Wonkette PSA: Please Check Your Computer for Stolen VA Data
Have you purchased a used computer recently? If so, you could be in possession of stolen personal information for millions of U.S. veterans and active-duty military personnel. The Post reports:
Montgomery County police released a description yesterday of the stolen laptop and its external hard drive because they said it may have been purchased by someone who does not realize the value of its content. "It could have shown up at a yard sale or a secondhand store," police spokeswoman Lucille Baur said. "This is a time of the year when parents may be buying computers for kids going to college in the fall."
Montgomery County police are offering a $50,000 reward for information that allows authorities to recover the laptop. The computer is a Hewlett-Packard model zv5360us and the external hard drive is an HP External Personal Media Drive.
After the jump, an open letter to the VA, from a Wonkette reader and veteran whose personal information was stolen.
Here's the email, from our justifiably infuriated correspondent:
I guess that this is old news, and probably no one cares, but identity theft can takes litterally years for someone to dig out of. The VA has potentially set 26 million veterans up for this and then sent us all letters saying "the Department of Veterans Affairs is asking all veterans to be extra vigilant and to carefully monitor bank statements blah blah blah."
I am so appalled by this VA information debacle that I don't even no where to start complaining. I have written to my congressmen in the past but I get the opinion that they aren't all that interested. Anyway here is word for word my letter to the VA.
"You may contact me via email but you have lost your damned mind if you think that I am going to give you anymore addresses and phone numbers to lose.
I gave 8 years of my life to the us military, five on active duty, two and a half overseas and one in Iraq. You chose to keep hundreds of pages of information on me the least that you could do is to keep track of it. Then you have the audacity to tell me to keep an eye out for identity theft and put the responsibility on me to compensate for your ineptitude.
They have a phrase for the kind of gross stupidity that you folks practice its called "criminal negligence". At least civilian companies have the good sense to make money selling my information. You and your a**-clown employees just lost it. Don't bother to respond as I am aware that you have no intention of correcting any of your shortcomings.
Bravo to the VA taking care of the American Veteran!!"