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Couple Accused Of Selling TSA Identities

In the rush of events post Christmas we almost missed this item from the Boston Herald:

A passenger is reflected in a series of mirrors at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts January 5, 2010.

TSA turbulence grips Logan, nation

Lynn couple accused in airport ID theft case

By Jessica Fargen  |   Sunday, January 3, 2010 

A recent data breach at Logan International Airport involving a TSA contract worker, coming amid other high-profile Transportation Security Administration lapses, casts another cloud over a federal agency engulfed in turmoil.

In the latest snafu, a Lynn couple is due back in court Wednesday, accused of selling the identities of at least 16 TSA workers at Logan. The ID data was taken by a female TSA contract worker who is related to one of the two Lynn suspects, according to a police report and sources.

The breach drew criticism from at least one security expert.

“There’s a problem in the agency when that’s going on,” said Andrew R. Thomas, editor of the journal Transportation Security and author of “Aviation Insecurity.”

“This stuff keeps going on and they can’t control it. It speaks of an agency that has huge personnel issues and dysfunctions.”

Others said that while the Logan ID theft was troublesome, the security risks were minimal.

TSA takes the ID theft “very seriously,” said TSA spokesman Greg Soule. The agency and state police are investigating, he said, adding that there was little risk an infiltrator could obtain a security clearance with the data.

Anthony M. Amore, a former high-ranking official for TSA in Boston, called identity theft a serious matter, but added that “no one loses their life over it.”

“We need to know what other types of information she had access to in the TSA offices as a contractor,” he said…

[I]t is alleged that Tina M. White, 46, and Michael J. Washington, 48, got the stolen TSA employee names from Washington’s niece, a contract clerical worker in the TSA human resources department at Logan. She no longer works there.

The couple sold the names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth for $40 each to a contact who set up phony cable, gas and cell phone accounts, according to an affidavit in Lynn District Court.

The fraud started in November 2008 and continued through 2009. TSA Logan worker Laura Gigante said the theft has been devastating.

She found out in November that her personal information was stolen and used to open accounts at DirectTV, AT&T and NStar [NST]. She was left with debts on multiple accounts and a lot of anxiety. “It’s haunting and it’s a violation,” she said. “You sit in fear waiting to see what else this person has done.’‘

White and Washington were arraigned last month on identity theft and larceny charges. Washington’s attorney declined comment on the upcoming hearing. White’s attorney could not be reached. It’s unclear whether the TSA worker herself was charged…

What else?

Notice that this has been going on since 2008 and the TSA didn’t notice. Isn’t that reassuring?

Of course it is not big deal. As the high-ranking TSA official, Mr. Amore said, “no one loses their life over it.”

Or their (union) job.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 8th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Couple Accused Of Selling TSA Identities”

  1. U NO HOO says:

    “Of course it is not big deal.”

    Just an isolated incident like A B Due at the Metal Lab, no one was killed.

    Mistakes are made.

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