The government’s security holes
Regarding the June 17 editorial “Breach of responsibility”:
As a former federal employee and contractor who held security clearances for 47 years, I am very worried about the security breach at the Office of Personnel Management and the potential for identity theft down the road.
Firing everybody in authority at the OPM might sound like a solution, but all it does is delay effective action and provide excuses for the new leadership. Give the OPM the resources it needs and hold officials’ feet to the fire through the Government Accountability Office and the OPM’s inspector general.
It is clear that the Department of Homeland Security does not have the authority, ability or capacity to control the behavior of other executive branch organizations. The DHS provides the tools, but it’s the responsibility of each agency’s security personnel to secure the agency’s data, systems and networks.
Suggesting that Congress examine the DHS’s relationships and powers vis-à-vis other executive agencies was interesting, but given that the DHS is overseen by 108 committees and subcommittees in the House and Senate, nothing timely or meaningful would come from such an effort. Congress needs to heal itself before it can heal the DHS.
Dennis Copeland, Oak Hill
I received a letter and an e-mail from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Personnel Management last week. Each informed me that my personal information may have been compromised— once in a DHS hacking incident last fall and in a more recent event at the OPM. I’ve been offered credit monitoring services and $1 million in identity theft insurance. My information may have been on a hard drive that vanished at the Transportation Security Administration several years ago. I received similar services after that incident.
How much money is spent providing identity theft services to federal employees, retirees and applicants? At a minimum, services should be consolidated for an employee affected by multiple incidents. The services I’ve been provided are from different companies.
It’s ironic that the e-mail from the OPM included standard pointers for avoiding identity theft. Unfortunately, one glaringly obvious piece of advice was omitted: Avoid working for the federal government.
Deirdre Bradway, Tracys Landing, Md.