Hypocritical Much? Part Four

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is all about smaller, more efficient government.  When she was running for governor of her state, she “fought for accountability and transparency” in government.  Great.

Governor Haley is all for a smaller, more efficient, accountable, and transparent government, until a major breach of taxpayer social security numbers occurs in her state.  Then, it is somebody else’s fault.

Back in August, employees with the South Carolina Department of Revenue received a phishing email, and at least one of them click on the embedded link. (source)  Cyberprotection 101, never click on links in random emails, and always ensure that you know where the link is directing you before you click.  My daughter knows that, and she is 6.  Well, because at least one employee clicked the link, a hacker was able to install malware or a virus on the user’s computer, and they were able to obtain the user’s credentials to access taxpayer information.  Lovely.  They were then able to gain access to about 3.8 million tax returns. (source)  Awesome.

South Carolina, it seems, encrypts credit and debit card data on its servers, but not social security numbers.  Brilliant.  And this is where Nikki Haley comes in.  Remember the whole smaller government, etc. that she wants?  Yeah, not so much when it comes to this.  Is her state to blame?  Nope.  The federal government is to blame because the IRS does not require that social security numbers be encrypted.  I am going to venture a guess here and say that if they did, she would have been among the first to scream about “big brother” watching.  Governor Haley sent a letter to the IRS, which included the following:

she urges the IRS “to strongly encourage the Internal Revenue Service to require all states to have stronger security measures for handling federal tax information, particularly encryption of tax information that is stored or ‘at rest.’”

Wait, isn’t yet another requirement from the federal government the antithesis of “smaller government?”  I guess when your state exposes the sensitive information of 3.8 million tax returns, it has to be the fault of the federal government.  Because Governor Haley certainly could not go out on a limb and do more than what is required to protect taxpayers in her state.

I get a little tired of seeing and reading people calling for “smaller government” and then go out and criticize the government for not doing enough.  It’s like the people are against the implementation of the Affordable Care Act because of the Medicaid expansion complaining about the expansion, all while they are on Medicaid themselves.  It the old “it’s good enough for me, but you are not good enough for it” mentality, and it is ridiculous.  The government, whether it be at the federal or state level, has a role in our lives, no matter how much people want to push them out.  No, they (the government) cannot and should not be expected to solve everything or be a part of every aspect of our lives.  But you cannot sit there and complain that they are too involved and then criticize when they are not involved enough.  Be consistent.

Governor Haley, this one falls on you, not the IRS.  There is nothing stopping you from protecting the citizens of your state more than what is required by the IRS.  The data breach falls on your shoulders.  Stop blaming the federal government for what is a glaring hole in the security of the computer systems in your state, and in the training of state employees.  Do what you campaigned on and were elected on, and be accountable.


One Response to Hypocritical Much? Part Four

  1. Pingback: Hypocritical Much? Part Six « Our Not So Expert Opinions

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