Third US gov’t worker pleads to passport snooping

Grant Gross reports:

A third U.S. State Department employee has pleaded guilty to illegally accessing dozens of confidential passport application files, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Gerald Lueders, 65, of Woodbridge, Virginia, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a one-count criminal information charging him with unauthorized computer access.

Lueders, in his guilty plea, acknowledged that between July 2005 and February 2008, he logged into the State Department’s Passport Information Electronic Records System (PIERS) database and viewed passport applications of more than 50 celebrities, actors, politicians, musicians, athletes, members of the media and other people.

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