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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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chanson de roland

The editor is quite right about the delicate balance between disclosing too much, which would aid the hackers or other hackers, and disclosing too little, so that the public has no confidence that government knows the problem and how to fix it. Notwithstanding that, I think that the U.S. Government knows how the almost certainly Chinese hackers breached their systems, but, for reasons of security, can't disclose how the breach was done. Perhaps one day, we will learn the sources and methods that the Chinese used to breach OPM's computers.

But for now, we must fix the computers: so that they cannot be further breached, so that we hold the persons, whose incompetence caused the breach, responsible for it, and so that our intelligence agencies, as I am sure they are already doing, contain and remedy the damages done to U.S. interests, particularly U.S. intelligence operations.

What is most significant for me are the implications for Hillary Clinton having run a private and inadequately secured personal email server to conduct her business as Secretary of State and to store our nation's most vital secrets. If we are going to discipline OPM's Director and CIO for their negligence OPM's computer systems, then shouldn't Hillary Clinton at least be held up to public opprobrium for her irresponsible conduct in using a private and unsecured email server for her official business as Secretary of State? And wouldn't it a stunning thing if the Chinese got into our government computer system as a result of compromising Hillary Clinton's personal email server?

The other major issue is how we deal with the Chinese for this virtual act of war. Are we entering a new cold war, a cyberwar, with China and Russia? War is very bad for business. If I were the CEO of any American firm that had a supply chain in China, I would be developing alternative sources of supply. And if I depend on China for any major part of my sales, I would be preparing to lose those revenues. I am talking to you Tim Cook.

George

Roland:

Thanks for the comments. Yes, we are in a new cold war era where countries spy directly or indirectly through vendors on other countries' governments, leaders, and business executives. Remember the controversy in 2013 about alleged USA spying on our ally, German Chancellor Merkel?

If Secretary Clinton's server caused or facilitated a data breach, then of course she should be held to the same standard of accountability as OPM executives. That hasn't been proven.

Also, many politicians have lax attitudes towards email security. That doesn't make it right. My point: don't single out former Secretary Clinton. Instead, enforce it consistently... which hasn't been done. Remember this US history on list emails:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2010/08/new_report_details_loss_of_bus.html

And this:
http://www.politicususa.com/2014/06/28/republicans-attacking-obama-missing-irs-emails-caught-web-hypocrisy.html

And this:
http://www.salon.com/2015/03/12/the_george_w_bush_email_scandal_the_media_has_conveniently_forgotten_partner/

"The emails had been run through private accounts controlled by the Republican National Committee and were only supposed to be used for dealing with non-administration political campaign work to avoid violating ethics laws. Yet congressional investigators already had evidence private emails had been used for government business, including to discuss the firing of one of the U.S. attorneys."

Most of those 22 million "lost" Bush administration emails were later recovered, but the explanation was an IT mishandling error. Huh? Mishandling Presidential emails? I think not. While GOP Presidential candidates try to use emails as an issue against Dem Presidential candidate Clinton, I am reminded of the old saying: "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

Nobody in Washington is clean on the issue of email handling. Nobody.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

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