Several federal agencies have purchased an advanced software application that allows administrators to see every single action, item, mouse click and more performed on their employees’ computers. Some say it’s being implemented to end whistleblowing.
In the midst of a witch-hunt that has targeted anyone accused of leaking documents, the US federal government has been linked to a massive acquisition of spyware that allows the higher ups to get ahold of essentially any communiqué and comment made by its employees on any electronic device. Some agents with the Food and Drug Administration insist that their personal conversations were unlawfully monitored by their higher-ups using the program, citing their superiors’ fears that whistleblowers will continue to come to lawmakers to voice concern over dangerous practices within the FDA.
“We are looking for what we call indicators of compromise,” Joy Miller, deputy assistant secretary for security at the Department of Health and Human Services, the FDA’s parent agency, says to the Washington Post. “We’re monitoring a system, not everybody in that environment.”
Journalists with the Post penned an article this week that examines the use of Spector 360, monitoring software made by the SpectorSoft group, within the FDA and other agencies.
According to the FDA, staffers had their computer activity monitored and logged over concern that employees were disclosing trade secrets. Those agents, however, argue that they were spied on to ensure that they were not reporting internal corruption to Congress. And while the Post’s expose examines the government’s attempts to chill any employee’s attempt at blowing the whistle on wrongdoing, it only begins to open up what great lengths the feds are willing to go to.