Maybe next time they’ll heed the warning? (updated)

One of the privacy cases that I covered over the last 5+ years on concerned the government’s ability to require extensive background checks on employees and employees of contractors. That case,  NASA v. Nelson, was eventually decided by the Supreme Court in January 2011.  EPIC had filed an amicus brief in the case on behalf of the contractor, Robert Nelson, arguing, in part, that there were insufficient legal protections for the vast amount of personal information collected and retained, and that NASA’s systems were vulnerable to data breaches.  Disappointingly, the court sidestepped important questions on the right to privacy and upheld the government’s right to employ such extensive checks.

This year,  and as reported on this blog, NASA has  had two big data breaches and a smaller third breach.  Yesterday, EPIC took the opportunity to give the Supreme Court a polite “We told you so”  after Nelson was among the more than 10,000 employees and contractors who just received a notice from NASA that its recent breach involved his personal information.

Update: JPL workers are calling for a congressional probe into NASA’s recent security breach.


Early coverage (2007 – 2009) of the lawsuit from
Later coverage (2009 – 2011) of the case from

About the author: Dissent

Comments are closed.