Hard Drive with Sensitive Data Missing from National Archives

By Matthew Harwood

The federal government's data security posture has once again been called into question as a hard drive containing sensitive information from the Clinton Administration is missing from the National Archives, reports the Associated Press.

The National Archives lost a computer hard drive containing massive amounts of sensitive data from the Clinton administration, including Social Security numbers, addresses, and Secret Service and White House operating procedures, congressional officials said Tuesday.

One of former Vice President Al Gore's three daughters is among those whose Social Security numbers were on the drive. Other information includes logs of events, social gatherings and political records.

The FBI is conducting a criminal investigation of the matter, according to Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and senior committee Republican Darrell Issa of California.

The lawmakers said they learned of the loss from the inspector general of the National Archives and Records Administration. The drive is missing from the Archives facility in College Park, Md., a Washington suburb. The drive was lost between October 2008 and March 2009 and contained 1 terabyte of data — enough material to fill millions of books.

According to the AP, the hard drive could have been stolen by anyone when it was moved from a secure area to an unsecured workspace. At least 100 badge holding employees had access to the area when the hard drive was in use; while workers regularly travel past the workstation to use the bathroom where the door was regularly left open for ventilation.

♦ Photo by Katmere/Flickr



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