Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dear Veteran....ooops!


I just received a love letter from Uncle Sam.

Dear Veteran,

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has recently learned that an employee took home electronic data from the VA, which he was not authorized to do and was in violation of established policies. The employee's home was burglarized and this data was stolen. The data contained identifying information including names, social security numbers, and dates of birth for up to 26.5 million veterans and some spouses, as well as some disability ratings. As a result of this incident, information identifiable with you was potentially exposed to others.....

Emphasis mine.

So, someone's laptop that just happened to have the data for twenty six million veterans got ripped off?

That's a hell of a lot of memory you've got there on those government-issue notebooks.

I just found this more funny than anything else. For a couple of reasons:

1. I don't have one damn thing to do with the VA if at all possible. I would die a painful death before I let one of their quacks touch me again.

2. The letter goes on to warn that the information could be used in several different types of financial scams, such as credit card fraud. I'm in the position now that if any criminal could fuck up my finances or credit anymore than the divorce has, I applaud him.

But this could be some serious shit to anybody with a good credit rating or savings that could disappear overnight. If someone has your social security number, in our electronic age, they can own you. Hell, they can be you as far as that goes.

Just another reminder of how much the government really supports it's veterans.


Blogger JasonJ said...

Yeah, I got that letter as well. At first, I was wondering if the thieves had gotten any Republicans' vital information from the VA; but then it struck me that only poor people serve in the military so I guess the bastards are safe from this one.

Meanwhile, I have to stand vigilant because of their utter lack of responsibility. Good one Fuckers!!

Tue Jun 20, 06:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

I got that one too, and also laughed my head off. Why? First, it's the only time I've EVER received anything from Veterans Affairs, as far as I can recall. Second, my parents had been told, shortly after my discharge in the late 70's, that the VA had NO record of my existence!! (Apparently, they've since corrected the "error", and just in time to *disseminate* those records.) ==== But here's a thought that's been bothering me ever since the "burglary" story was released to the press: the tale itself sounds vaguely *concocted*, as Robert's own observations regarding reguired storage strongly suggest. So is it, in fact, merely a "cover story"? If so, what's the underlying TRUTH of this records dissemination, and what are the ultimate consequences? My point is this: it's bad enough construed as an "accidental " theft, but suppose it was actually a data mining *sale* or give away, inadvertent or otherwise? There's certainly NO presumption of "ignorance" involved in THAT scenario -- the recipients very likely know EXACTLY what they have, and may have requested it specifically! ==== Regardless, there's one fortunate thing about being "Nemo" in circumstances like these: As Gershwin put it, "I've got plenty of NOTHIN', and nothin's plenty for me." Anyone who sought to assume *my* identity could only amass my numerous debts! :-)

Tue Jun 20, 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Again said...

no, as you know, i didn't get that letter;-)

what's the underlying TRUTH of this records dissemination?

yes, that's the first thing i also thought - and yes, we all know that USA is the worst of all "developing countries", surely worse than China regarding the respect for the datas of other people (INCLUDING the own citizenry) - what can be sold, will be sold (and in the next moment whining, when China copies exactly that american way of life by copying all that fine american brands purely according to the laws of "free market WITHOUT any stinking rules": just some (chinese) suppliers satisfying the obvious demand of clients <grin>)

seems to me that be known as haphazard is somethings really "useful" - as Robert said, millions of detailled data on a laptop seems to be something, MySQL will may have some problems to handle...

but now, whenever and whereever data of Veterans will be used, nobody can't be blamed except for that "not authorized employee"

for me, that sounds like a (preemtive??) Pontius-Pilatus-action: "washing your hands in innocence"...

Wed Jun 21, 12:42:00 AM  

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