Stolen NASA Data Raises Questions About Intrusive Background Checks

Oooh ... awkward


In 2010, the Supreme Court heard a case called NASA v. Nelson, which involved the government's right to carry out highly intrusive background checks. NASA decided to require its employees—many of whom had already been working for the agency for many years in what the government conceded were "low-risk" and "non-sensitive" positions—to fill out a form in which they were required to disclose any illegal drug use or possession within the previous year, along with details on any treatment or counseling received for such use. These employees were also required to sign an authorization permitting NASA's security people to obtain "any information relating to [the employee's] activities from schools, residential management agents, employers, criminal justice agencies, retail business establishments, or other sources of information."

Lo and behold, yesterday it was reported that NASA had suffered a large data breach in which a laptop belonging to the space agency was stolen.