FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

FDA Spies On It’s Own Scientists, Congress Staff

Darkly hilarious stuff. This whole story got uncovered because 1) the contractor who did the surveillance didn’t even protect their own data and 2) one of the scientists they were tracking googled his own name…and found their entire stash of his emails, indexed on f’ing google.

WASHINGTON — A wide-ranging surveillance operation by the Food and Drug Administration against a group of its own scientists used an enemies list of sorts as it secretly captured thousands of e-mails that the disgruntled scientists sent privately to members of Congress, lawyers, labor officials, journalists and even President Obama, previously undisclosed records show.

Moving to quell what one memorandum called the “collaboration” of the F.D.A.’s opponents, the surveillance operation identified 21 agency employees, Congressional officials, outside medical researchers and journalists thought to be working together to put out negative and “defamatory” information about the agency.

F.D.A. officials defended the surveillance operation, saying that the computer monitoring was limited to the five scientists suspected of leaking confidential information about the safety and design of medical devices.

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 formammograms and colonoscopies that exposed patients to dangerous levels of radiation

F.D.A. officials went to the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services to seek a criminal investigation into the possible leak, but they were turned down. The inspector general found that there was no evidence of a crime, noting that “matters of public safety” can legally be released to the news media.

The software used to track the F.D.A. scientists, sold by SpectorSoft of Vero Beach, Fla., costs as little as $99.95 for individual use, or $2,875 to place the program on 25 computers. It is marketed mainly to employers to monitor their workers and to parents to keep tabs on their children’s computer activities.

. Link h/t Justin Boland

See previous:

Why The FBI, FDA, DEA & Others Entrap People

https://colonyofcommodus.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/why-the-fbi-fda-dea-others-entrap-people/

One response to “FDA Spies On It’s Own Scientists, Congress Staff

  1. Pingback: Linkage Is Good For You: 7-22-12: Holmes Killer Edition | Society of Amateur Gentlemen

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