CLCourt: DEA Agent “Laughing Stock” Video Didn’t Violate Privacy


Lee Paige, an undercover federal drug agent who accidentally shot himself in the leg during a videotaped talk with children, lost his appeal in a suit that alleged the government illegally released personal information, reports Legal Times. Paige charged that the Drug Enforcement Administration violated federal privacy rights. Paige shot himself in 2004 as he spoke to about 50 children and parents in Orlando. A parent recorded the talk, and the video showed up on YouTube.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said the video clip was not a part of the agency's “system of records.” Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said, “The widespread circulation of the accidental discharge video demonstrates the need for every federal agency to safeguard video records with extreme diligence in this internet age of iPhones and YouTube with their instantaneous and universal reach.” Paige’s attorney said the video made him “a laughing stock around the world despite his notable and often extremely dangerous service to the United States.”

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