Murray Applauds Recovery of VA Laptop

Jun 29 2006

Will Continue to Work to Close Gaps in Agency Security

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), today applauded FBI and law enforcement efforts which today led to the recovery of the stolen VA laptop which contained the personal information of 26.5 million Americans, including veterans, active duty military, and Guard and Reserve members.

Murray, a key member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, has called for investigations into data security at the VA and has twice introduced legislation to help the VA pay for its proposed year of free credit monitoring services for those whose personal information had been compromised.

Murray today released the following statement:

"This is good news for the millions of Americans who have lived in fear for almost two months. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the FBI and local police, the VA has recovered the personal information of our veterans, active duty and Guard and Reserve.

"We still don't know whether this information has been compromised, and I urge the VA to investigate thoroughly. If there is any question as to whether the data has been used improperly, the agency must ensure that our veterans and military personnel receive the protection they need and have been promised.

"Through lax security, the VA put veterans at risk. We are all lucky that through the hard work and skill of our law enforcement community their information has been recovered. But our veterans shouldn't have to rely on the efforts of law enforcement to know they are secure – that is the job of the VA – an agency whose sole mission is to advocate for and protect our veterans.

"The VA still needs to overhaul the way it handles veterans' private data so that a breach of this kind never happens again. I will continue to work with the VA, our veterans' organizations and my Senate colleagues to ensure that the VA cleans up their mess."