Missing laptop, missing policy

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Missing laptop, missing policy

A dedicated federal civil servant took work home. Unfortunately, the federal agency he worked for had not taken easy steps to make that practice safe and secure. Thus, when a neighborhood gang of thieves broke into his house and stole the laptop, identity information about millions of veterans and members of the armed forces was potentially compromised. It was a typical Washington story, typical because no one suggested doing anything to solve the real problem revealed by the incident. It reminded me of the two giant paintings in the piazza in Sienna, Italy. One image is of dysfunctional Bad Government, the other of progressive Good Government.

Let's rewrite the laptop story. Let's see what Good Government might have done, beginning with the laptop and then looking at the larger issues of federal IT security and identity theft. In Good Government, the civil servant's agency would have instituted some or all of the following ...

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