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Tax Office Computer Servers Found by Trash

"It's outrageous," said Leslie Harris, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology. "This is a tremendous failure in respecting privacy and security."

Harris expressed concern that the District may be unable to reliably answer the most important security questions: which servers were found, how many laptops were connected to them, what was the chain of custody and who had access to them.

"I can't say what kind of privacy risk there is because I don't know what's on the servers, but it's totally shocking," she said.

At Tivoli Square, cleaning crews arriving at 7 a.m. Wednesday alerted Barnes to some unusual items behind the Ruby Tuesday. Barnes found the two servers leaning against the compactor in a semi-concealed section of the retail complex. The former Tivoli Theatre is the centerpiece of the complex, which includes a Giant, Gala Hispanic Theatre, a Carvel ice cream store and smaller storefronts.

"At first, I was thinking, 'Man, who's putting this stuff here?' " Barnes said, referring to the boxes. "But when I saw the labels of the tax office, with all this stuff going on, I was like, 'Uh oh.' "

Barnes said officials from the tax office and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer called him yesterday to inquire about the whereabouts of the servers and to get them back.

"At first, they wanted them back," he said. "I told them, 'You'll have to call the police. They have them now.' "

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