Federal authorities are investigating the loss of a computer hard drive containing a huge quantity of personal information from Bill Clinton’s presidency in an apparent security breach at a National Archives record center.
Government officials briefed on the matter said the breach, which was confirmed in April, involved the loss of a drive containing a terabyte of computerized data, which could include millions of individual pieces of information, including personal information about one of then Vice President Al Gore’s three daughters.
The missing information included Social Security numbers and home addresses of numerous people who visited or worked at the White House, along with other material related to security procedures used by the Secret Service at the White House in the Clinton years.
The National Archives and Records Administration said Tuesday in a statement that the agency “takes very seriously the loss of an external hard drive that contained copies of electronic storage tapes from the executive office of the president of the Clinton administration…”
Other officials said it was not known whether the hard drive had been stolen or accidentally misplaced. They added that it did not appear that classified information related to national security was taken but that analysts had not yet completed their review of the vast quantity of information stored on the drive…
It was not clear how anyone could have removed presidential computer records from the highly secured archive in suburban Maryland, although officials said the hard drive was removed from a storage area to a work space that was accessible to many archive employees and visitors.
There is no patch for stupidity. Mayhap I’m too brusque; but, someone in that neck of the prairie gets paid big bucks to guarantee crap like this doesn’t happen.
This doesn’t sound anymore difficult than shoplifting.
UPDATE: Hey – they’ve added a $50,000 reward!