The Washington Post expanded on this weekend's blockbuster New York Times article revealing the FDA's invasive surveillance on employees, reporters, and congressional staffers in an attempt to target seven scientist-whistleblowers who raised concerns about excessive radiation emitted from mammogram and colonoscopy machines.
This scandal includes an "enemies list," outsourced surveillance, spyware on dogs, and numerous other outrages.
The Washington Post reported that
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said that his staff had learned that the spying was “explicitly authorized, in writing” by the agency’s top legal office.
Learning from the now-infamous Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel and my law school classmate John Yoo, who twisted the law to justify torture, the FDA's chief counsel apparently reviewed and authorized the surveillance in a secret memo. The FDA's defense is so lame it is hard to take it with a straight face:
She said that the surveillance was limited in scope . . . The FDA acknowledged Friday that targeted surveillance of five employees began in mid-2010, but it said that was not ongoing today, . . .
The fact that FDA targeted only the whistleblowers, whose communications included legally-protected disclosures to the media, congress, and the Office of Special Counsel, makes the monitoring more problematic, not less.
An FDA spokeswoman assured WaPo that:
“We did not impede or interfere with any employee communication to Congress, their staff, media or federal investigators,” she said.
But, the very act of monitoring IS interfering with the communications. If you know the FDA is monitoring your e-mails you might think twice about revealing to government investigators or Congress or the media that the FDA is disregarding the public health and safety of Americans.
- Unholy Partnerships Between Telecoms & Government Spy Agencies: Have We Learned Nothing?
- Jim Risen at the National Press Club: Democracy Cannot Survive Without Aggressive Journalism
- Spypocrisy: U.S. to Use Technology in Crackdowns on Dissent (in other countries)
- History & Truth in Progress: Shady Companies Wiretap Us For NSA and Britain Imitates U.S. Snooping
- Govt. Keeping Data on Americans with No Connection to Terrorism
- Jesselyn Radack & Thomas Drake Discuss NSA Warrentless Spying
- Cyber-threat Boogeyman: Props to White House for Standing up to NSA
- State Department Hallwalkers: Whistleblower Peter Van Buren on NPR
- Will the Obama Administration Allow Courts to Rule on Warrantless Surveillance?