A laptop containing sensitive information, including Trump Tower floor plans and other national security info, was stolen from a vehicle belonging to a Secret Service agent.
The device was an agency-issued laptop, but the Secret Service stressed that it contained no classified information. However, whoever stole the laptop could access classified data.
“The U.S. Secret Service can confirm that an employee was the victim of a criminal act in which our Agency issued laptop computer was stolen,” the agency said in a statement on Friday.
“Secret Service-issued laptops contain multiple layers of security including full disk encryption and are not permitted to contain classified information,” the statement continued.
The agency said an investigation is ongoing and that it would withhold further comment “until the facts are gathered.”
Authorities are still searching for the laptop, according to law enforcement sources. Police expect to quickly identify the suspect from video evidence, the sources said.
The computer is encrypted and authorities are able to wipe the hard drive remotely if needed.
The device, which belonged to a female Secret Service agent, was stolen during a break-in in Brooklyn, New York, law enforcement sources said. The burglary happened Thursday morning at 8:40 a.m. in the Bath Beach section of Brooklyn.
Police are still working to identify the perpetrator.
We’d like to think that anything that would compromise the security of the president would not be on that laptop. But given all we know about lax security procedures of government officials and agencies, nothing should be taken for granted. The gigantic hack of the Office of Personnel Management computers revealed information that should never have been on a poorly secured network. That sort of arrogance permeates government agencies.
It is not likely that the thief was after information on the presidential protection detail anyway. It appears to have been a crime of opportunity. We might question the agent’s judgment for leaving an agency-issued laptop in an unsecured car, but whether she violated any agency protocols is unknown.
The thief also got away with official Secret Service lapel pins. No doubt he and his friends are laughing about that.