Thursday, March 20, 2008

Barack Obama's Passport File Breached Illegally

MSNBC is reporting that two state department contract employees were fired today for accessing the passport file of Barack Obama without a need to. The unwarranted access took place in January of 2008 and tripped a automatic system that notifies supervisors that the file was access. Files are automatically checked, according to the report, to be certain that the access is for a legitimate purpose. The two employees were working for the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

The Obama campaign has demanded to know who access the files and for what purpose and why the access was not reported until now. A similar breach was reported of unwarranted access to Bill Clinton's passport in 1991 when the current president Bush's father was president.

A third employee is being reported as having been disciplined for the breach in security.

Keith Olbermann is now reporting the access was made on three separate occasions. The accesses were out of "curiosity". There is no indication that information was used in any way. The passport was accessed on January 9, February 21. The individuals who access it were fired. And again it was accessed on March 14 and that individual was disciplined.

Andrea Mitchell is suggesting that there should have been some kind of investigation into the access of the passport. That there should not have been any attribution of the reason for accessing it without investigating. How can one trust any reason put forth unless there was an investigation.

The Inspector General was not aware of the breach until today.

Update from NY Times:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was told of the security breach, which was first reported in The Washington Times on Thursday evening. Mr. McCormack said security measures used to monitor records of high-profile people like Mr. Obama worked properly in the three instances to alert department officials of the breaches.

“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,” said Bill Burton, an Obama campaign spokesman.

Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management, said that he and other top officials at the State Department found out about the breach Thursday afternoon, after [State Department spokesman, Sean D.] McCormack received a telephone query from a reporter.

No comments: