This is a partial transcript of The Big Story With John Gibson, October 6, 2003, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: If you've ever used e-mail (search) at work for personal business, here's another reason to think twice before hitting that send button. Workers at Enron (search) are finding their dirty laundry is now available online for anyone who wants to take a peek. Here's an example of what you can find on a Web site run by the Feds.
"I had the biggest freakin' crush on you." That was written to someone who worked at Enron.
Here's another: "So... you were looking for a one night stand after all?" That written by a woman in Oregon.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano has more on the government invasion of the not so private communications. So why are they putting this stuff on the Internet for everybody to see anyway?
JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: Well, the government didn't give an explanation. But we called they today and they said, there's such a public interest in Enron, we wanted the public to see what truly went on there. Well, they released 1.6 million e-mails. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asked Enron for all of their hard drives. And Enron without a subpoena handed them over. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission then said to Enron, we're going to put all this on our Web site. You have 10 days to object, ten days. There are 1.6 million e-mails involving several hundred employees. Enron did not object and all the stuff came on the Web site. The government has attempted to cleanse it, but there's social security numbers on there, there's deeply personal information. There's the type of thing that those of us who use e-mail a lot know our bosses could see but not something we ever expected the public to see.
GIBSON: The government has an idea if you are interested in what happened to your life's savings if you're invested in Enron, you are going to find something out by reading these e-mails. Is it mostly people's trash talking to each other? Or is it mostly Enron skullduggery.
NAPOLITANO: It is not Enron skullduggery. You know who has that, the Justice Department. This is mainly personal routine e-mails. Some of it absolutely innocent. Some of it completely scurrilous but highly personal, which the government, quite frankly, had no business revealing to the public. Whether the government wanted to embarrass Enron, this is not the way to do it. They did something wrong, indict them. Most of these people whose e-mails were on this Web site were not people in a position to make policy at Enron.
GIBSON: So, you obviously think this was an ill-conceived idea by the government. Is there any backlash that can come the feds way? Or is this just a done deal?
NAPOLITANO: It's a done deal because it's out there. You can't pull it back. But the backlash is going to go both ways. It is going to go against the feds for intentionally revealing private information. And it's going to go against Enron for turning over those hard drives without any resistance.
GIBSON: Judge Andrew Napolitano, careful of what you e-mail. Thank you very much, Judge.
NAPOLITANO: You welcome, John.
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