Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Joe Lieberrman, D-Conn., announced Wednesday that the Committee will hold a joint hearing with the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on the theft of millions of veterans’ names, birth dates, and social security numbers from the home of an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Lieberman expressed concerned about the risk posed to 300,000 Connecticut veterans and expected answers from the VA.
“I am outraged that the identities of more than 26 million veterans – about 300,000 in Connecticut – have been put at risk because of a security lapse at a federal agency,” the Senator said. “I want to know why the VA employee took the information home, why it took the VA two weeks to notify the FBI of the theft, and what can be done to protect the veterans whose identity information has been put at risk.” The hearing will take place on May 25 at 10 a.m. in Washington D.C. VA Administrator Jim Nicholson will testify before the joint panel. The theft of computer equipment from the home of the VA employee “reminds us that the federal government has not done enough to protect the security of its computer systems and the voluminous amounts of personal data contained within those systems,” Lieberman said. He added, “I am particularly outraged that this security breach affects our veterans, who sacrifice so much for their country, and who deserve the best possible protection of their personal information.” The hearing is entitled, “VA Data Privacy Breach: Twenty-Six Million People Deserve Answers.”