Senator Charles Grassley got it right: officials at the Food and Drug Administration “have absolutely no business reading the private e-mails of their employees.”
On Sunday, the New York Times ran a lengthy story detailing how the FDA monitored the communications of its own scientists, including communications with members of Congress, lawyers and journalists. Those scientists had blown the whistle on what they believed were flawed internal procedures that led to the approval of unsafe medical imaging devices. The FDA engaged in a massive email monitoring campaign to read their communications—including their private, personal emails. The emails that the FDA collected included those of a former member of Senator Grassley’s staff, presumably because he had exchanged messages with one or more of the targeted FDA officials.