Tribal Coronavirus Relief Data Breach | Trump administration #COVID19
Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin had trouble addressing the tribal coronavirus relief fund data breach during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on September 24, 2020.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) had to ask a question about the leak of sensitive tribal data by the Trump administration three times before Mnuchin was able to hear it.

"Holy sh**, I thought we had better technology than this," Tester remarked. Some committee members could be heard laughing over the remote feed.

"What measures has the Treasury put in place to prevent another tribal coronavirus relief data breach from occurring again?" Tester asked.

But even after hearing the question, Mnuchin didn't have an answer.

“I’m going to have to look into that. I’m not familiar with the tribal data breach that you’re referring to,” Mnuchin said, promising to get back to Tester "quickly" with an answer.

The data leak in question occurred during the week of April 13-17. Throughout the week, the Department of the Treasury repeatedly emailed a spreadsheet containing sensitive tribal information to the White House and to the Department of the Interior, an investigation by Indianz.Com showed.

On April 17, as the deadline closed for tribes to submit private data to Treasury, the spreadsheet leaked from government hands, into the public. The incident is being internally investigated by the Trump administration but no outcomes have been publicized.