If you are a Government Scientist who has conducted Research that contradicts your Agency’s Political Agenda,or you are a Whistle Blower, be Prepared to be Spied Upon!
Revealed: FDA spied on emails of its OWN scientists
in wide-spread surveillance operation against
PUBLISHED: 11:47 EST, 15 July 2012 | UPDATED: 13:47 EST, 15 July 2012
An extraordinary surveillance operation by the Food and Drug Administration against their own scientists involved secretly recording thousands of emails the employees sent to members of Congress, journalists and even President Obama, newly revealed records show.
The Washington Post reported earlier this year that several FDA scientists were suing the agency after their emails had been read. However, the full extent of the spying operation was previously unknown.
A discovered cache of 80,000 documents regarding the surveillance effort show the vast scale and possibly illegality of the investigation, reported The New York Times.
Although the government agency is permitted to monitor activity on its own computers it may have broken the law by intercepting specifically protected confidential information, including ‘attorney-client communications, whistle-blower complaints to Congress and workplace grievances filed with the government’, reported the Times.
And the huge cache of documents were only discovered when one of the scientists googled himself. ‘I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,’ he told the Times.
The wide-spread investigation identified 21 FDA employees, Congressional officials, journalists and outside medical researchers, who were suspected of collaborating to put out negative information about the agency, reported the Times.
However, FDA officials maintained yesterday that the computer monitoring was limited to five scientists suspected of leaking confidential information about the safety and design of medical devices.
The discovered documents reveal that the FDA used spy-software which enabled them to track messages line by line as they were being written, reported the Times.
The surveillance began with a dispute between FDA scientists and their bosses over the scientists’ assertion that the agency had approved medical imaging devices which exposed patients to dangerous radiation levels.
In a statement released on Friday the FDA said that the computer monitoring was consistent with agency policy.
The documents did not make clear whether the surveillance was still on-going.