Rep. Darin LaHood Question IRS Commissioner on Cybersecurity Threats to Taxpayer Information
Washington, DC—Today during a Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing, Rep. Darin LaHood questioned IRS Commissioner John Koskinen regarding what is being done to protect the sensitive information of American taxpayers from mounting cybersecurity threats. From 2014-2015 alone, over 700,000 American taxpayers’ personal information was compromised due to criminal cybersecurity breaches. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in March 2016 providing 43 recommendations for the IRS to increase security, but instead of taking immediate action, the IRS responded that it would consider the recommendations over a 60 day time 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,” stated Rep. LaHood. “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 today, the IRS Commissioner confidently cited a high rate of prevented breaches last year. But 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. Until each taxpayer’s information is 100% 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.”
Despite claims that the IRS does not have enough resources to implement cyber security measures, from 2011 to 2014, Congress increased the budget of the IRS by 9% to combat these attacks, and yet the IRS instead cut their cybersecurity staff 11% over those four years.
To view Rep. LaHood questioning the IRS Commissioner, CLICK Here.
To view Rep. LaHood discuss the IRS security deficiencies, CLICK Here.