Woman: I have noticed that Non-Disclosure Agreements are often reported in the news in the context of government and media, often as part of sexual harassment settlements. These NDA’s allow perpetrators to evade sunshine laws and other public scrutiny, which is in a word, bad. NDA's allow miscreants to continue their evil deeds by buying off the complainant’s silence, so that other potential victims are not alerted to the dangers. This contractual silence has allowed countless perpetrators to camouflage themselves as law-abiding citizens and to continue to act with impunity for decades, amassing one victim after the other. An NDA is a legally binding contract that creates a legal obligation to privacy and compels those who agree to remain silent on the terms therein. I feel that once the matter has risen to the level of the courts, where the matters are of public interest, NDA’s should be legally prohibited. Do you happened to know how it is that Non-Disclosure Agreement are legal?
Man: NDA's are a privacy instrument normally used to protect one or more parties. They are essential to protect the privacy of individuals from illegal public scrutiny. Unfortunately, NDA's and other legal instruments that protect privacy can be abused by unscrupulous actors to legally hide from public view. The battles between Privacy and Transparency are just beginning. The latter term should be applied to elected officials and to certain public individuals who owe their jobs or their fame-induced incomes to the public. Transparency should not be forced onto mere individuals by unlawful means, as this causes public outcry which is reported by our media. Regardless of the guilt or innocence of one hiding behind an NDA, there are very real reasons to keep NDA’s available to US citizens. Or so I believe, deeply.
Camouflaged Perpetrator by Annmarie Throckmorton, 2017.