Congressional Aide Shares Secret Ethics List With The World

Last week, it was learned that a secret report of the U.S. House of Representatives Ethics Committee was disclosed — apparently inadvertently — by a junior committee staff member.  This staff apparently stored the file on a home computer that also ran a "peer-to-peer" file-sharing service.  Just as peer-to-peer services let you share music and games, they also can give outside users access to other files on your computer, including in this case secret Congressional reports.  The 22-page "Committee on Standards Weekly Summary Report" contained summaries of ethics investigations of dozens of House members and some of their staff.

Although "peer-to-peer" services have caused breaches of sensitive financial, defense-related and personal data from government sites in the past, it seems like the federal government has not learned its lesson (even as it tries to impose Fed Flags rules and the HITECH Act on the private sector).

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