The Environmental Protection Agency has told farmers and ranchers it is sorry for handing private information about them over to environmental groups, but agriculture advocates who fear attacks from eco-terrorists say it's like closing the barn door after the horses escaped.
In response to Freedom of Information Requests, the federal agency released information on up to 100,000 agriculture industry workers, including their home address and phone numbers, GPS coordinates and even personal medical histories. The agency later acknowledged much of the information should never have been provided, and even asked the recipients to give it back.
“If someone is setting out to create mischief at these locations, basically the government gave them a road map,” Mace Thornton, spokesman for the American Farm Bureau Federation, which is participating in a joint lawsuit against the EPA, told FoxNews.com. “It is very clearly an unjustified intrusion into citizens’ private lives by the government. And it is a betrayal of trust.”
The EPA said it collected all the erroneous disclosures, released in July of 2012, and sent out new documents with sensitive personal information redacted, an EPA spokeswoman told FoxNews.com.