Berks weapons-permit holders' names ended up on the Internet

September 15, 2006

Thomson Dialog NewsEdge

Berks County Sheriff Barry J. Jozwiak was trying to comply with a court order to create a more secure list of gun-permit holders when an outside contractor left at least some of the list exposed on the Internet, officials said Thursday.

"The sheriff was in the process of complying with the court when this happened," county Solicitor Alan L. Miller said.

Jozwiak was unavailable Thursday.

He previously said a Canon Technology Solutions employee was creating a more secure Web-based gun-permit list and inadvertently failed to turn on security software to protect the information over the Labor Day weekend.

Fred Hershey, a county information-systems manager, said someone in China viewed the Web site, but apparently did not download information.

The site contained the names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other personal information of some of the 25,000 gun-permit holders.

Jozwiak has said he is uncertain which names and how many had been provided.

An employee of a California software firm also spotted the Web site, realized it was confidential and notified the sheriff, officials said.

"We are required by state law to notify people of the possibility that their information may have been released," Miller said. "But it sounds like nothing actually was released."

Miller said Canon will be asked to pay the expense of contacting those people.

A spokesman for Canon of Conshohocken, Montgomery County, has not returned several phone calls.

Canon received $19,000 to create the system, county records show.

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