Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Trojan Horses

Will our government ever learn? Yesterday's New York Times reported that, thanks to pressure from Congressman Frank Wolf, the State Department agreed not to allow computers purchased from a company linked to the Chinese government to access the department's classified information systems. Wolf was right to fear that the Chinese might have used such access to spy on some of the most sensitive information available to the United States government. That such access might have been granted but for this congressional pressure shows how unserious our government remains about countering even obvious threats to the national security.

This story comes on top of the news that the personal information of 26 million veterans was recently stolen from the home of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee. There is nothing to indicate that the thief was a terrorist or anyone connected to terrorists. But, likewise, for all we know, the thief could well be a terrorist or someone linked to terrorism. How is it that employees are able to take such sensitive information out of government buildings undetected anyway? If the VA is this lax with sensitive information in its possession, can we have any confidence that the Department of Homeland Security's even more sensitive information is any better protected?

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