker Dennis Levine. In a civil injunctive action the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or the Commission) alleged…

Abstract

The year 1986 did not bode well for investment banker Dennis Levine. In a civil injunctive action the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or the Commission) alleged that Levine, through an insider dealing scheme, violated several anti‐fraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Without admitting or denying that he obtained over $12m in illicit profits from secretly trading in the securities of 54 companies, Levine settled the SEC action and was ordered to disgorge over $10m to the court.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

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Article

Reeda Al Sabri Halawi

The purpose of this study is to analyze the Lebanese anti-money laundering (AML) paradigm in light of banking secrecy law. The phenomenon of money laundering that was…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the Lebanese anti-money laundering (AML) paradigm in light of banking secrecy law. The phenomenon of money laundering that was first associated with the crime of drug trafficking developed a lot since the early 1900s to become a major threat to the world’s economy today. The fight against this ever-growing crime, with multiple sources and origins, has been the centre of attention of the biggest countries in the world. Thus, the need for international AML standards was required, by which countries must abide, to ensure an effective fight against this crime. The issue of banking secrecy regulations was important to study along with the AML framework as the principles of the first totally contradict those of the latter.

Design/methodology/approach

The scope of this study first entails a qualitative technique. It will start with analysing existing legal provisions on money laundering and studying the AML framework internationally and in accordance with the Lebanese banking system. For that, websites such as GoogleScholar and HeinOnline were used to collect many scholars articles. Additionally, Laws, Regulations and Directives have been examined for the purpose of establishing the legal basis for the fight against money laundering. Moreover, an interview was conducted in 2018 with the Lebanese Financial Prosecutor, which served as data related to the operations of the Special Investigation Commission (SIC) in Lebanon, which is the Lebanese Financial Intelligence Unit. Second, quantitative research has been done. Reports of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, Financial Action Task Force Report and Annual Reports of the SIC of Lebanon have been used to gather information related to the AML/combating the financing of terrorism framework, such as customer due to diligence provisions and know-your-customer requirements and to collect statistics of suspicious reports.

Findings

The question of “How to balance the confidentiality of the Lebanese banking sector with the interest of the international community in the fight against money laundering?” was interesting to study, as it turned out that the existence of such professional secrecy does not affect the effective implementation of the AML guidelines by banks and other financial institutions. This can only happen when there is a special judicial organ to which banking secrecy is not opposable at any time, and which is the sole organ entrusted with lifting off this professional secrecy and allowing the disclosure of information to the competent authorities. Thus, the Lebanese banking system can ensure total compliance with the AML framework while still adopting banking secrecy regulations.

Originality/value

The choice of Lebanon was compelling because of the special level of protection its banking secrecy law offers.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

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Article

Wassim N. Shahin

This paper aims to analyze the monetary consequences of the new restrictions imposed in February 2000 by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on money laundering. FATF…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the monetary consequences of the new restrictions imposed in February 2000 by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on money laundering. FATF established 25 criteria based on its 40 recommendations (currently 49) to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. A total of 23 countries were placed on a list of Non‐Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCTs) for not meeting most of the criteria. Several of the criteria relate to additional tightening or regulation of banking and financial secrecy in these countries. In order to be de‐listed from NCCTs, countries have started regulating their banking and financial sectors by placing restrictions on the degree of secrecy, passing tighter secrecy laws and closing loopholes in existing laws. The new regulatory measures may have money, banking and other economic implications.

Design/methodology/approach

Presents a theoretical model of a banking firm offering secret bank accounts to examine the impact of changing secrecy laws on deposits, interest rates, money and credit aggregates.

Findings

Three different sets of results are plausible depending on the reactions of banks with regard to their deposit rate. The likelihood of banks changing this rate is examined using a profit function analysis.

Originality/value

It provides a theoretical framework for an agenda of future empirical research as researchers should emphasize the impact of tightening secrecy standards on bank deposit rates. The degree of the change in this rate may determine the magnitude and sometimes the direction of the changes in monetary variables.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

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Article

Jérôme Bindé

Aims to explore a central contradiction in the so‐called information society – while it is characterized by calls for universal transparency, at the same time, there are

Abstract

Purpose

Aims to explore a central contradiction in the so‐called information society – while it is characterized by calls for universal transparency, at the same time, there are demands for increased secrecy.

Design/methodology/approach

A number of lines of enquiry are sketched out including: the way in which new technologies radically reshapes the relationship between secrecy and both the public and professional spheres; transparency v. secrecy; and the prospect that a society of organized secrecy will take the place of democratic society.

Findings

New norms and rules should be defined so as to take into account the effects of information technologies on governance and human rights.

Originality/value

The article is a declaration that the Age of the Enlightenment, as with the open society, is incapable of being bounded. The author opposes the postmodern prophets of doom who have declared the Age of the Enlightenment to be dead and its democratic project to be nonsensical.

Details

Foresight, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article

Ziyun Fan, Jana Costas and Chris Grey

The purpose of this paper is to identify possible lines of research relating to communication and secrecy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify possible lines of research relating to communication and secrecy.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a conceptual essay drawing on recent research on secrecy.

Findings

The findings suggest that secrecy entails the communication of rules about communication, and that secrecy can play a role in the communicative constitution of organizations.

Originality/value

The paper is innovative in configuring secrecy as a form of communication rather than being the opposite of communication, and in showing the linkages between what are normally two separate domains of research.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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