You probably didn't hear about this story unless you read the Convention of States blog in 2017, but considering the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, we thought it was worth bringing up again.
The IRS has known for years that its lack of cyber security put taxpayers’ information in jeopardy. They waited too long to improve security, and recently, 200,000 Americans’ information was stolen by an organized crime syndicate with links to Russia.
Their irresponsibility cost the country $50 million and cost those 200,000 Americans their personal data security.
The IRS announced Tuesday that organized crime syndicates used personal data obtained elsewhere to access tax information, which they then used to file $50 million in fraudulent tax refunds.
Roskam said the breach is concerning because the IRS system wasn't hacked. Using personal data, he said, the thieves "went in the front door of the IRS and unlocked it with the key."
… The news that the IRS data breach is believed to have originated in Russia comes on the heels of the disclosure that Russian hackers had infiltrated both the White House and State Department computer systems.
So began another round of investigations by numerous agencies and Congressional committees. The FBI and Homeland Security investigated the breach. The House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee both questioned the IRS about how this happened. Within the IRS, the Criminal Investigation Unit and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration also looked into the matter.
Two hundred thousand Americans were notified by the IRS that their personal data had been compromised. But did they get answers?
Our own government’s failure to protect private information leaves its citizens with little confidence. We are forced to hand this information over to the government on tax returns. Agencies like the NSA collect even more information without our permission and no one can guarantee that this information will be kept out of the wrong hands.
If the IRS can’t figure out cyber security, why should we trust it with collecting government revenue? Why should we give it our own financial information?
If the government can’t protect the citizens’ social security numbers, how can we trust it to ensure national security?
Enough is enough. If the government cannot get their act together, the citizens must take action.
Teams in all 50 states are working to call the first-ever Convention of States that will rein in a federal government that is apparently unable or unwilling to protect its citizens.
Will you help hold our government accountable? Sign the Convention of States Petition below!