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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Remind me again why the Bush government should be trusted with personal data
Posted by Jill | 7:34 AM
I wonder how the 2.2 million active-duty members of the military feel knowing that their personal data has been stolen from a government employee?

Personal information stolen from the home of a Veterans Affairs employee included data on 2.2 million active-duty members of the military, the government said on Tuesday.

The veterans agency announced over the weekend that the theft last month involved data for only about 50,000 active-duty, National Guard and military personnel.

But the Defense Department said Tuesday that a comparison of records by the Pentagon and the veterans agency found that the stolen data theft may have included information on as many as 1.1 million active-duty service members, 430,000 National Guardsmen and 645,000 members of the Reserves.

When the government initially revealed the burglary on May 22, more than two weeks after it happened, it said the stolen data included the names, birthdates and Social Security numbers of up to 26.5 million veterans, and their spouses.

In a statement Tuesday, Jim Nicholson, the secretary of veterans affairs, said, "V.A. remains committed to providing updates on this incident as new information is learned."

A spokesman for the Veterans Affairs Department, Matt Burns, said the department had received no reports of stolen data being used for fraudulent purposes.

And that makes it OK?

Did you ever misplace one of your credit cards and worry about someone using it? Imagine that you are going door-to-door in Iraq. You're on your third stop-loss order. You're exhausted, burnt out, you're worried about whether your wife is going to wait till you get home, you're wondering IF you'll ever get home -- and now you have to worry that someone is buying a house and a car and a big-screen TV by pretending to be you.

And the government says it's all OK because they haven't received reports of stolen data being used fraudulently. Excuse me, but how is a guy on active duty supposed to find out if his data has been used fraudulently?

This is the "support the troops" administration in action. And perhaps someone ought to ask why this employee had been taking home sensitive data like that for three months prior to the night his house was burglarized?

This is the same government that wants to keep elaborate records on your telephone calls, your internet searches and site visits, your medical records, your library records, and every other one of your activities. Do YOU trust them with that information?
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