Whistle-blowing Scientists (Trying To Prevent Dangerous Products From Reaching The Market) Sue FDA For Snooping On Their Personal Email Accounts
from the shameful-suppression dept
More evidence of the insane lengths the federal government will go to against whistleblowers has been revealed in the form of a lawsuit from a group of FDA scientists and doctors. The group had been trying to blow the whistle on fraud and abuse in the FDA, in the form of approvals for medical devices that didn't actually meet health and safety standards. The scientists reached out to Congress to blow the whistle... and in response, the FDA started spying on their personal emails. Yes, it does appear that these scientists were accessing their personal Gmail accounts from work computers, and using them to work with Congressional staffers to craft their whistleblowing complaint, but does that give the FDA the right to spy on their personal communications? The doctors, via their lawsuit, believe the answer is no.
The FDA is defending its actions by claiming that this whistleblowing involved "improperly disclosed confidential business information about the devices," and it wanted an investigation of the doctors involved. That sounds ridiculous. Or, perhaps, all too typical. It seems clear that the FDA bosses just didn't like the fact that some folks there blew the whistle on what they were doing and took vindictive actions. This is exactly the kind of thing that a Whistle Blower Act should protect. That it doesn't do so already is really a shame.