No Rummaging in Records

October 4, 1996
THE DAILY FED

No Rummaging in Records

Federal employees who are thinking about using their access to federal computer systems to pry into confidential records better think again.

The National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996, which was passed by Congress and sent to President Clinton on Wednesday, prohibits government employees from using their computer access privileges to confidential files for non-official reasons. Furthermore, if an employee sells confidential information accessed on a government computer, the employee will be charged with a felony.

The act amends previous legislation which did not specifically prohibit federal employees from unauthorized use of databases like the National Crime Information Center's criminal history records.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), in praising the Senate for passing the measure, cited a "Dear Abby" column appearing on June 20 as an example of government workers abusing their access to confidential information. A woman who did not identify herself alleged that her brother-in-law had used his access to FBI files to look up her criminal record as a joke.

A 1993 GAO report found that "insiders" with access to National Crime Information Center data had sold information to outsiders and had looked up friends' and relatives' criminal histories.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.