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Data thefts raise serious questions

A company that kept information about a massive theft of personal information from its customers’ secrets would be raked over the coals mercilessly by federal officials. Legions of lawyers would be ecstatic over the potential for lawsuits. Victims would desert the firm in droves, determined to find a service or product provider that would be honest with them.

Little, if any, of that will happen with one of the biggest data breaches in history. That is because federal government computers were hacked, and “customers” have no choice but to grit their teeth and endure.

In June, federal officials admitted hackers had gained access to personnel data for about 4.2 million current and former federal employees. Personal information such as birth dates, Social Security numbers, etc. may have been stolen.

Days later, it was revealed even more detailed, more personal information was obtained by hacking into records kept by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Officials knew about the breach in April, yet waited several weeks to inform potential victims.

But now, the Office of Personnel Management admitted information on nearly 22 million people was accessed.

The data breach itself was bad enough. But keeping it and the magnitude of what happened secret for so long is even worse. It smacks of a cover-up intended to prevent disciplinary action against those responsible.

All too often, federal officials get away with misdeeds, then cover-ups.

Why do Americans – more particularly, our elected representatives and senators in Congress – allow that?

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