Confidentiality and the Right to Know

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1 Response

  1. DMZ says:

    The underlying issue is that problems are not always solved so insightfully. Ugly example, but true: the NCSY incident a few years ago. If that hadn’t gone public, the person might not have been caught as soon. (He’s actually up for parole now, but I’ve not heard how that’s going.)

    What makes this incident such a great example is that the people DID go through the appropriate channels, and the rabbinical authorities in charge covered it up. It’s time to realize that just because someone has smicha doesn’t always mean they have good judgement. Rabbinical leaders, well respected ones at that, _did_ drop the ball in a horrible way. _We cannot only rely on rabbinical intervention for our problems in this day and age._ It should be the first step, but it cannot always be the last step.

    To me, the problem has always been sort of analogous to the issues involved with security disclosures in computer programs. Going public immediately gets the problem fixed, but then again, you’ve got all the break-ins by people who crack in before the patches are issued, and those are on your head to some extent. On the other hand, just telling the company and letting them sort it out sometimes leads to nothing getting fixed at all.

    I think a similar solution would work for the Jewish issue of non-disclosure as well – provide the details of the problem to someone (or some people) who can fix it, and give them a reasonable time frame (depending on the problem) to implement the fix in. If they don’t make any progress, escalate the issue another level, and then give them a deadline as well. At some point, if no one actually does anything, you can go to the papers, probably guilt-free, because you tried doing the “right thing”, and no one else was willing to do it, too.

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