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FDA Spying on Employees’ Emails

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Nicholas Wills5 years ago

The FDA has been spying on its employees’ emails, and the FDA could potentially be violating the law by doing this, news outlets report. There is speculation that the FDA is only spying on employees that have been trying to disclose corrupt practices.

About the FDA Surveillance

  • Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa claims that the FDA retaliated against particular whistleblowers – former and current FDA scientists – for submitting information to Congress and the media regarding potential corruption in device and drug reviews.
  • The New York Times revealed documents covering this surveillance scheme, which showed that the FDA secretly captured thousands of emails that the scientists sent privately to lawmaker, their aides, journalists and even President Obama.
  • However, FDA spokeswoman, Erica Jefferson told Reuters that only five employees were monitored, and the monitoring did not interfere with their communications to Congress.

Consequences of FDA Monitoring

The OSC (Office of Special Counsel) – an independent agency that protects federal whistleblowers – broadened its investigation into whether the FDA violated the law by keeping track of emails sent from current and former FDA whistleblowers to Congress and the OSC. Such emails are supposed to remain confidential, Reuters reported.

Quality Associates Inc., a contractor employed by the FDA, was able to post thousands of pages of email monitoring (which included confidential company information) on a file transfer that was available to the public until early July of 2012.

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