Home Boston Press Releases 2011 FBI Responds to Reports Pertaining to the Alleged Identity of Bulger Tipster
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FBI Responds to Reports Pertaining to the Alleged Identity of Bulger Tipster

FBI Boston October 12, 2011

BOSTON—Recently, a news outlet chose to publish the alleged identity of one of the tipsters involved in locating FBI Top Ten Fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger and Catherine Grieg. It is important to note, despite numerous media requests to provide the name of one of the tipsters, at no time has the FBI furnished the name, provided comment, or confirmed the accuracy of any reporting about the tipsters.

In defending against public criticism about the decision to publish the name of the alleged tipster, reporters and editors from the news outlet attempted to justify it by stating the FBI did not raise any objections in advance. That explanation suggested the FBI was culpable for the publishing of this information. To the contrary, the FBI’s silence on these inquiries should not be seen as acquiescence to that editorial decision. Had the FBI responded one way or the other, the effect would have been to confirm or deny the identity of one of the tipsters.

The decision by the news outlet to use an individual’s name and photograph was a decision made solely and independently by that news outlet.

Experience demonstrates that the public is the FBI’s best ally in preventing, detecting, and deterring crime. In this case and in others, the FBI does everything possible to protect the identity of those who courageously assist us in thwarting criminal activity. The FBI takes seriously its responsibility to protect those individuals from harm, and to protect their privacy. To do otherwise would have a chilling effect upon future cooperation by the public.

Any further inquiries should be directed to the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, (617) 748-3100.