Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Oja v. Corps of Eng'rs

ELR Citation: 36 ELR 20053
Nos. No. 03-35877, (9th Cir., 03/14/2006)

The court holds that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) did not violate the Privacy Act by disclosing an individual's personal information on its public website. The Corps posted the information to defend itself from media inquiries stemming from a newspaper article that was critical of the Corps' activities in Alaska and that referred to the individual's whistleblower activities during his tenure with the Corps. Because the individual filed suit more than two years after he first learned of the disclosure, the Privacy Act's statute of limitations bars his claims. The court rejected his argument that the "single publication rule" should not apply to Internet publications because posting information on the Internet is a continuing tort. Publications in print and on the Internet are functionally equivalent, and applying the single publication rule to Internet publication will adequately focus Privacy Act claims against a defendant, thereby economizing judicial resources while preserving a plaintiff's ability to bring the claims.