Looks like the LP's new communications director, Stephen Gordon, is already hard at it on his first day on the job with this press release. From LP.org Press Release Stolen Veteran Identity Information Highlights Deeper Privacy Issue (Washington, D.C.) On May 3, 2006, a government laptop was stolen from the home of a VA data analyst. Stored on the stolen computer was the personal information of around 26 million veterans. Whether this information has been misused for criminal purposes is still undetermined. Senate Democrats are politicizing the issue by accusing Republicans of incompetence. Most of the media coverage about these compromised personal data has concentrated on criticism of the VA for poor security procedures and downplaying the seriousness of the issue. Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory is one of those veterans whose personal information was made vulnerable. “I received a letter around June 6 vaguely dated ‘May 2006’ informing me that my personal information was stolen and advising me that I might become the future victim of identity theft,” said Cory. “What’s truly scary is that this isn’t an isolated event. It seems that each week we become aware of a governmental abuse or 'mishap' that releases the personal information of Americans into the hands people who should not have it." At a time when personal privacy is being debated daily and the National Security Agency is under fire for collecting information without a warrant about personal telephone calls, Americans should become more concerned about what specific information the government collects about them. All citizens must be aware that once information has been collected by any data miner, whether private or governmental, it is vulnerable to theft and misuse. “We’ve got a new breed of criminals out there now,” said Barry Hess, Arizona’s Libertarian gubernatorial candidate. “Identity thieves are being supplied with the tools required for their crimes by the federal government. Agencies like the Census Bureau and the IRS collect much more data than required to do their jobs. At some point, we’ve got to stand up and tell the government our private information is none of their business.” The Libertarian Party has a long record of advocating privacy issues and opposing widespread government use of personal information.