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.
The operation’s scale was only revealed when a ‘document-handling contractor’ for the FDA inadvertently posted 80,000 pages of documents relating to the investigation on the internet.
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