Brickbat: The Best of Care

An investigation by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review found that contractors or employees at 167 Veterans Affairs facilities committed 14,215 privacy violations over a two-and-a-half year period. The violations affected more than 100,000 veterans and 551 VA employees. Some of the violations included posting photos of the “anatomy” of some of the victims on social media. In other cases, the personal information of some victims was used to obtain credit cards. The study found that privacy violations at the VA very rarely result in the offender being referred to the Office of Inspector General much less punished.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    For any given issue, the VA, the Postal Service and the DMV serve as the best possible examples of why government sucks. Even Marx himself couldn't defend them. Although Krugman probably could.

  • ||

    Could or would?
    A willingness to defend the indefensible does not a defense make.

    I realize that you are not suggesting he could. I am just being pedantic.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Yet, the VA and the Postal Service keep being shown as shining examples of success by people on the Left. Their cheering section seldom brings up DMV, I suspect because nearly everybody in their audience has actually visited a DMV.

  • Ted S.||

    Hasn't most of their audience visited a post office, too?

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    I doubt many of those iPaddies have gone to a Post Office. Hell, I'm old and I haven't gone much since the 1990s.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I've done business with both within the past few years - neither has been as bad as you're claiming. In fact, I was annoyed that the DMV service was too prompt, because I didn't have enough time to finish filling in the information on the form. (It wasn't a very big form either)

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    One of my rare visits to USPS was a couple of weeks ago. Then I went to Subway for lunch. Exactly same people in line and the two Subway folks made sandwiches and cashed everybody out at lightspeed compared to the stamp slappers.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Odd. Were the subway employees on meth, because those around here are on weed and take forever.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    UCS, not sure where in Brooklyn you are hanging out, but here in Tennessee I do just about all Driver's License and Vehicle Registration stuff online, the Post Office sucks and Subway usually has the franchisee or manager behind the counter.

    If I have to go into the office, vehicle related stuff is not much better than the post office.

  • UnCivilServant||

    UCS, not sure where in Brooklyn you are hanging out

    NOWHERE!

    I am purely an upstate fellow. The only time I'm in that abomination of a town is on my way to JFK when I have to leave the country (I hate that trip).

    I do just about all Driver's License and Vehicle Registration stuff online

    Being in Government IT, the LAST thing I'd trust with my data is a government website.

    Subway around here is the bottom of the line for submarine sandwiches and are losing out to smaller chains that provide higher quality output, so they've been in a downward spiral for years.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    The government is the repository of my driving permission slip and that hall pass I have to have on my vehicle. Do you do that different in NY?

  • UnCivilServant||

    The government is the repository of my driving permission slip and that hall pass I have to have on my vehicle. Do you do that different in NY?

    No, but the jumbled mess in the background makes me less disturbed by the paper process than the electronic one.

  • Brett L||

    Being in Government IT, the LAST thing I'd trust with my data is a government website.

    Reminds me of the time my co-worker, after telling everyone for two weeks that we had a SQL injection flaw on a public website, eventually emailed the CTO of the government agency we were contracted to the CTO's SSN, birthdate, and salary, and explained (with screenshots) how it was obtained.

    Hard to believe, but coworker was given the go-ahead to fix the site and publish it within minutes of arriving at work the next day.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Coworker wasn't hauled away in cuffs for identity theft. Wow.

  • Mensan||

    "Being in Government IT, the LAST thing I'd trust with my data is a government website."

    I don't know about the websites, but my brother is an IT auditor for the state, and one of his specific areas is point-of-sale credit card systems. After he started auditing those he told me to never use a credit or debit card to pay for anything at any of the state agencies. According to him, they don't even meet the minimum required security under their contract with Visa.

  • Floridian||

    To be fair, the subway people didn't have to explain what a sandwich is. I was at the post office and everyone had questions to go along their package. The line took forever because everyone had some question/special request. The guy that helped my wife send her certified letter was very friendly and helpful. That being said, privatize the postal service.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Good Lord, I've heard Subway folks have to explain what Asiago was and still run their line faster than any USPS clerk.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    And then again, there are those who find postal service competition to be free enterprise gone mad. That has been around for decades.

  • Doctor Whom||

    People defend the USPS by lying their asses off and by not backing down when called on their lies. OTOH, I don't know anyone, even the proggiest of the progs, who tries to defend the DMV.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't think it's fair to condemn the whole system just because of 14,215 screw-ups.

  • fish_remote||

    Do you think that your tolerance for that sort of thing is the reason you weren't first on this thread?

    I tell ya Fist...you're slipping.

  • Ted S.||

    He's coming up with shit for the morning links thread.

  • db||

    There are no good apples, only apples with good itentions. Every apple wants to be tasty and wholesome, therefore they are.

  • Ted S.||

    I think you're off by a few zeroes.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Condemn?!

    They affect 100k people with only 14k violations, that's a model of efficiency, and you FUCKING PEONS ARE NEVER SATISFIED!

  • sarcasmic||

    That's like 86% not being violated! What more do you people want?!?

  • RishJoMo||

    Sounds like some seriousbusiness to me dude.

    www.Anon-Global.tk

  • sarcasmic||

    Government employees engaging in criminal activity without consequence? I'm shocked I tell you! Shocked!

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    Don't worry about anything. I'm sure that with all those future wars we will get into as we patrol the world looking for all those new "endless enemies" we create, that we will be able to keep the VA in business for decades to come.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement