My Opinion

Missing the point on Hillary’s e-mails

Mrs. Clin­ton has faced crit­icism over her prac­tice of sending and receiv­ing emails from a pri­vate server in her New York home while she was sec­retary of state from 2009 un­til 2013. The in­tel­li­gence communi­ty’s in­spec­tor gen­eral has con­ducted a par­tial search of these emails and found at least four con­tained clas­si­fied in­forma­tion and two of those contained “top se­cret” in­for­mation.

“None of the emails al­leged to con­tain clas­si­fied in­for­mation were writ­ten by Sec­re­tary Clin­ton,” Mrs. Fe­in­stein said in a state­ment. “The ques­tions are whether she re­ceived emails with clas­si­fied information in them, and if so, whether in­for­ma­tion in those emails should have been clas­sified in the first place. Those ques­tions have yet to be answered.”. Excerpt from WSJ 8-14-15

So, what is the question?  Hey, I don’t know anymore about this than you do, but it seems to me that it is quite irrelevant that Mrs Clinton did not write any classified e-mails supposedly found on her server. Isn’t the question why did she have a personal server that was capable of any interface with government e-mail and thereby potentially expose the Country to intelligence risk? Does it really matter if a classified e-mail on that server got there incoming or outgoing?

And no, the question is not whether e-mails should have been classified in the first place. That has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue of government e-mail on a private server, that’s political spin.

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1 reply »

  1. For me the issue is not against Mrs Clinton (I’ll get back to this). I fear that crossing platforms using technology is becoming harder and harder to recognize and more and more common. After all Windows 10 is designed to have seamless links between devices. My employer just started some new IT policy that instead of using a company issued cell phones they will allow you to use your personal phone (often better and latest and greatest smart phones). From a privacy stand point I would never accept this, I’ll carry two phones. What will happen when someone sync their cell phone with data containing personnel data or customer data and loses the phone, or has some other kind of data breach? What if somebody sent me something not allow by company rules and it gets accidently forwarded? Do I lose my job? Is my phone now consider company property once I use it for company data. They currently have the right to keep all company emails sent so are all my emails, including my private emails now considered the companies? Court cases will determine this at a later date I am sure.

    In the olds days there were scramble phones, double sealed documents, and locked file cabinets. Having not been in the military in 30 years I do not know how they handle all of the electronic data. Maybe I need to ask Mr. Snow. I would think you would have to ensure that the various platforms and computer systems are not physically connected and thus cannot be hacked from the outside but I am just guessing. Then the problem becomes how to share this information without printing out all those paperless documents? We already know that the government cannot keep our social security numbers safe from the Chinese.

    Back to Mrs Clinton. For now I’ll give her the benefit of doubt that she was not trying to circumvent security. I highly doubt that she is the only high level official that currently has private servers. I would expect that in the last presidential elections that Obama had one for his campaign and one for official business. Right now I believe that Mrs Clinton is the first to be caught crossing platforms or servers. I suspect the reason for private servers is to keep internal snoops out of her files and thus improve internal security. How many different computers does she use? Does she have one in her Washington office, one at her house, one on her plane, a laptop, and a smart phone, and how many personal devices to share photos of her grandkid?

    Now my question is why are private servers allow in the first place? I am getting the impression that they are not allowed but somebody in government paid for them so how does that happen? This is were I have a problem with Mrs Clinton, did she pull rank and said make it happen and keep quiet about it? Did she know it was against the rules or did some office personnel suggested getting a personal server? If someone told me sign here for new IT equipment I would not research the world finding out what the rules are, that is why you have support staff at that high level.

    A bigger question is; Can the government even able to keep up with security protocols with new technology? Tech savvy kids entering the government work forces are going to cause more and more problems that we have not even thought of yet and they are becoming our elected leaders now. I am betting something worst has already happen and we just do not know it yet.

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