Laptop theft triggers security review

September 7, 2006

Associated Press

The Florida National Guard was conducting a security review Thursday after a laptop computer assigned to one of its soldiers was stolen in a car burglary.

No classified information was on the computer stolen Tuesday from a soldier's personal vehicle, said Florida Department of Military Affairs spokesman Jon Myatt. The laptop contains training and administrative records - including social security numbers - of up to 100 Florida National Guard soldiers.

"We're doing everything we can do to protect the unit," Myatt said. "The soldiers were aware if they were affected. Not a lot of personal information was on this laptop. An identity thief would need a lot more information."

The computer was stolen sometime early Tuesday from a vehicle owned by Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Barton, according to the Manatee County sheriff's office. Barton is a readiness officer for the Bradenton-based Alpha Battery, a unit in the Third Battalion, 265th Air Defense Artillery, Myatt said.

The computer is clearly marked as government property.

Myatt said the theft triggered a security review, which includes reminding soldiers with government laptops, cameras or PDAs not to leave them in their vehicles. Each soldier is responsible for both the equipment and the data on it.

A unit commander will also decide if security policies were violated.

"Even though this is a minor incident, this is a good opportunity for a security review," Myatt said. "That's happening top to bottom and we're moving forward."

The military still wants the computer back.

"The best thing to do would be to drop it off at a police station quietly," Myatt said.

main page ATTRITION feedback