Despite New Protocols, FBI Still Loses Scores of Laptops


Despite new tracking systems designed to help the FBI account for thousands of weapons and personal computers, the bureau reported that 160 firearms and an equal number of laptops were lost or stolen during a recent 44-month period, according to a new Justice Department audit. Of the computers that were lost from February 2002 to September 2005, at least 10 contained sensitive or classified information, reports USA Today. One of those computers included telephone numbers and addresses of bureau employees, as well as software used to make bureau ID badges.

“Most troubling,” the report said, was that the FBI could not determine whether 51 of the missing computers contained sensitive or classified information. Seven of those 51 laptops were assigned to the bureau’s counterintelligence or counterterrorism divisions, which handle some of the most sensitive national security material. The review, a follow-up to an earlier study of lost computers and weapons at the FBI, actually represented an improvement over past findings. However, the report said the FBI has not consistently followed equipment-tracking plans set up after a 2002 audit found that 354 weapons and 317 laptops were lost or stolen in a 28-month period that ended in January 2002.


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