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Criminal Negligence

Some idiot in the Veterans Administration apparently wanted to work on a project at home so s/he copied a data base containing the names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth of over 26 million people and took it home.

The data was stolen in a burglary, so everyone in the VA files has to worry about ID theft. What gets cut to provide the millions of dollars it is going to cost to notify everyone who is affected of the loss and danger?

These people do not have the faintest concept of security.


1 andante { 05.22.06 at 10:55 pm }

I took a brief look at the website, and it looks to me like they aren’t going to notify anyone; all vets are expected to watch their own back.


2 Bryan { 05.22.06 at 11:10 pm }

The NPR coverage said they were going to mail out notifications.

3 JollyRoger { 05.23.06 at 8:08 am }


These are the guys that strip nail clippers from old ladies at airports and spy on Quakers while 10 million illegals come across the border.

4 larkohio { 05.23.06 at 9:20 am }

This person was stupid. Why take that kind of chance. It also strikes home to me, that we give lip service to helping the Veterans, but little else. The government, once again, disappoints me.

5 Karen { 05.23.06 at 9:35 am }

Well we had an episode of ID theft…it is a PAIN. but you can get a 7 year freeze on your credit report and have a service that alerts you to when/if they try to open new accts in your name, or access your accts and for large amounts charged for approval.

But…damn…these ID thieves are GOOD at what they do. Blech!

6 Bryan { 05.23.06 at 12:16 pm }

Actually, Roger, half of the immigrants entered the US totally legally and have overstayed their visas, so border security is only half the problem. Not a word on any action to deal with that half of the problem.

Lark, this problem may be linked to a failure to fund the Department. The individual may have decided to work at home over the weekend to see his/her kids for a change.

Karen, there are a lot of things that can be done with this information that doesn’t involve the common financial scams. There are a lot of Hispanic veterans and you have everything you need to get a replacement birth certificate, a new new Social Security card, a driver’s license, a passport, etc.

7 The CultureGhost { 05.23.06 at 3:02 pm }

Some zealous employee, “Oh I’ll take this file home and work extra hard and maybe then somebody will notice me in the office.”

Hard work is like crime: it doesn’t pay.

8 John B. { 05.23.06 at 3:50 pm }

Have to wonder… If some dufus in the VA loses data for 25 million (!) isn’t it equally possible intelligence screw-offs can lose the private phone call data for 300 million?

9 Bryan { 05.23.06 at 5:01 pm }

Unfortunately, in civil service, the more you do the more you get to do and your paycheck never changes.

John, I guarantee people are actively seeking the link to those records.

10 oldwhitelady { 05.23.06 at 8:33 pm }

Oh, no! It’s things like these that make you realize just how important it is to secure all information on others in a safe place. I hope the burglers don’t do anything with it. If they do, there is a possibility in tracking them down, I would hope.

11 Bryan { 05.23.06 at 10:25 pm }

OWL, if they sell it to a ‘Net based enterprise, the damage will be done. The equipment probably has serial numbers, and if it’s a Windows box, Microsoft should be able to locate it when it goes on-line for software updates. But arresting the burglars isn’t going to help, if the information has been sold.

12 The CultureGhost { 05.24.06 at 12:59 am }

What about the schmuck who brought the laptop home? Charge him with twenty-six million counts of what?

I guess they’ll forego reading each charge against him….

13 Bryan { 05.24.06 at 12:56 pm }

Actually, CG, if the equipment belonged to the VA there might be a misappropriation charge, but I have a feeling that it was his/her equipment. Copying the records could be tricky, because it might not actually be forbidden.

So, far, we have embarrassing your boss’s boss as the only solid charge and in this administration there’s no way of telling if the individual will receive a demotion or promotion.