Security & Fraud

Pressure Mounts For IRS Chief To Resign Over Breach

A Republican lawmaker is calling for IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to step down.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) is putting pressure on the head of the IRS to resign due to the agency’s lack of improvement concerning the protection of taxpayer data, The New York Times reported late last week.

According to Comstock, Commissioner Koskinen has failed to ensure that the sensitive information of U.S. taxpayers is safeguarded against malicious intrusions, and new leadership for the agency is needed.

“Commissioner Koskinen has provided little confidence that cybersecurity is a top priority at the IRS,” Comstock explained in a statement provided to Reuters.

Comstock added that Koskinen should “allow for new and trusted leadership at the IRS” by following the lead of Katherine Archuleta, former head of the Office of Personnel Management, who resigned last year amid pressure from lawmakers.

Archuleta stepped down shortly after OPM released the actual number of those left exposed by the considerable personnel data breach that rocked the agency, a staggering 21.5 million individuals.

The shocking amount of data the hackers stole, as well as how highly sensitive the information is, laid out the truly enormous scope of the OPM hacks.

In February, the IRS announced that the personal data of more than 700,000 individuals may have been compromised by hackers during a cyberattack in 2015.

Comstock has accused the agency of not upgrading its information security plan and that there is little confidence that the commissioner has made cybersecurity a significant priority at the IRS.

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