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Letter to Secretary Shinseki - Secure Veterans' Health Records


Location: Unknown

Today, Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) called on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to better secure the personal information of veterans that is transmitted over the internet. On Wednesday, a report was released by the Inspector General of the VA that validated previous allegations that the VA has transmitted sensitive information of veterans over networks that are susceptible to both hackers and wrongdoers. The Inspector General's report also noted that this "sensitive VA data could be used to perpetrate various types of fraud, including tax fraud."

Rep. Israel said, "Veterans put their lives on the line defending our country. The last thing they should have to worry about is while getting medical care is that their personal information could be stolen and used to commit fraud. Today, I am demanding that the VA immediately remedy this problem so our veterans can rest assured that their personal information is in safe hands."

According to the Inspector General of the VA, it's been common practice to send unencrypted sensitive personal and health information to outpatient clinics and contractors. While the VA agreed to take corrective action in light of this report, Rep. Israel is calling for a national assessment and swift changes and to receive updates on the progress.

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