The Passport Story
Via the AP: Clinton Says Her Passport File Breached
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton that her passport file was breached in 2007
In a statement from her Senate office, Clinton said she had been contacted by Rice. The State Department plans to brief Clinton’s staff Friday about the unauthorized breach.
The development came just hours after the State Department fired two contract employees and disciplined a third for inappropriately examining the passport file of Clinton’s Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama.
And, now, it appears that McCain’s were snooped as well:
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says the individual who accessed Obama’s files also reviewed McCain’s file. This contract employee has been reprimanded, but not fired.
McCormack says the department is still reviewing options for dealing with that person.
My first thought (and this was when the news was that it was just Obama) was: and people wonder why there is concern over the vast amounts of data collection on citizens that has been spurred on by the war on terror. Yes, Virginia, sometimes people do, in fact, access records that they otherwise ought to leave alone.
Of course, I am now curious as to what would be in passport records apart from basic identification information and records of where one has traveled.
The Detroit Free Press story notes:
It is not clear whether the employees saw anything other than the basic personal data such as name, citizenship, age, Social Security number and place of birth, which is required when a person fills out a passport application.
Aside from the file, the information could allow Obama’s critics to dig deeper into his private life. While the file includes his date and place of birth, address at time of application and the countries he’s traveled to, the most important detail would be his Social Security number, which can be used to pull credit reports and other personal information.
On balance, hardly a major deal in terms of the type of information, although still extremely serious.
Chris Lawrence noted the original story (just Obama) below.