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Old 05-23-2006, 06:55 PM   #15
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Jim, you're right, 26 million is a large number. I wonder just how much personal data could be involved here. Most laptops have a modest hard drive, the one I'm using has 3 gigabytes of capacity. That is 3 billion characters of storage. (million = mega, billion = giga)
Suppose they don't compress the data by using a fancy coding scheme, and that each person's name has 35 characters and his SSN has 8 characters. Under these conditions, those two fields alone for 26 million people would consume over a gigabyte of hard drive space.

One other thing, in order to use that laptop and the included programs, the person hopefully needs to know the username as well as the password. I'm not a real believer in how easy it is to hack into these things, but you're right, given enough time and motivation, it could be done.
I'd like to see the end of this story, but likely it will fizzle out, just like the Y2K fiasco.
On the subject of privacy and protection of personal data, the Congress certainly should enact legislation that makes it a federal crime to use other person's identity, with mandatory long prison sentences as the punishment. However, just take a look at them. There's some pretty corrupt folks hanging out over there along the Potomac. In the Fall elections, there is a chance to change it a little bit. Simply vote against the incumbent.
OOPS, my soapbox just collapsed.
sorry
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:41 PM   #16
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What I want to know is what the F*!@ is a govt employee doing with our SS#'s on his laptop, and what the F*!@ is he doing bringing that info home with him?????? I'm so pissed off right now, I can't even see straight. It's bad enough that we don't get paid Shiite (I'm trying to keep it clean, Mods, I really am), but now we're getting screwed yet again. I held my best friend in my arms and watched him die, and there wasn't a thing I could do, thanks to an AT mine the Albanians planted in the road in Kosovo (the same Albanians we were supposed to be protecting). I lost my L4, L5 and S1 discs and right knee to my 29th, and last, night jump from an UH-1H. I probably won't get a damn thing from the VA, as far as disability goes, and now my SS# is potentially sitting in someone's hands. That's just great. And people wonder what makes us sit in clock towers.....


Frederic
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:41 PM   #17
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Right now, my credit is so screwed up that if somebody stole my identity, it would be an improvement. As far as passwords go, most government employees I know have their passwords taped to the bottom of the keyboard, or on the bottom of the laptop.
Now, I will defend the guy that may have been forced to take his computer home with him, because budget cutbacks are forcing him to work at home, probably without getting paid for it, just so he can get Private James Smith the knee replacement he needs. Now he will be without a job, because a crackhead wanted to pawn a computer so he could get a bump today. Now, I'll get off my soapbox, and hope the burglar reformatted the hard drive before he pawned it with my SSN on it.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:53 PM   #18
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I'm too sleep deprived to post a competent answer to some of the other posts here, right now. I'll have more to say in the morning.

Let me just say this at the moment. Thanks to the moderators for allowing this thread. Any of you who think this is a minor issue....it isn't. Time will tell. What if this had been a leak of all of the people that are drawing Social Security checks at the moment? Would you have a different opinion if was you mother instead of a Veteran?

If you value your freedom, thank a Veteran.

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Old 05-23-2006, 09:06 PM   #19
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I know my data is on hundreds systems but I never thought about it's unauthorized use sitting on someones home computer.

The rest of the story is why in the -*&^ they sat on it for 2 weeks before reporting the theft to the FBI ??

Guess I'm good on this one being discharged in 1964 but I'm still VERY upset about it.

Garry
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