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Security Spotlight Shines on Los Alamos

Los Alamos National Lab, which has been periodically hitting the news since an episode of missing disks in 2004 turned up underlying security problems, is once again under fire from the Project on Government Oversight.

In a recent note, the watchdog group, which has made Los Alamos a pet project, highlighted ongoing security problems at the nuclear research facility, claiming that a "record number" of security breaches occurred at the site between June 2006 and June 2007.

"The number and magnitude of these occurrences calls into question the effectiveness of the University of California and Bechtel management team," POGO's statement said, piling yet more woe on the birthplace of the atomic bomb.

POGO claims to have received a lab presentation which reveals that in July and August this year, Los Alamos found 43 improperly secured items such as removable media, documents, and vaults. The lab also suffered 19 potential unauthorized disclosures of information, most of which were email-related, according to the watchdog.

That's not good news for Los Alamos, whose security problems have made it a poster child for ineffective data protection.

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