Supreme Court set to hear NASA JPL privacy case

An aerial view of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California and the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains.
An aerial view of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California and the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains. NASA

How much information is too much when it comes to security at a government installation in a post-9/11 world?

The Supreme Court will tackle that question Tuesday when it hears arguments over whether the government went too far in investigating workers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

At issue is whether the government has the right to probe the personal lives of low-risk contractors with access to federal facilities.

The workers say requiring background checks on them, which includes probes into medical records, finances and drug history, is an invasion of privacy. The government says their probes are "minimally intrusive" and necessary.

© 2010 The Associated Press.

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