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Identity Theft is a felony - almost everywhere

Last month, Bill Owens, the Govenor of Colorado signed into law a bill making identity theft a felony. Colorado is the 49th state to make it against the law to commit identity theft.

And the 50th state is ... Vermont.

CPA group says drive with member data missing

Adding to the lengthening list of organizations reporting data compromises, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Wednesday confirmed that a computer hard drive containing the unencrypted names, addresses and Social Security numbers of nearly all of its 330,000 members has been missing since February.

The question that needs to be asked is why the AICPA had social security numbers in the first place. If you still belong to a group that uses your social security number you should petition to have them switch to an alternate system or re-think your membership.

VA Secretary Announces New Security Measures

Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson on June 8 called for criminal penalties for VA personnel who fail to secure protected personal information.

Nicholson also announced several major initiatives that would be undertaken by the VA this month. The major effort will take place during the week of June 26, 2006, when every laptop computer in the Department of Veterans Affairs will be required to be returned to IT security personnel for a review to ensure that all security and virus software is current.

When asked about his actions following the theft of the VA laptop computer, Nicholson said that he has fired the employee who had the computer stolen. He said that other personnel actions were also taken. "The acting assistant secretary was let go," Nicholson said, "and the deputy assistant secretary has been let go." In addition to the firings, he said that he plans to implement even tougher policies. He noted that he expected to see criminal prosecutions stem from the VA data loss.

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