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Home > Privacy and Government > Government Invasions of Privacy > "Filegate"


While too much may be made of what political machinations did or did not exist behind the "Filegate" controversy, it provides an example of government carelessness with information it holds about citizens.

In 1993 and '94, over 900 files collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation were transferred to the White House at the request of White House staff. The FBI and the White House conceded that the transfer was wrongful, and what use was made of them is unknown. The fact that the files were improperly transferred shows the insufficiency of government agencies' safeguards for information about individuals.

Investigative files of this type generally collect a wide variety of personal and private information. They often include unsubstantiated rumor and innuendo that prove false as often as true. It is highly inappropriate for one agency to divulge the contents of investigatory files to another without legal authorization.


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[updated 8/29/00]

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