Missing State Department laptops turn up

Congressional Quarterly reports that hundreds of laptops used by State Department employees were unaccounted for.

Updated 11:10 a.m. PST Thursday May 8 with information that laptops were located

Hundreds of laptops used by the U.S. Department of State that were missing have been located, according to a report in the Congressional Quarterly.

Auditors found that the State Department had lost track of about $30 million worth of equipment, most of it laptops, the initial Congressional Quarterly report says.

Given the sensitive and often secret nature of data the State Department workers deal with, officials had been bracing for repercussions like congressional hearings, according to CQ. That's what happened when a Veterans Administration official had a laptop stolen in 2006, IRS laptops went missing in 2001, and a State Department laptop containing the names of foreign agents working for the U.S. government was stolen in 1999.

News of the missing laptops first surfaced in late March in an anonymous post on the Dead Men Working blog written by foreign service officers.

About the author

Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor.


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