Identity Thieves’ Identities Stolen

In a story containing far too many ironic twists, it appears that names, social security numbers and other personal information have been stolen–from the FTC, whose job it is to prevent identity theft. And the kicker? The data stolen is the personal information of suspected identity thieves.

Now the agency charged with fighting identity theft says it’s lost two laptops containing personal data.

The laptops were taken from the locked car of an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission.

As if that weren’t ironic enough, many of the people whose data was taken are being investigated for possible fraud and identity theft.

The Associated Press has a nice roundup of other recent major personal data security breaches involving various branches of the Federal government. Probably the most disturbing one is this:

U.S. military in Afghanistan: Shopkeepers outside the U.S.-led coalition headquarters in Afghanistan were found selling computer memory drives stolen from inside the base. The drives contained seemingly sensitive military data, including the Social Security numbers of four American generals. The thefts were announced in April.

Clearly, the Federal government has some work to do when it comes to the area of securing confidential information. Really, you’d think that amidst all the laptop thefts that seem to plague government agencies that somebody might start to think about some simple security measures.

FILED UNDER: National Security, US Politics, , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. anjin-san says:

    More crackerjack work by Bushs government…

  2. McGehee says:

    I’m pretty sure the individuals responsible for this failure have probably been working for the federal government longer than Bush has. But of course they all had lobotomies on January 20, 2001, right Anjin?

  3. anjin-san says:


    Your “pretty sure” huh? Sounds like a fact in Bushie land…

    Why are you pretty sure? Because it makes you feel better?

    And is Bush not the head of the government? Or do only people hired since he took office fall work for him?