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Diane Publishing Books
Civil Divisionís Laptop Computer Encryption Program and Practices
Raymond J. Beaudet (au)
Significant losses of sensitive data and personally identifiable information (PII) have occurred in both the government and in the private sector over the past few years. For ex., in May 2006 the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported that a laptop computer containing personal information on approximately 26 million veterans and active duty military personnel had been stolen, and an investigation determined that the laptop was not encrypted. As a result, in Feb. 2009 a federal judge approved the governmentís plans to pay $20 million for out-of-pocket expenses for credit monitoring or physical symptoms of emotional distress to veterans exposed to possible identity theft resulting from the laptop loss. On Oct. 3, 2008, the Office of the Inspector Gen. (OIG) received a Dept. of Justice (DOJ) Computer Emergency Readiness Team (DOJCERT) alert indicating that two unencrypted laptop computers were stolen from the offices of a consulting firm in Wash., D.C. that was performing litigation support work for the Civil Division. The stolen laptops included PII of Civil Division attorneys, the consultantís employees, plaintiffs, and potentially litigation sensitive information in support of the governmentís defense of sensitive civil litigation. As a result of this incident, the OIG initiated this audit to assess the adequacy of laptop computer encryption deployment practices in the Civil Division.
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