Ex-CBS reporter sues feds for $35 million over hacking claim

Former CBS investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson is suing the federal government for $35 million after claiming that federal officials hacked into her computer.

Attkisson, who left CBS last March after nearly two decades, claimed in a book released last year that she was targeted for following up on the 2012 attack at a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, among other stories critical of President Obama. 

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“Although I would have much preferred to have resolved this efficiently with dialogue and disclosure, until the government is open, honest, and fully truthful with my family about what transpired, we have chosen to use the only means available to us as citizens to try and force full disclosure and honest answers to the many questions that have been raised during the investigation conducted to date,” Attkisson said in a statement.

This week, she filed a lawsuit accusing the government of violating the Constitution by tracking computers and phones she used in her personal life and for work from 2011 to 2013.

She also filed an administrative claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act accusing the Justice Department, the U.S. Postal Service and “unknown named agents” of breaking into her accounts to monitor her work. The claim is the first step in filing the lawsuit now accusing the government of violating the Constitution.

Attkisson claims that three examinations found that hackers used “sophisticated, remote capabilities” to gather information about her various accounts, including tracking her audio through her Skype account. Evidence seemed to point to the U.S. government, she claimed, though the Justice Department has denied any involvement.

Outside cybersecurity experts have been skeptical about Attkisson’s claims.