OT Missing Laptop Computer Reportedly Carried Highly Secret Data

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Saturday, April 22, 2000

Missing laptop computer reportedly contained highly secret data

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A laptop computer missing from the State Department since January contained highly sensitive information about U.S. intelligence gathering, The Washington Post reports.

If the laptop was stolen for information about weapons technology, the theft would be one of the most serious losses of U.S. classified information ever, the Post said Saturday, quoting an unidentified source familiar with the case.

The computer vanished in January from a State Department conference room, and its disappearance was reported in early February to the department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, officials told the newspaper.

The Post said the missing computer contained thousands of highly classified documents about arms proliferation issues, including sensitive secrets about how the United States collects intelligence and sources of the information. The computer also reportedly contained information about the spread of missile technology and nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Sources told the Post that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is "furious" about the security lapse. She reportedly is considering transferring responsibility for top-secret information from the Bureau of Intelligence and Research to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

The missing computer has security officers at the State Department and some members of Congress asking why such super-secret data was stored on a portable computer, rather than on a fixed desktop computer.

The computer held "code word" information, a classification higher than top secret.

The chairman of the House International Relations Committee, Republican Rep. Benjamin Gilman of New York, has scheduled hearings on security at the State Department.

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), April 22, 2000


Who cares??!! Elian's in trouble! ;-)


-- Jimmy Splinters (inthe@dark.com), April 22, 2000.

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