The incompetence train over at the IRS just keep on rolling. This time, it involves the Social Security numbers of 100,000 Americans being posted online for the world to see. Yes, these are the same people who are responsible for keeping confidential tax information.
The IRS mistakenly posted the Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of Americans on a government website, the agency confirmed Monday night. One estimate put the figure as high as 100,000 names.
The numbers were posted to an IRS database for tax-exempt political groups known as 527s and first discovered by the group Public.Resource.org.
The California-based group said it learned of the "privacy breach" while working on an unrelated audit of an “improperly vetted shipment” of IRS data on DVDs and promptly informed the agency, which shut down the site the next day. The group said the Social Security numbers were largely those of donors, though some were also from people who prepared tax returns to furnish to the IRS.
An IRS spokesman told FoxNews.com on Monday the agency was alerted about a "substantial number" of Social Security numbers posted on the site and removed web access to the information "out of an abundance of caution." The spokesman also said the IRS is now "assessing the situation and exploring available options."
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) said that the next stages of the IRS scandal will likely focus on the tax agency’s alleged abuse of power in areas like politically motivated audits and leaking of personal information.Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are still working toward accountability over IRS targeting of conservative groups while Democrats like Rep. Elijah Cummings run cover for the agency.
“I think what we’re going to find out and I think that the deeper part is not so much the Tea Party and the ‘Patriot’ and those people who were targeted, but the information that has been leaked,” Kelly, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee which is conducting one of the congressional investigations into the matter, said in a phone interview.
“The information that the IRS has on file on people goes pretty deep into personal lives. It is being leaked out and given to people for very specific political reasons. I think this is something that should be the most chilling thing for Americans to understand.
"This is a branch of government and it is under the executive branch that can be used for a lot of different intimidation elements. Think of what these people have, think of what they have on everybody. If they leak that out to the right person at the right time in the right movement that’s looking to do something, they can completely destroy individuals.”
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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