Social security numbers sold on Web

Monday, 1 September 2003, 5:20 AM EST

Almost everything is for sale on the Internet -- even the Social Security numbers of top government officials like CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft, consumer advocates warned Wednesday.

The California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said for $26 each it was able to purchase the Social Security numbers and home addresses for Tenet, Ashcroft and other top Bush administration officials, including Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser.

That illustrates the need for stronger protections of personal information, the group said.

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