Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Passport Peeper to be Penalized

According to U.S. District Court documents posted at The Smoking Gun (read them here), a former State Department employee who improperly satisfied his idle curiosity about the Passport Records of the Rich and Famous has signed a plea agreement admitting to unauthorized computer access.

A former Department of State employee illegally accessed confidential computer files to examine the passport records of 150 "celebrities, actors, musicians, comedians, models, politicians, athletes, members of the media" and others, according to federal court records ... [Dwayne] Cross accessed the passport files over a five-and-a-half year period ending in August 2007, according to one court filing, which noted that he viewed the confidential information out of "idle curiosity" and did not "download, copy, print, forward, share, market, sell, or otherwise disseminate" the records.

I wonder how often unauthorized peeping happens at the Internal Revenue Service? Their records must be a whole lot more interesting than anything you could find n a passport file.

2 comments:

Betsy Ross said...

I know at Social Security they strictly monitor employee access to individual records, like someone swoops out with a net if you look up your own file or that of Britney Spears or even just a regular person outside your servicing area. The technology is there to keep track of this kind of thing. It's just not being used in CA, apparently.

TSB said...

Betsy,

Let's hope CA will tighten up now. Frankly, I'm glad I don't have access to any particularly interesting records, since I'm sure I couldn't contain my curiosity.