Report: IRS "Careless" with Your Data

The IRS collected about $2,500,000,000,000 in taxes last year, with half of that coming from income taxes. So you’d think they’d take computer security seriously.

OK, stop laughing — of course they don’t give a damn:

The IRS is failing to secure its massive computer systems leaving our private information wide open to hackers and fraudsters looking to exploit their system, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

I’m not sure which lapse is most egregious: that the IRS does not always delete employee access when workers have quit or been fired (including for snooping into private records), that its passwords can easily be compromised, or that it is using software without proper security functions. Not only do former employees have access to our sensitive information, but current employees who aren’t authorized to see this data can log in and snoop around.

These vulnerabilities mean that hackers – and those who aren’t too sophisticated – can get into the IRS systems and meddle with the kind of information which they can then use to file false tax returns, apply for credit cards, secure loans, and more.

GAO says that while the IRS developed and documented a comprehensive agency-wide security program, it hasn’t effectively implemented elements of it.

Abolish the income tax and nuke the IRS.

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