Los Alamos National Lab suffers security lapse

Friday, 12 December 2003, 12:09 PM EST

It appears Los Alamos National Laboratory is facing yet another embarrassing security lapse involving the loss of electronic storage devices. Officials say they can't account for a high-capacity disk and nine diskettes used at the lab.

While some of the disks were marked classified, the "initial laboratory review indicates that national security was not jeopardized by this incident," the lab said in a statement issued Tuesday. An independent federal analysis of the incident is expected.

Los Alamos also contacted the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, and the University of California concerning the storage-media inventory discrepancies.

According to the statement, one diskette, which was marked classified--but which may not have contained classified information--was reporting missing on Nov. 20; the diskette may have been destroyed, though there's no record of its destruction. A second diskette was reported missing Dec. 2, and an investigation into the incident reveals that it "was most likely destroyed" in January 2002 during the destruction of four other diskettes. But there's no existing receipt for the destruction of the diskette, according to the statement.

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