Thursday, June 08, 2006

Stolen veteran data also includes most of ACTIVE military

Recommended at My Left Wing

You have got to be fucking kidding me. It's bad enough that these moronic jackasses in charge of this country don't give a rat's ass about We the People. It's worse that they treat our veterans like crap. It's disgusting to see the way that our active servicemen and servicewomen are being treated.

It's damn near a crime how memory chips containing military secrets were available for sale at Afghan bazaars. It's inexcusable when we hear how last month data was stolen from a Department of Veterans Affairs employee's computer in his own home, not to mention that this data included names, social security numbers and other personal information of hundreds of thousands of veterans.

But now we hear how much worse it really is - the stolen data also includes information on nearly 1,500,000 ACTIVE military and National Guard members - nearly 80% of the total active members.

How can you even fathom how large the damage is to our national security by having the information of active military be stolen? How much of a national disgrace is it that those who swear that they are "keeping us safe from terrorists" allowed sensitive personal information of those who they have sent around the world in the name of the United States to go unguarded, let alone stolen?

The level of incompetence, as well as lack of accountability and any concern for our military, both active and our veterans is embarrassingly appalling. How can anyone, ANYONE in a top civilian position in the Pentagon, or any recruiter, or anyone in Congress not be shouting about this from the rooftops?

Oh yeah, that damn gay marriage that is ruining our country. I forgot. MUCH more important than, oh, say the negligent treatment and loss of personal sensitive information of past and present military personnel. It makes me so angry I can just spit...

Hey Congress, you want to do something that is productive and not grandstanding horseshit? Why not do something about people and companies that are responsible for safeguarding personal data? How about major punishments for those who are in control of this information when it gets lost or stolen? I bet a bill for something of this nature would have enough votes for cloture. I bet that the view of Congress wouldn't be so in the shitter.

According to the WaPo article, this is (surprise, surprise) a national security issue.

The department announced that personal data for as many as 1.1 million active-duty military personnel, 430,000 National Guard members and 645,000 reserve members may have been included on an electronic file stolen May 3 from a department employee's house in Aspen Hill. The data include names, birth dates and Social Security numbers, VA spokesman Matt Burns said.

Defense officials said the loss is unprecedented and raises concerns about the safety of U.S. military forces. But they cautioned that law enforcement agencies investigating the incident have not found evidence that the stolen information has been used to commit identity theft.

Yeah, I am sure that the biggest thing that our military is afraid of is identity theft from these totally irresponsible actions. Fucking jackasses.

How bad is this? Well, if you ask me, I'd say it's real fucking disasterous. If you ask those who are in charge (and presumably didn't have their information stolen, you get, well you still get a very bleak picture:

Army spokesman Paul Boyce said: "Obviously there are issues associated with identity theft and force protection."

For example, security experts said, the information could be used to find out where military personnel live. "This essentially can create a Zip code for where each of the service members and [their] families live, and if it fell into the wrong hands could potentially put them at jeopardy of being targeted," said David Heyman, director of the homeland security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Another worry is that the information could reach foreign governments and their intelligence services or other hostile forces, allowing them to target service members and their families, the experts said.

"There is a global black market in this sort of information . . . and you suddenly have a treasure trove of information on the U.S. military that is available," said James Lewis, director of technology and public policy at CSIS. can find out where military personnel live. It can fall into the hands of foreign governments and their intelligence personnel. You have a global black market for this type of information.

And you have a situation where military secrets were already lost or stolen and sold at black markets in Afghanistan.

Tell me again how we are safer? If the military can't even keep the confidential information of its own people confidential, then how the fuck can they do anything to combat terrorism? Even worse, someone please tell me why the hell any other government or country would want to share sensitive information with the US (that is if the US was serious about fighting a "global war on terrorism" the right way)? If we can't even handle our own basic information, how can ANYONE trust this government to handle sensitive information that isn't related to their own people?

And what are the local authorities doing about this? Well, wishful thinking in terms of the best case rosy scenario:

Montgomery County police released a description yesterday of the stolen laptop and its external hard drive because they said it may have been purchased by someone who does not realize the value of its content. "It could have shown up at a yard sale or a secondhand store," police spokeswoman Lucille Baur said. "This is a time of the year when parents may be buying computers for kids going to college in the fall."

Yeah, right. I'm sure that whoever stole the computer "accidentally" stole it not knowing its contents and then turned it into a secondhand store or is thinking of selling it at a garage sale for a few bucks. What fucking planet are these officials on?

The amount of contempt that I have for the officials, elected and appointed, who allow this to happen time and time again without any repercussions to those who are responsible for the stolen data can't even be put into words. Every month we hear of massive data losses or massive amounts of people having their personal data stolen. And nobody is held accountable, except of course for us suckers who have had our data lost or stolen.

It's too bad that our active military are treated in the same crappy way that the rest of We the People are treated. It's a friggin crime that they are now at risk of being targeted and that national security is compromised because of the fuckwads in charge of national security only use the term when it comes to hiding their own mistakes or crimes from the public.

To do this to our servicemen and women, active and our veterans is, to me (a non-military person) even worse, since these are the people who have volunteered to serve our country, and unfortunately serve under the assclowns who are putting everyone else at risk.

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