JPL employees sue NASA, Caltech

JPL employees sue NASA, Caltech

JPL employees sue NASA, Caltech

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Aug. 31 2007 3:56 PM

JPL employees sue NASA, Caltech

This doesn't surprise me a bit: JPL scientists are suing NASA and Caltech (who jointly run JPL) for intrusive security checks.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

This doesn't surprise me because our government is going security crazy, with incredibly intrusive things being done for no reason whatsoever, or, if there is a reason, it's not being disclosed. The scientists instigating the lawsuit say they do not fall under the category of needing this extra security check, and that they are having their Constitutional right violated. They may have some problems with that, as the 4th Amendment doesn't really say you have a right to privacy. But still, the security checks are way over the top, and another sign of a government gone mad.

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Of course, quotes like this don't help:

"I can fly a spacecraft to any planet in the galaxy, and I'm being judged by people who don't have a clue as to my technical qualifications whether I'm suitable for government service," said [NASA engineer Dennis] Byrnes.

Dude. You've done amazing work in the past (Apollo 7, Galileo), but um, no, you can't fly a spacecraft to any planet in the Galaxy. Sigh.

Still and all, it will be interesting to see where this lawsuit goes.