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Crime Government Privacy Security The Almighty Buck

US Passport Agency Contractor Stole Applicants' Data To Steal Their Identities 45

An anonymous reader writes: According to federal prosecutors three women are responsible for an identity theft and wire fraud scheme targeting both the Houston and Atlanta passport agencies. Chloe McClendon, Alicia Myles, and Dominique Thomas are accused of stealing personal information from the passport administration and transmitting it back and forth between one another. The stolen information was used to obtain lines of credit in order to purchase iPhones, iPads and other electronics. The scheme went on for over five years.
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US Passport Agency Contractor Stole Applicants' Data To Steal Their Identities

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  • Here's the case of a for profit contractor, probably charging a 300% overhead, not checking out their employees well enough. But hell, why not, more profits, more pay for the CEO. The government can pay it, its rich. Someone knows someone to get these folks a good paying contract.
  • Imagine the back door dealings bonanza the anti-privacy industry will provide.

    Just look at the nuclear missiles rotting away in staffed-by-stoners facilities today. The government may (MAY) be sort of secure, keeping your info available only for high level thugs to play with, (the kind of people who steal your money with much more sophisticated schemes than robbing you of your wallet), but one day some lame hood with tattoos on his neck will be helping himself.

  • by sotweed ( 118223 ) on Thursday May 14, 2015 @01:31AM (#49687487)

    What possible reason is there for the passport office to need to expose this information outside the agency?

    How can it possibly be worth the risk, even if there is some minor function which they outsourced to the
    fraudsters.

    The gummint ought to be forced to do an analysis of the risk and value before the outsource a function
    which provides this kind of access to the data of citizens. Private companies might do well also to do it.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      Because the Passport is considered ID, so the government does checks on the information to verify it, and those checks may be specialized or troublesome, so they contract them out. Though, they don't do a good job of it.

      But who background checks the background checkers?
      • I worked for a while in a facility that required everyone to have a government security clearance. The management once sent out a notice telling people to lock up anything valuable when unattended since there had been some thefts. The notice reminded people that the background checks are designed to determine if the person can be trusted to protect the government's information, not that they in general are honest people. You would hope there is a massive overlap between those two groups, but apparently t
    • this was a PRIVATE contractor. it was being used because BIG GOVT BAD BIDNESS GOOD MAKE MORE BIDNESS.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why commission contractors to handle tasks that are really the remit of government? Especially when you consider that there are thousands of government agencies, many of which are doing things that are highly questionable or even entirely not the proper remit of government.

  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Thursday May 14, 2015 @04:18AM (#49687765) Homepage
    this is the concept of why i do not use e-file for my annual tax filing. the e-file scheme give some filing company a lot of personal info. i trust the IRS more than any of those businesses. i used one once (a major name) and got marketing mail from them for 5 years.
  • A few years working on a chain gang in the deep south cleaning up highways would do wonders to make most identity thieves think twice.

  • The biggest risks to us isn't us, it's the clowns they hire ostensibly to keep us safe.

    The cops. The TSA agents. Customs agents. The baggage claims people. The people who processes passports.

    All of these people have FAR more access to really make a mess and break the law.

    So, as usual, the watchers are the ones who aren't watched nearly enough and who do the most damage. The rest of us get treated like cattle, and they never find anything.

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