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July 08, 2013

IRS Exposes Thousands of Social Security Numbers Online

The numbers released publicly were those associated with 527 organizations, another type of tax-exempt political organization.

Per Wikipedia:

A 527 organization or 527 group is a type of U.S. tax-exempt organization organized under Section 527 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 527). A 527 group is created primarily to influence the selection, nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates to federal, state or local public office.

Technically, almost all political committees, including state, local, and federal candidate committees, traditional political action committees, "Super PACs", and political parties are "527s." However, in common practice the term is usually applied only to such organizations that are not regulated under state or federal campaign finance laws because they do not "expressly advocate" for the election or defeat of a candidate or party.

When the IRS makes 527 information public (which they must, per the law), they're supposed to scrub out sensitive information like Social Security numbers. But the gang that couldn't shoot straight (unless they're aiming at the Tea Party) failed to do this in thousands of case.

I'd be curious to know if the exposure of sensitive information (setting someone up for identity theft or worse) was purely random, affecting all sorts of different 527s, or if it's mostly conservative leaning ones who were abused by this latest case of malnegligence* by the IRS.

* Made up the word. They're incompetent, but their incompetence often tends to have a malign bend to it.


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posted by Ace at 07:51 PM

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