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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Too Big To Manage: Feds invoke 'privacy' to shield public employees while snooping on the rest of us -- By Mark Flatten, The Washington Examiner

Even as Washington gets heat for snooping on ordinary Americans and warning them that they "have no reasonable expectation of privacy" on Healthcare.gov, federal officials are increasingly using the “personal privacy” exemption in the law to shield their employees from scrutiny, according to open government advocates.

Information about pay bonuses, disciplinary actions and severance packages are being withheld by federal agencies citing the personal privacy concerns of their employees.

That is in vivid contrast to the privacy warning buried in the source code for Healthcare.gov, according to the Weekly Standard.

"You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system," the warning reads. It can only be seen by using a web browser's "View Source" function.

The section of the federal Freedom of Information Act intended solely to protect purely personal information like Social Security numbers, home addresses and medical records is now being used to shield government workers from accountability in their jobs, transparency advocates say.

“I do think there is increased reliance on exemptions for privacy,” said Anne Weismann, chief counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog group with extensive experience in FOIA litigation.

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