Representative Darin LaHood accused the IRS of not protecting Americans' private information citing nearly 700,000 records breached from 2014-2015.
(TNS) -- Congressman Darin LaHood is questioning IRS Commissioner John Koskinen about what is being done to protect the sensitive information of American taxpayers from mounting cybersecurity threats.
During a Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing Thursday, LaHood said that from 2014 to 2015 alone, more than 700,000 taxpayers’ personal information was compromised because of criminal cybersecurity breaches.
The Government Accountability Office released a report in March providing 43 recommendations for the IRS to increase security. The IRS responded that it would consider the recommendations over a 60-day period.
“If the federal government requires Americans to provide sensitive and personal information, its agencies must be able to protect that data from cyber criminals,” LaHood said. “The IRS remains highly vulnerable to hackers and cyberattacks and yet the commissioner failed to sufficiently answer our committee’s questions on why the GAO’s recommendations have not been implemented.”
During the hearing, the commissioner cited a high rate of prevented breaches last year.
“We aren’t talking about a grade on a test, where a certain percentage merits a passing score, we are talking about the lives of hard-working Americans,” LaHood said. “Until each taxpayer’s information is 100 percent secure, the IRS has no reason to be so confident. Americans need a better reason to feel confident in the IRS and they still don’t have one.”
IRS officials have said the agency does not have enough resources to implement cybersecurity measures. LaHood said that from 2011 to 2014, Congress increased the budget of the IRS by 9 percent to combat these attacks but the IRS cut its cybersecurity staff 11 percent during those four years.
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