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FDA staffers sue agency over surveillance of personal e-mail

Posted By admin On January 30, 2012 @ 5:52 am In Tile,U.S. News | Comments Disabled

Ellen Nakashima and Lisa Rein
Washington Post [1]
January 30, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration [2] secretly monitored the personal e-mail of a group of its own scientists and doctors after they warned Congress that the agency was approving medical devices that they believed posed unacceptable risks to patients, government documents show.

The surveillance — detailed in e-mails and memos [3] unearthed by six of the scientists and doctors, who filed a lawsuit against the FDA in U.S. District Court in Washington last week — took place over two years as the plaintiffs accessed their personal Gmail accounts from government computers.

Information garnered this way eventually contributed to the harassment or dismissal of all six of the FDA employees, the suit alleges. All had worked in an office responsible for reviewing devices for cancer screening and other purposes.

Copies of the e-mails [4] show that, starting in January 2009, the FDA intercepted communications with congressional staffers and draft versions of whistleblower complaints [5] complete with editing notes in the margins. The agency also took electronic snapshots of the computer desktops of the FDA employees and reviewed documents they saved on the hard drives of their government computers.

Full article here [1]

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URLs in this post:

[1] Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fda-staffers-sue-agency-over-surveillance-of-personal-e-mail/2012/01/23/gIQAj34DbQ_story.html?hpid=z2

[2] Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/default.htm

[3] detailed in e-mails and memos: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/documents/fda-whistleblowers-set.html

[4] Copies of the e-mails: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/documents/fda-whistleblowers-3.html#document/p1/a43233

[5] whistleblower complaints: http://www.whistleblowers.org/

[6] Sen. Leahy Drops Controversial Warrantless E-mail Surveillance Bill: http://www.prisonplanet.com/sen-leahy-drops-controversial-warrantless-e-mail-surveillance-bill.html

[7] Abused staffers net nearly $1M a year: http://www.prisonplanet.com/abused-staffers-net-nearly-1m-a-year.html

[8] Government plans to extend powers to spy on personal computers: http://www.prisonplanet.com/government-plans-to-extend-powers-to-spy-on-personal-computers.html

[9] Newly released FOIA’d emails from Hansen and GISS staffers show disagreement over 1998-1934 U.S. temperature ranking: http://www.prisonplanet.com/newly-released-foia%e2%80%99d-emails-from-hansen-and-giss-staffers-show-disagreement-over-1998-1934-u-s-temperature-ranking.html

[10] New Climate Agency Head Tried to Suppress Data, Critics Charge: http://www.prisonplanet.com/new-climate-agency-head-tried-to-suppress-data-critics-charge.html

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