The disclosure marked the latest turn in an investigation of the FDA’s past efforts to monitor the communications of a group of its doctors who were expressing concerns about the safety of medical devices. As part of the effort, the FDA secretly collected thousands of private e-mails that the employees sent to one another, members of Congress, journalists, lawyers and others.
The FDA acknowledged Friday that targeted surveillance of five employees began in mid-2010, but it said that was not ongoing today, according to a letter sent to Grassley by Jeanne Ireland, the agency’s assistant commissioner for litigation. The FDA said Monday that the computer surveillance was limited to five employees. But an internal document shows that the agency targeted at least seven employees beginning in 2010.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
FDA Spies on Agency Scientists
The Washington Post reports that FDA attorneys authorized wide-ranging surveillance of Agency scientists. The Obama administration has sent a memo to all Federal agencies reminding them that surveillance with the intent to intimidate or inhibit whistleblowers is against Federal law. The FDA has not been forthcoming with the scope or volume of the surveillance, claiming it was monitoring only five employees with the Post finding evidence of at least seven employees under surveillance. From the article: