U.S. Ethics Committee staffer file-shares sensitive document

Perhaps file sharing should be banned. An employee of the U.S. House Ethics Committee put a sensitive report detailing 30+ current investigations on to a public accessible computer.
Written by Doug Hanchard, Contributor

Perhaps file sharing should be banned.  The Washington Post reports that a (now) ex-employee of the U.S. House Ethics Committee put a sensitive report detailing 30+ current investigations  on to a public accessible computer. Wired Magazine also reported on this story, saying it was put onto a personal computer, and then placed it into a file folder used for peer to peer file sharing to the Internet. No word on what file sharing application tool was used. If it was setup as anonymous FTP, it may have been from one specific computer or wound up on hundreds if not thousands of computers.

The Post reveals;

The ethics committee is one of the most secretive panels in Congress, and its members and staff members sign oaths not to disclose any activities related to its past or present investigations. Watchdog groups have accused the committee of not actively pursuing inquiries; the newly disclosed document indicates the panel is conducting far more investigations than it had revealed.

Washington Post staff reporters Ellen Nakashima and Paul Kane indicate that they did not receive the document directly from the employee personal computer, but through other sources.

The website for the Ethics Committee issued a release immediately following the story by the Post and stated that regardless of how much cyber security was put into place, it was impossible to avoid 'individual error'.

Ironically, prominently placed on their website is a direct link of employee training & responsibilities on Ethics. What astounds me is how an employee would even think it's necessary to put such sensitive information onto a personal computer at home. Surely there must be more to this story than just a whole whack of rules that a staffer on the Ethics Committee chose to ignore. Sounds like somebody escaped a plethora of federal charges. If not, there may be one more investigation to add to the list.

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