Veterans Administration Now Known As Ministry For Data Leaks

from the leak-rinse-repeat dept

In the middle of last year, a laptop and hard drive containing personal information on 26.5 million US veterans were stolen from an employee's home. While the equipment was recovered, and the government claimed the data had not been accessed, the theft highlighted the lax security procedures of the VA -- and another theft a few months later reinforced it. Now, try not to be surprised, but it's happened again, as portable hard drive containing personal information on 48,000 vets has gone missing from an Alabama facility. Despite the VA saying it was beefing up data security after the first theft by taking measures including putting encryption software on all its laptops and desktop PCs, apparently as many as 20,000 records on this latest hard drive weren't encrypted. While encryption is by no means a cure-all, it's pretty ridiculous that even after the previous high-profile events, the VA still can't be bothered to even take this first step with all its data. There's a total lack of accountability and responsibility here: while there's been talk of mandating stiffer penalties for individuals who are negligent with personal data, that's nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It hides the real problem, which is an environment that, from the top down, accepts and excuses this sort of behavior. Until that changes, expect more data leaks.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    dorpus, 6 Feb 2007 @ 10:31pm

    Re: Re: Hey, that's across the street

    "security guard bullies"? Like the ones at Disney Land and who drive around shopping malls and school grounds in golf carts? You are afraid of these people? The phrase, "threatening to arrest" is funny - it sounds similar to something a school girl might say to another school kid who is making faces at her.

    They are allowed to arrest people, they carry handcuffs and pepper spray, sometimes even guns. They are usually incompetent Mexican-Americans on a power trip. I haven't been arrested, but I've seen them do it to others for trivial offenses like standing in the wrong place.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.