A federal appeals court has ruled that to recover compensatory damages under a law protecting stored electronic communications, plaintiffs must prove that they suffered actual harm. In the case, the court ruled that a plaintiff whose employer accessed her private e-mail account cannot recover compensatory damages even though the employer violated the law.
A New Jersey jury has awarded a lab technician more than $2 million after he was terminated over a whistleblower complaint. The technician had complained to senior managers about insufficient blood bank staffing and procedures. Issues such as failure to have skilled technicians on staff violated state law. After the technician complained, he was subjected to unfair discipline and was then fired.
A federal judge has ordered the White House to declassify all of the legal opinions issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court after May 2011 that relate to Section 215 of the Patriot Act. In a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the judge noted that the disclosures made by Edward Snowden require greater transparency and that disclosure of the opinions is necessary for an informed debate on the issue of government surveillance and privacy.