Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

No one will care that a federal agency has a massive wiretapping operation

Posted by Charles II on July 17, 2012

So what will the FDA do if you get in the way of GE marketing an unsafe colonscopy device? You can read the full megillah here (or in the NYT), or get the executive review from DemocracyNow:

STEPHEN KOHN: Yeah. What they did was they put spyware into the computers. We’re not sure how far it moved. We know it went into thumb drives. It went into their own property. And this spyware enabled them to do keystroke analysis, so they could get all the private passcodes of the scientists. So they could get into their—so they had the ability to get into their medical records, their financial records, their confidential Google-to-Google communications—all that capability, they had.

They also had cameras, which would take a photo of any image on your screen, pretty much maybe every 30 seconds or minute. So if you had an image on your screen that you were not saving, you were merely looking at, they took a photo of it. And so, you could get a photo of a dog or anything else. So, that’s what was going on. They took personal information, clearly.

They actually tracked one of the scientists, who was applying for a job. He had gotten fired, and he was looking for a job back in the agency. So they got all his employment stuff. They just seized it. And then they issued a warning through this other memorandum saying, you know, “This doctor is looking for a job again.” And then there were specific instructions to monitor emails of him trying to get work.

AMY GOODMAN: The New York Times identifies the spyware as sold by SpectorSoft of Vero Beach, Florida, costs as little as $99.95 for individual use…
STEPHEN KOHN: Well, one congressman, Van Hollen, was specifically put on it. Aides for Senate and House were put on it. Journalists were on it. Scientists and doctors were on it. This is the insidious nature of electronic surveillance, because once they had the first whistleblower, Dr. Smith, target number one, they were able to learn who he was talking to and who was supportive of what he was trying to change. They were able to then identify all the other whistleblowers and then people who endorsed them. And then they created a list. And this list set forth additional targeted monitoring or surveillance. So, it’s clear by looking at the 80,000 documents that they started specific searches into Congress, and they would use the names of the aides or the representatives that they were collecting through this system.

STEPHEN KOHN: Yeah. And we think that that—that the agency used this contractor because we have this FOIA lawsuit, and we fear that they were moving documents into the possession of a contractor to avoid disclosure under FOIA. They could claim, “Oh, we don’t have the documents.” (emphasis added)

[FDA]So we intercepted messages to Congress and to the confidential agency that whistleblowers are supposed to contact (Office of Special Counsel) and spread Trojans willy-nilly and fired and probably screwed other people’s careers? Biiig deal. We’re the good guys. [/FDA]

Big Government is not necessarily a good thing, and most especially when it has been taken over by Big Business.

One Response to “No one will care that a federal agency has a massive wiretapping operation”

  1. jo6pac said

    I would wonder what govt. agency doesn’t do this and wouldn’t cost effective if all agency outsourced this job to one large dod vendor? This just how much corp. controls govt.

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