WASHINGTON (CN) – Six people, three of them doctors, say the Department of Health and Human Services snooped on their personal emails and denied their Privacy Act request for records on the illegal monitoring of their private communications.
One of the doctor plaintiffs is an M.D.-Ph.D., one an M.D.-J.D.; a fourth plaintiff is a Ph.D. All six claim the HHS snooped on their private communications with Congress and with each other. They say the emails were created on their own time and were encrypted.
It is unclear from the federal complaint whether the plaintiffs work or worked for HHS or not.
“HHS willfully and intentionally intercepted private communications between the plaintiffs that described plaintiffs’ exercise of their First Amendment rights and thereafter willfully and intentionally maintained these records,” the complaint states.
They say HHS responded to their FOIA requests by claiming it could not find any such records.
They don’t believe it.
“The failure of HHS to properly respond to the Privacy Act requests submitted by the plaintiffs was part of a cover-up of HHS’ violation of plaintiffs’ rights under United States Code Title 5, section 552a(e)(7).” (24, 25)
They seek an injunction forcing HHS to disclose the requested records and unspecified monetary damages.
They are represented by Stephen Kohn with Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto.