E-mail monitoring must protect whistleblowers

Agencies must not engage in e-mail monitoring that could inhibit potential whistleblowers, the White House Office of Special Counsel has warned.

"Although lawful agency monitoring of employee communications serves legitimate purposes, Federal law also protects the ability of workers to exercise their legal rights to disclose wrongdoing without fear of retaliation, which is essential to good government," wrote Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner in a memo. "Indeed Federal employees are required to disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities, and are expected to maintain concern for the public interest, which may include disclosing wrongdoing."

The OSC memo was issued June 20 and distributed to agencies by U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel and General Counsel Boris Bershteyn.

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.

Featured

  • Defense
    concept image of radio communication (DARPA)

    What to look for in DOD's coming spectrum strategy

    Interoperability, integration and JADC2 are likely to figure into an updated electromagnetic spectrum strategy expected soon from the Department of Defense.

  • FCW Perspectives
    data funnel (anttoniart/Shutterstock.com)

    Real-world data management

    The pandemic has put new demands on data teams, but old obstacles are still hindering agency efforts.

Stay Connected