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Old 05-23-2006, 07:10 AM   #1
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Veterans, Listen up

I really want to use some strong language right now, but Iíll try to hold my tongue. A government employee has lost a laptop (stolen from his home according to the news reports). On this laptop was the personal information of 26,000,000 military Veterans, including our Social Security Numbers. Thatís 26 million. That is roughly 1/3rd of all families in the United States.

If you served in the Military at any time since 1970, you need to notify the various credit agencies that you might be a member of this group.

Somewhere Iíve got a link to the credit agencies that will help ease the pain of all of this, but Iíve been up for 24 hours now and Iím too tired to think straight.

Mods, edit the following any way you think fit:

Can we all contact our Congressional Representatives and get some real reform in the way credit information is handled? Can we get some legislation that makes identity theft a hard core crime with long jail sentences? Can we get some type of a law that hammers people hard who mishandle our personal information? Why was anybody allowed to take home the personal information of 26 million people? Good grief. When is common sense going to be in common use in this country again? Does government do anything right these days?

Jim


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Old 05-23-2006, 10:04 AM   #2
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http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaind...030.xml&coll=2

This guy should be shot. I mean that exactly. It is an unforgivible violation of trust of veterans.
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:51 AM   #3
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hmmm...I wonder if that includes 'Guardsmen?

The person that should be shot is the one that decided to use SS#'s as "serial numbers" in the first place. Those numbers were never intended to be used as identification, nor should they be, and this is exactly why. This was bound to happen, eventually.

A number of years ago, some beurocrat at the MA registry of motor vehicles decreed that our drivers license numbers must be our SS numbers. Someone had to sue in order to get this changed...it had to go to the Supreme Court. Now, they'll issue a different number...but you have to ASK. They'll still assign a first-time licensee their ss# as their driver's license number if a seperate number isn't specifically requested.
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:14 AM   #4
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I distinctly remember when military serial numbers became our social security numbers. It was in May or June of 1969 when I was in Basic Training.
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myoung
I distinctly remember when military serial numbers became our social security numbers. It was in May or June of 1969 when I was in Basic Training.
Your memory is foggy. I also was in boot camp at that time and our Social Security Number became our Service Number.

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Old 05-23-2006, 01:02 PM   #6
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Thanks Jim. By one interpretation of my grammatical construct, you could think that I twisted things around. By another, we are saying the same thing, I believe.
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Old 05-23-2006, 01:09 PM   #7
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Thanks Jim. By one interpretation of my grammatical construct, you could think that I twisted things around. By another, we are saying the same thing, I believe.
I am left-handed I get it all backwards anyway. Now the guy with the disc can cross reference my SN to my SS, that and a $1.00 might get him a cup of coffee.
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Old 05-23-2006, 01:20 PM   #8
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I believe the only persons affected are those discharged after 1976 or so. If that's case then we old-timers weren't on the CD.
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Old 05-23-2006, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Your memory is foggy. I also was in boot camp at that time and our Social Security Number became our Service Number.

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Those who were drafted have their soc for a service number. Those who enlisted had a different number, as in RA (Regular Army). Don't know when they stopped the RA. That way everyone in the place knew who was what.
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Old 05-23-2006, 02:26 PM   #10
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Those who were drafted have their soc for a service number. Those who enlisted had a different number, as in RA (Regular Army). Don't know when they stopped the RA. That way everyone in the place knew who was what.

I was not drafted I joined the Navy. I started out with a Service Number, which was later changed to my Social Security Number. Maybe the Army did it differently.

Jim
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Old 05-23-2006, 02:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaind...030.xml&coll=2

This guy should be shot. I mean that exactly. It is an unforgivible violation of trust of veterans.
59, that's the type of language I wanted to use this morning when I started this thread. I was so damn tired at the time, I was affraid I would go completely over the edge and get in trouble witht the Mods.

That said, you are exactly right. This is completely inexcusable behavior on the part of a governement employee. And it's not just the guy who "lost" the computer, everybody above him in the foodchain needs to be in jail for VERY long time. Would you believe and this man is on "paid administrative leave" while the investigation continues.

I just simply can't believe this has happened. As if I don't have enough to do, now I (not the government!) have to watch my credit records like a friggen hawk for the next few years to make sure some scumbag someplace hasn't stolen my identity. In our case, it's twice as much work because Susan and I are both Veterans. I actually know somebody who was arrested because a scumbag stole his identity and commited several crimes. Of course the real guy had to pay the lawyers, sit in jail, spend a couple of years of his life straightening out the whole mess. What a nitemare.
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Old 05-23-2006, 02:58 PM   #12
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Chuck, you are exactly correct. The SSAN should be used for its intended purpose and nothing more. By the government or anybody else.

We had the same idiotic issue here in Georgia with our Driver's Licences. It was eventually changed through legislation, I believe. But there were law suits, screaming consumers (read that tax payers), loud politicians, etc.....

I ask again, when is commen sense going to become common again? Doing the right thing isn't hard.

Jim
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Old 05-23-2006, 03:22 PM   #13
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OK, folks, before we use the Clint Eastwood Criminal Justice System, let's reflect a minute. Our private data is spread all over the USA in the form of credit bureaus, driver license bureaus selling lists to hucksters, and so forth and so on. It is amazing indeed that any one of us has any identity at all.

One other thing, if the VA folks who run their Information Systems did their job, this data would have been passworded with a strong password. (minimum 8-characters, with one upper case control, maximum 4 printable characters...) If the information was on a government-owned laptop hard drive, same applies.
But, that being said, the investigation ought to involve asking the person's supervisor some hard questions, among them why is he allowed to do the government's work at home?
One other thing. Why in heaven's name was this broadcast for the world to enjoy? Now that the guy who stole the laptop knows what he has, don't you suppose he will try to make something from it?
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Old 05-23-2006, 04:00 PM   #14
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Perhaps the Clint Eastwood approach is the best one in this case.

To me, it's a matter of scale. 26 million is a huge number. This isn't a case of a single employee stealing a couple of credit card numbers to order a new microwave. Somebody now has access to all of that information. What if this database falls into the hands of some truly unsavory group of characters? Ruined lives? Ruined economies?

Passwords are easily broken by somebody who knows what they are doing and has some time on their hands.

Jim
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