Federal Government to American Public: Our data is DEFINITELY not safe

Categories: Government

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Maybe you want to file paper copies of your tax returns this year

by Benjamin Wachs

The number of security breaches on government computers has quadrupled in the last 2 years – from just over 3,500 in fiscal 2005 to just over 13,000 in fiscal 2007.

Maybe that’s because government computer security isn’t getting any better: a new report (PDF) from the GAO has the snappy title: “Information Security: Although Progress Reported, Federal Agencies Need to Resolve Significant Deficiencies.” It notes that in virtually all cases, federal computer systems have significant security holes.

Strangely, the percentage of government computer systems that are “certified” and “accredited” is rising, even as the number of security breaches are too. Alan Paller, director of research at the nonprofit cybersecurity research organization the SANS Institute, has an all-too-likely explanation:

“The government has made progress in writing reports,” he told the media,” but no progress in improving the security that matters – keeping the wrong people out.”

Does he mean Dick Cheney?

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