The FDA Surveils Its EmployeesIn an effort to protect its public image, the Food and Drug Administration secretly intercepted thousands of emails sent from disgruntled scientists working at the agency to members of Congress, journalists, labor officials and the White House.
In an effort to protect its public image, the Food and Drug Administration secretly intercepted thousands of emails sent from disgruntled scientists working at the agency to members of Congress, journalists, labor officials and the White House.
The scientists were attempting to blow the whistle on the FDA’s approval of medical devices that they said posed a threat to the public.
The agency defended itself by saying that the program was intended only to monitor rather than to interrupt the scientists’ communications. The 80,000 pages of documents were posted — apparently by mistake — on a public website by a contractor that handles the FDA’s private documents.
— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly
Wait, before you go…
The New York Times:
The agency, using so-called spy software designed to help employers monitor workers, captured screen images from the government laptops of the five scientists as they were being used at work or at home. The software tracked their keystrokes, intercepted their personal e-mails, copied the documents on their personal thumb drives and even followed their messages line by line as they were being drafted, the documents show.
The extraordinary surveillance effort grew out of a bitter dispute lasting years between the scientists and their bosses at the F.D.A. over the scientists’ claims that faulty review procedures at the agency had led to the approval of medical imaging devices for mammograms and colonoscopies that exposed patients to dangerous levels of radiation.
… While federal agencies have broad discretion to monitor their employees’ computer use, the F.D.A. program may have crossed legal lines by grabbing and analyzing confidential information that is specifically protected under the law, including attorney-client communications, whistle-blower complaints to Congress and workplace grievances filed with the government.
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig
There are currently no responses to this article.
Be the first to respond.