My brush with the FBI

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 15 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:642
  1. Gavin Yamey, senior editor (
  1. PLoS Medicine (, San Francisco, United States

    “Excuse me sir—could you come with me?” The security guard led me into his office, pointed at a vacant chair for me to sit in, and sat behind his deck. He asked who I was, and what I was doing in New Orleans.

    He seemed dissatisfied with my answers. “Dr Yamey, you need to stay where you are. The police are on their way, and they want to ask you a few questions.”

    The setting was last year's American Heart Association (AHA) annual meeting, an international gathering of cardiologists. I was there with a colleague to staff a PLoS Medicine booth in a huge downtown conference hall.

    It was during a break from my booth duties, when I was on my way to a lecture by one of our editorial board members, that the guard cornered me and began his interrogation. He asked if I had been surfing the internet during my time at the meeting. I explained that I had—we had a computer at the booth to show attendees our website, and I had also been checking …

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