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Los Alamos Director Threatens Employees Who Fail to Follow Security Procedures

Los Alamos National Laboratory employees who ignore security procedures could lose their jobs, laboratory director Pete Nanos said Monday (see GSN, July 12).

Last week, Los Alamos officials reported the loss of two pieces of “computer removable electronic media,” such as computer discs, that contained classified information. Last week’s incident was the fourth time in about a year-and-a-half that Los Alamos officials have acknowledged losing classified material, the Albuquerque Journal reported. 

Describing last week’s loss as an example of “willful disregard” of security procedures, Pete Nanos told New Mexico state lawmakers that those laboratory employees that continue to fail to follow security guidelines will be dismissed.

“We’re going high and right on this, and the fact of the matter is, if we have to, we will fire you all,” Nanos said (Albuquerque Journal, July 13).

The Project on Government Oversight said today that missing media involved in last week’s incident were classified ZIP disks.

In addition, the group also accused Los Alamos of failing to disclose that two classified hard drives had been lost from the same division as the ZIP disks. According to POGO, sources have said that Los Alamos discovered that an employee had removed the hard drives without signing them out, placed them in his pickup truck and took them to another location.  The hard drives have since been located, POGO said (Project on Government Oversight release, July 14).

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