Friday, March 21, 2008
Obama passport records breached: Dept. of State has allready deleted it's "Cookie"
Update: Obama passport records breached; IT system flagged violation
By Patrick Thibodeau
The State Department's decision to provide broad access to passport records may seem, on the face of it, to be a problem. But the department is also trying to balance access to data with IT security, according to its IT Strategic Plan for 2006-2010. That plan points out that "one lesson of September 11, 2001, is that restricting access to information poses serious risks, often outweighing the impact of potential unauthorized disclosure."
The report goes on to say that "security decisions must be based on rigorous debate of pros and cons by all stakeholders: end-users, security specialists and IT experts."
The Obama campaign, which learned of the breach Thursday afternoon, is scheduled to be briefed by Kennedy on Friday. Responding to initial news of the breach, Bill Burton, an Obama campaign spokesman, said, "This is an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years."
It is also unclear what investigative options are open to the department at this point. The inspector general — actually, the acting inspector general; the position has been unfilled for several months — can do little more than request interview time with the contractors' former employees.
"Cookie" Krongard is Conspicuous in His Absence
Howard J. "Cookie" Krongard, was a political appointee in the government of President George W. Bush. Krongard was head of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of State. His position was known as the State Inspector General or State IG. After being accused of averting probes into contracting fraud in Iraq and a possible conflict of interest regarding investigations into Blackwater Worldwide, Krongard left his post on January 15, 2008, and was not eligible for retirement.
Upon the departure of Howard Krongard, William (Bill) Todd was named Acting Inspector General. He had been appointed on June 15, 2006, as Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Mr. Todd directs all Office of Inspector General activities, domestically and abroad, including 260 diplomatic missions in 163 countries and international broadcasting operations in 61 languages that reach an audience of more than 100 million people around the world.