Wednesday, May 16, 2012

AFSCME union fuming over internal corruption and facebook privacy.

By Doug Glass, Backgate Website

Over the past week, fall out from our story on the forced resignation of former TDCJ Information Officer Michelle Lyons, along with blow back from accusations made against the TDCJ admin for advocating violation of employee rights by allowing it's wardens, and others to  demand employee social media passwords is coming to head.  

The Federal EEOC and the Texas ACLU have been advised of those particular issues within the agency as of last week. Also, Lance Lowry, policy analyst for the AFSCME union has contacted the national lobby in Washington D.C. regarding the issues, as well as firing off a detailed letter to Senate Criminal Justice Committee chair John Whitmire of Houston. Lowry made the following statement to the Backgate this week via email in regards to the forwarded message he sent to Washington. 

"My understanding from our legal staff is TDCJ maybe in violation of the Stored
Communications Act, under 18 U.S.C. § 2701, and the CFAA prohibits intentional
access to a computer without authorization to obtain information, 18 U.S.C. §
1030(a)(2)(C). Facebook's terms of service are clear in regards to sharing a
security password."

Lowry also included a letter the union forwarded to Senator Whitmire last week
regarding the issues with Ms. Lyons, and the facebook privacy violations. 

"Dear Honorable Senate John Whitmire,

I am contacting your office today in regards to TDCJ employees being
censored from contacting state elected officials and other activities occurring in
which TDCJ is attempting to censor employee organizing activities.
As of this last week the former Public Information Office Michelle Lyons
contacted your office via agency email in regards to possible illegal labor issues
occurring inside TDCJ.  After Michelle contacted your office the agency suspended
her email, which is vital to her job duties, and has informed her she is under
investigation for her email sent to your office. 

TDCJ is engaging employees and prohibiting them from networking with one
another on Facebook and other social media’s.  The agency has terminated several
employees for Facebook activities, under the disguise they are jeopardizing the
security of the institution.  

With the Sunset hearing coming up and the several other important legislative
activities occurring, it is important TDCJ employees feel protected from any kind of
retaliation.  It is important for public safety that the Legislature receive free
flowing information on the activities occurring in these state agencies.  Please
assist in making TDCJ upper management understand this concept."


Lance Lowry
Policy Analyst
AFSCME – Texas Correctional Employees 

If you have a first hand story to tell about a social media/rights violation issue with TDCJ, you are asked to detail those issues in an email and send it with your name and contact information 


  1. I wonder if the retards who run TDCJ realize that they'll just drive people underground into networks where their dumbasses can't identify anyone.

    Or maybe they don't care. Maybe they really are trying to wreck the agency. Maybe they are all CCA & GEO operatives trying to eliminate the competition.

  2. Waiting to See the Senators reply

  3. You would think they have better things to worry about!!!

  4. The senators care when money is put into their pockets. TDCJ does not exist in their eyes.