TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Arrests Made in Theft of VA Laptop Computer

Re: Arrests Made in Theft of VA Laptop Computer

Gordon S. Hlavenka (
Sun, 06 Aug 2006 20:16:15 -0500

Sam Spade wrote:

> By far, the worst criminal in this case is the jerk government
> employee who took the data home.

Au contraire!

Your statement would be more accurate without line 2 :-)

From the Washington Post

>>> Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.) said yesterday that three VA documents
>>> obtained by the Veterans Affairs Committee indicate that the data
>>> analyst was authorized to take a laptop home and use a software
>>> package to access the data. That contradicted Nicholson's previous
>>> testimony that the employee was not authorized to have the
>>> information at home.

>>> "He got all the approvals that he was supposed to have," Filner said.

Whereas from "Official Sources"

>>>> In May 2006, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) learned that an
>>>> employee, a data analyst, took home electronic data from VA that was
>>>> stored in his home on a laptop computer and external hard drive. He
>>>> was not authorized to take this data home. This behavior was in
>>>> violation of VA policies.

>>>> The employee is cooperating fully with the investigation. The
>>>> employee was initially placed on administrative leave, and VA is
>>>> implementing procedures necessary to dismiss the employee.

In fact this guy was DOING HIS JOB -- taking his work home with the
knowledge, permission, and encouragement of his bosses. When things
went wrong they all turned around and fingered him. He is currently
suing the VA; obviously some new definition of "cooperating fully" that
I wasn't previously familiar with.

The government website has been updated to include information on the
recovery of the laptop, and the fact that none of the data appears to
have been accessed by unauthorized people. But strangely enough the
information that the employee WAS AUTHORIZED has not been added.

The spinmasters are hard at it ...

Gordon S. Hlavenka
If your teacher tells you to Question Authority
Should you do it?

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