Friday, June 15, 2007

Privatization Can't Keep Secure Information Private

Security problems persist at Los Alamos National Lab. Several years ago the federal government contracted out management of the lab to a private consortium known as LANS in an effort to address long running security failures.

Guess who spilled national security secrets this time? The people hired to improve security! According to the Associated Press:

"Officials with the contractor that runs Los Alamos National Laboratory sent top-secret data regarding nuclear weapons through open e-mail networks, the latest potentially dangerous security breach to come to light at the birthplace of the atomic bomb. Apparently, open e-mail networks were used by several LANS officials to share classified information relating to the characteristics of nuclear material in nuclear weapons."

The government contracted with LANS in 2005 for management services. The partnership officially began June 1, 2006. The e-mail breach was reported on January 19th, 2007.

A nearly identical partnership just bid successfully to manage Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This site recently won the design contest for the modern replacement warhead. Will they do any better keeping nuclear weapon secrets at this site than they did at Los Alamos?

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