Friday, June 23, 2006

Congress Votes to Compensate Veterans for Identity Theft

Congress is voting to provide compensation for the 26.5 million veterans who have had their identities compromised.

United Press International is reporting:

"The Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives took a step Wednesday toward compensating veterans who might be victims of identity theft because of the loss of millions of Veterans Affairs Department personnel records, CongressDaily reported Thursday."

"On a voice vote, the committee approved the legislation, clearing the way for likely House approval next week. The bill was in response to the theft of a laptop computer reportedly holding the files of 26.5 million veterans from the Maryland home of a Veteran Affairs employee."

"An Office of Veterans Identity Protection Claims would be established to process claims of veterans who might have their identities stolen by thieves who steal money or run up credit card bills, the report said."

Here is the report from United Press International.

Meanwhile, the government is having additional problems with information being stolen. As I wrote in my last post, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) lost two laptops and it's being reported that the USDA might have had 26,000 people compromised when their computers were hacked.

Data breaches are nothing new, but perhaps now that they have "hit home," Congress will finally enact long awaited legislation to address the rash of data thefts that have occurred in recent years.

The legislation seems to have been "delayed" by special interest groups that have the intent of "watering down" the proposed legislation to the point, where many feel it wouldn't be very effective.

Here is a previous post, I wrote about this:

Congress Tries to Silence Identity Theft Initiatives

If you don't want to see the legislation "watered down," here is a link where you can write your representative and let them know how you feel.

The bottom line is that laws need to protect people and not special interests, where the motivation to "water down" legislation is purely financial.

Of course, a more "holistic" approach would probably impact this problem in a positive manner. Here are some thoughts on that:

Are We Addressing Cyber Crime from the Wrong End

No comments: