National Archives Breach Includes Clinton-Era Data
Either through accidental loss or theft, the National Archives and Record Administration informs Congress of more than a terabyte of missing data from the Clinton administration, including sensitive information on hundreds of individuals who visited the White House. Accident or not, the FBI has launched a criminal investigation into the matter.
No one is quite sure what happened yet, but the end result is the
National Archives is missing a hard drive containing about a terabyte
of information from the Clinton White House. The missing data includes
the names and Social Security numbers of visitors and staff at the
White House during the Clinton era in addition to Secret Service
The Archives is not sure if the loss was the result of theft or accidental loss.
Apparently, the drive was removed from a secure area of the Archives facility between October 2008 and March 2009 and was left on an unsecured shelf as staff members were converting the data on the hard drive into the Archives' digital record system. Hundreds of workers had access to the hard drive.
The FBI is conducting a criminal investigation into the breach. Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said his panel was briefed on the breach May 19 and will hold separate members' briefings on the ongoing investigations with the National Archives Inspector General and the FBI.
"I am deeply concerned about this serious security breach at the National Archives," Towns said in a statement. "The Committee will do everything possible to protect the integrity of the FBI's criminal investigation while we fulfill our Constitutional duty to investigate the compromised security protocols at the National Archives and work to prevent future incidents."
The National Archives told the New York Times in a statement that the agency "takes very seriously the loss of an external hard drive that contained copies of electronic storage tapes from the executive office of the president of the Clinton administration."
Rep. Dan Issa told the Associated Press he wants Adrienne Thomas, the Archives acting director, to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to "explain how such an outrageous breach of security happened. This egregious breach raises significant questions regarding the effectiveness of the security protocols that are in place at the National Archives and Records Administration."