After US Government Leaks Social Security Numbers Of Her And Her Family, SD Governor. Kristi Noem Demands Answers

 January 8, 2023

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is demanding answers, in the aftermath of record releases from the Jan. 6 committee, especially a leak that allowed her personal information to become public. She is also expecting answers on how these government agencies plan to combat the potential results of this leak. The letter making these demands comes from Noem’s legal team and seeks answers by Jan. 13.

Noem learned that her Social Security number and those of her immediate family were leaked by the Jan. 6 committee, the night before taking the oath of office for her second term. On Friday evening, Noem tweeted following the leak of her and her families’ private information-

"My lawyers have asked the @WhiteHouse, the @USNatArchives, and @BennieGThompson which of them is responsible for leaking the Social Security Numbers of me, my husband, my 3 kids, and my son-in-law."…and… "What specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect our identities?"

-South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

Essentially the leak included the private information of Governor Noem along with her husband, three children and son-in-law, who according to the White House logs visited the outgoing President Donald Trump on Dec. 14, 2020. Noem shared that her visit, at that time, was in an "official capacity" .

Documenting the events leading up to the storming of the Capitol, there apparently was "a spreadsheet with nearly 2,000 Social Security numbers associated with visitors to the White House in December 2020". Having then visited former President Trump, in her official capacity, her information was among the hundreds of records posted online, by the committee laying out their timeline. The list, also apparently included several high-profile Republicans.

These other high-profile individuals, included in the public leak are South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R), Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

Demanding more information about how the breach occurred, Noem’s legal team issued a letter. The legal team of Woods and Fuller, wrote in a letter to the U.S. Government Publishing Office, The National Archives and Records Administration, and to the Chair of the Jan. 6 Special Committee. The letter, in part stated-

"The National Archives produced these visitors logs, which then became exhibits during the January 6 Committee hearing. Prior to being published as exhibits, the law required that Protected Personal Information be redacted from the visitor logs, but that was not done." [And adding regarding the Noem Family] "now at a very high risk of identity theft and being personally compromised due to the failure to redact the social security numbers and making the same available to the public."

- Woods and Fuller, Noem’s Legal Team

Leaving open the possibility of further action, the letter, produced by Noem’s Legal Team, also argues that the publishing of this information is a violation of the Privacy Act of 1974.

This is one more circumstance, in a long line up, of explanations that the January 6th Special Committee, will need to answer for as their “work” and its ramifications unfold before the new 118th Congress. That they allowed this privacy violation, again proves their carelessness, in securing and handling the information of, U.S. citizens that was placed in their care. Possibly a deliberate act on their part, these leaks as published, will hopefully come back to see them held accountable for their neglectful behavior.

“Privacy - like eating and breathing - is one of life's basic requirements.”

-Katherine Neville
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