Report finds security weaknesses in IRS computer system

Poor controls over computers could allow private information to be leaked from IRS

Then-acting IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff responded at the time that the agency recognized "there is significant work to be accomplished to address our information security deficiencies and we are taking aggressive steps to correct previously reported weaknesses."

There have been several widely publicized information-security incidents concerning government agencies other than the IRS. Perhaps the biggest was two years ago when a computer hard drive containing millions of names, Social Security numbers and birth dates was stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee's home in Maryland. The hard drive was later recovered.

Less than two months ago, a laptop computer containing medical records on 2,500 patients enrolled in a National Institutes of Health study was stolen from a researcher's car.

And last month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice apologized to presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain after it was discovered that workers had snooped into their passport records.


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