Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, is now suing the Environmental Protection Agency. They sent notice on Wednesday saying that the EPA must disclose all communications that are made by their officials.
They have been using a special encryption software to help communicate with each other in a weak attempt to foil President Donald Trump’s environmental agenda.
Their employees are sending and receiving secret communications by using a cell phone application called “Signal” which encrypts communication. This is a blatant attempt of spoil government oversight and is a violation of the Freedom of Information act as it bypasses the use of government servers.
From Washington Examiner:
The lawsuit was filed after the EPA failed to respond to Judicial Watch’s Feb. 3 FOIA request seeking “any and all work-related communications” sent to or from EPA officials using the Signal app from Feb. 3, 2016, to the present, according to the group.
Signal allows anonymous, encrypted communications between the parties that use it on smartphones. Reporters have used the app to solicit government sources to communicate to them about changes taking place in the Trump administration within EPA and other agencies.
The Judicial Watch effort is in response to a Politico article titled, “Federal workers turn to encryption to thwart Trump.”
“Given EPA’s checkered history on records retention and transparency, it is disturbing to see reports that career civil servants and appointed officials may now be attempting to use high-tech blocking devices to circumvent the Federal Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act altogether,” said Tom Fitton, president of the group.