Millions of American government employees, former employees, contractors and more have had their most personal and private information breached by hackers, because the government failed to take the necessary steps to protect those records. According to Politico, “Administration officials have said privately that signs point to the first hack having originated in China, and security experts have said it appeared to be part of a Chinese effort to build dossiers on federal employees who might be approached later for espionage purposes.”
It is an outrageous and unacceptable breach of trust. The federal government, through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), interviews everyone who requires any sort of security clearance, and asks the most detailed and personal questions about past associations, indiscretions and behavior, to make sure nothing in their past could subject them to blackmail or subversion. The interviews extend to friends and associates of those being vetted, and those people are also in the databases that have been breached. But now it has come to light that OPM failed to hold up the Obama administration’s end of the bargain by not doing everything they could to protect those records.