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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) today reacted to the second security lapse involving Department of Energy (DOE) employees in less then a week by calling for better safeguards for federal employee information, and an immediate response from the agency itself.

Murray expressed concern over reports that as many as 4,000 Hanford employees' personal information, including names and social security numbers, were found during a drug raid in Yakima over the weekend. The news comes on the heels of a report on Monday that 1,502 DOE employees' personal information may have been compromised when hackers gained entry to sensitive files, and the vast Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) security breach that affects some 26.5 million veterans.

"Unfortunately, we are becoming all too familiar with how dangerous it is when this information gets in to the wrong hands," said Senator Murray. "This is precisely why federal agencies like the DOE and the VA need to make better efforts to safeguard the sensitive information that they collect. It is time for the Administration to step up and ensure that data collected from Americans is protected, encrypted, and only provided to those who absolutely need it."

Murray also stressed that if there is a security breach the American public needs to be confident that they will be notified at the earliest possible moment and that they will be provided with the services necessary to protect themselves.

"I don't want to see this turn into the situation we had with the VA data breach," Murray said, referring to the weeks that went by before the VA data theft came to light.

"When a situation like this occurs we need all the pertinent information reported immediately. We need to be aware of the scope of the problem so that we can plan an appropriate response. It only exacerbates the problem when new details are slowly released and the public's trust is tested."

Yesterday, at a press conference in Seattle, Murray announced legislation to help the VA pay the cost of informing possible victims of last month's security breach. For more information visit: