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State Dept. IT Staff Told To Keep Quiet About Clinton's Server (computerworld.com) 371

dcblogs writes this report from Computerworld: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's decision to use a private email server ran afoul of the government's IT security and record retention requirements, according to a report by the department's inspector general released today. This use of a private email server did not go unnoticed within the Department of State's IT department. Two IT staff members who raised concerns about Clinton's use of a private server were told not to speak of it. Clinton was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 and during that period she used a private email server in her New York home. This report by the Department of State's Inspector General about Clinton's use of a private server makes clear that rules and regulations were not followed. It says that Clinton would not have received approval for this server had she sought it. According to the current CIO, the report said, "Secretary Clinton had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business with their offices, who in turn would have attempted to provide her with approved and secured means that met her business needs." However, the report notes, according to these officials, The Bureau of Diplomatic Security and IRM (Bureau of Information Resource Management) "did not -- and would not -- approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business, because of the restrictions in the FAM [Foreign Affairs Manual] and the security risks in doing so."
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State Dept. IT Staff Told To Keep Quiet About Clinton's Server

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  • by Moblaster ( 521614 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2016 @05:28PM (#52182933)
    This was a clear example of security through obscurity. The server was behind a NAT protected by a Huawei router. What could go wrong?
  • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2016 @05:34PM (#52182981)

    If nothing on Hillary's server was classified it should be released without redaction for full review and inspection by any party. That has not happened, and it won't happen. FOI requests regarding information on her server are denied almost as soon as they are filed.

    There is no "truth" left in Government. The only option they have is to silence critics. Oh, and more circuses.

    • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2016 @06:55PM (#52183595)

      If nothing on Hillary's server was classified it should be released without redaction for full review and inspection by any party. That has not happened, and it won't happen. FOI requests regarding information on her server are denied almost as soon as they are filed.

      You aren't giving credit where credit is due. Judicial Watch [judicialwatch.org] has a lawsuit pursuing information along these lines, and is making progress. (They accept donations [judicialwatch.org] in their fight against corruption.)

      In fact you can thank them for the progress being made:

      Judicial Watch Statement on State Department OIG Report on Hillary Clinton’s Email Practices [judicialwatch.org]

      It was Judicial Watch’s litigation that almost certainly forced the State Department to publicly disclose Hillary Clinton’s secret email account that is now the subject of a scathing Inspector General Report. A statement by the State Department in a February 2, 2015, status report in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit was the first notice to the public and the court that State had failed to thoroughly search all of Clinton’s email records: “[The State Department] has discovered that additional searches for documents potentially responsive to the FOIA must be conducted.” That statement was the first acknowledgement of Clinton’s secret email. And now, nearly a year and a half later, the State Department’s own Inspector General is confirming the gravity of Clinton’s end run around the law. Judicial Watch already uncovered much of the information cited in this report. But the OIG report will be helpful in upcoming questioning of witnesses about the Clinton email matter.

      Judicial Watch Begins Discovery in Hillary Clinton Email Matter [breitbart.com]

      More on the Clinton email scandal at Judicial Watch. [judicialwatch.org]

      • by s.petry ( 762400 )
        I'm not going list all of the sources who have filed FOIA requests, but I was pretty clear that everyone is being stonewalled. "Progress" would mean that we are receiving non redacted emails to review. There are none to be had, and until there is any claim of progress is suspect (if not false).
      • If nothing on Hillary's server was classified it should be released without redaction for full review and inspection by any party. That has not happened, and it won't happen. FOI requests regarding information on her server are denied almost as soon as they are filed.

        You aren't giving credit where credit is due. Judicial Watch [judicialwatch.org] has a lawsuit pursuing information along these lines, and is making progress.

        Is Judicial Watch going to use those funds to prevent more imaginary terrorist attacks [rightwingwatch.org]?

    • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2016 @07:22PM (#52183749)

      The government routinely reverse classifies anything, particularly anything that will embarass anyone in a prominent government position or in an elected office. This is SOP.

    • Hillary claims that by keeping her emails secret for up to 6 years she is more transparent than her predecessors who used gov't email servers almost exclusively. And her supporters accept it without question.
  • Silly Rabbit.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DidgetMaster ( 2739009 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2016 @05:39PM (#52183013) Homepage
    Rules and laws are for little people. Not for anyone named Clinton.
    • Or the Clinton Global Initiative. You know, the initiative to provide the Clinton family with hundreds of millions ...

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2016 @05:43PM (#52183057)
    Never mind 30 years of scandals, this email server thing shows exactly how she thinks. The law only applies to the little people, not her. What she did may have been marginally legal, but if you or I had done this we'd be sitting in jail.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fragnet ( 4224287 )
      It occurred to me, and this is a long shot, that actually the server was a honey pot and the information contained therein was misinformation, for foreign intelligence services to enjoy.

      ... I did say it was a long shot but it would explain the lack of an explanation for it. Otherwise her behaviour is inexplicable as long as you forget she's a Clinton.
      • That's right up there with wishing the TSAs apparent ineptitude is just a honeypot to catch terrorists and the F-35 is really a cover program for some top secret military hardware that doesn't suck.
    • by mhkohne ( 3854 )

      Name one politician that DOESN'T think that the law is for other people. I've not done the research, but I'm willing to bet real money that there's no such thing anywhere in the US Federal government.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      The law only applies to the little people

      That's true because the laws are convoluted and vague. That gives an advantage to those who can afford the best lawyers: if you have a crappy lawyer, the interpretation can more easily be tilted against you.

      OJ could afford layers who were masters of F.U.D., you and I couldn't, and that's why he wasn't convicted of a pretty obvious crime.

      At least be glad you are (probably) middle class, because the poor have this problem even more so.

      That's life in plutocracy, and our

      • Part of it was wealth, but a bigger part was fame. A problem most people have in court is that the first interaction any of the jury has with you is seeing you sit at the defendant's table and people tend to have a bias that if you are there, you did something to deserve being there (which to be fair is an accurate bias, just not one they should have ideally). So you already have one strike against you starting out. Famous people don't have that. The jury knows them from another context and so views them mo

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm not Hillary fan, but:

      Didn't our last President use private email services, even though he was required to only use government services for official email?

      How come so many people criticizing HRC aren't also mad at GWB for his using non-government servers?

      After all, he deleted official Presidential emails on government servers despite the law to retain them...and he supposedly had the backups deleted too.

      Why aren't these same people criticizing him? Or is that too long ago, or was he the wrong party to c

    • by Optic7 ( 688717 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2016 @05:53PM (#52183141)

      Why Clintonâ(TM)s email problems are here to stay [politico.com]

      Sorry for the repeated politico.com links. No affiliation, but I've reading my political news there lately. If you want to preserve your sanity, don't read the comments at that site.

  • by Brian_Ellenberger ( 308720 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2016 @05:54PM (#52183157)

    The depressing part of all of this is that it is obvious she is guilty, but it really doesn't matter. The politically powerful, whether the Goldman Sachs or the Clintons, will always be able to get away with whatever they want. Meanwhile our prison population is overflowing with "little people" who lack the political connections necessary to be free of the ire of the Federal government. Host an illegal mail server that is easily hacked. No big deal. Actually blow the whistle on Federal crimes and corruption. To prison with you!

    • by suupaabaka ( 854944 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2016 @06:16PM (#52183299)

      It disturbs me that the United States has for-profit prisons, and impose harsh penalties on crimes that would (in many other countreis) be considered quite minor. And from what I understand, other countries are trying to emulate this model?

      Prisons in the US seem to turn idiot kids into hardened criminals. The Scandinavian model of rehabilitation over punishment seems a far better solution.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rahvin112 ( 446269 )

      Guilty of what?

      People keep saying that but I've not heard a single person quote a law she appears to be guilty of other than being a bitch. (which isn't against the law). It was stupid, it violated department policy and in my opinion nothing bad came of it, she was technically in charge of state and could set whatever policy she wanted. It would be like accusing the president of releasing classified information when he can at his will classify/unclassify anything he wants and the very act of releasing the i

      • by Straif ( 172656 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2016 @08:07PM (#52183997) Homepage

        She violated several statues concerning the handling of classified email as well as the various document retention statues which apply specifically to any work product for high level government officials. Neither of those sets of laws are department specific and apply to all federal agencies.

        The laws and statues concerning handling of classified materials are especially damning because they don't even require intent to be found guilty. Merely having classified material outside of secured authorized channels is enough to be in violation. The mere existence of her server as well as the thumb drive she gave her lawyer were immediate proof of a violation as soon as the first classified piece of email was found.

      • by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2016 @08:07PM (#52183999) Homepage

        How much does being an online pro-Clinton shill pay? Or is your ignorance actually real?

        People keep saying that but I've not heard a single person quote a law she appears to be guilty of other than being a bitch.

        Clearly you aren't paying attention, applicable laws have been cited by many, allow me to educate you. To start, look up 18 U.S. Code 793 [cornell.edu]

        (f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—

        Given the emails she turned over contained satellite images which should have been labeled as "TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN", it's pretty clear that would be covered by the above section (as just one example).

        You'll note in the statute above, there is no intent required, only gross negligence, which is a pretty easy bar to meet given her knowingly setting up a server that as SoS would receive classified information from time to time.

        And this aside from the fact the IG says that she didn't turn over all of the emails she was supposed to, not only can she be hit under 793 for the emails being removed from their "proper place of custody", but also for the destruction of them as well, but also for destruction of the emails under FOIA laws.

        she was technically in charge of state and could set whatever policy she wanted.

        No, she can't. She could declassify anything originating from State, but anything coming from another agency she has no authority over.

      • by tsqr ( 808554 )

        People keep saying that but I've not heard a single person quote a law she appears to be guilty of other than being a bitch.

        I can help you with that. U.S.C Sec. 793(f) of the federal code makes it unlawful to send of store classified information on personal email.

      • Guilty of what?

        People keep saying that but I've not heard a single person quote a law she appears to be guilty of other than being a bitch. (which isn't against the law). It was stupid, it violated department policy and in my opinion nothing bad came of it, she was technically in charge of state and could set whatever policy she wanted. It would be like accusing the president of releasing classified information when he can at his will classify/unclassify anything he wants and the very act of releasing the information would be official declassification. Sometimes the boss does stupid stuff, but that's one of the advantages of being the boss.

        Guilty of being in politics a long time.

        See if you spend a long time in politics you're no longer cool, particularly if you've been prominent at the national stage for a long time then you obviously haven't fixed everything and are part of the problem.

        Worse if people start making up bad things about you... true they're made up, but so many bad things made up surely a few of them must be partly true?

        Doubly so if you're a woman, not that most of your critics care, but it bothers a few and they complain a lot,

  • All Americans are equal but Americans in authority are more equal.

  • Why arent we talking about a systematic audit of the politicians who are also using exceptions to the government security standard? If you dont have records, fine, audit them all. There are commercial software packages that will do this for you.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They's gonna be a buncha nervous IT guys in the gov if the Hillary wins. Paraphrasing Tony Soprano, revenge is like serving cold cuts.

  • According to the current CIO, the report said, "Secretary Clinton had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business with their offices, who in turn would have attempted to provide her with approved and secured means that met her business needs."

    So, if they had known about it, they would have taken responsibility for securing it. I wonder if anybody ever looked at her email address? Obviously, coming from her own personal server, it wasn't on one of their State Department domains. So, either they did know and did nothing or they really are as inept as we all thought. Of course, option 3 is both are true.

  • The policies state that the person is to leave copies of all work-related emails at the time they leave duty if using a personal/outside email system. Hillary's spokesman has maintained that if regular forwarding or CC'ing is done, then the State Department will have a copy. The "rule" didn't state the format of the copies, only that it had to be done. It seems that technically, the CC/forwarding process would comply.

    Because the internal email system hiccuped, they allegedly couldn't verify if this was act

    • by tranquilidad ( 1994300 ) on Thursday May 26, 2016 @02:13AM (#52185369)

      Here's the National Archives transfer requirements [archives.gov], from 2002, for e-mail messages with attachments:

      The practical issue is that an individual's emails must be archived in such a way that they can be organized and searched as a "body of records."

      The example given for labeling a body of records is, "the e-mail records of the Deputy Secretary from the past fiscal year."

      If someone want's to know what the Secretary of State said about a certain subject then they need to search the emails the secretary sent. The way Secretary Clinton performed cc/forwarding of emails then all emails of anyone to whom she sent an email would have to be searched.

      It is the responsibility of the head of each Federal agency to make and preserve records including, "effective controls over the creation and over the maintenance and use of records in the conduct of current business." It's hard to see how failing to keep as a record the emails one sent and relying on the addressees to retain those records meets the standard the National Archives has set.

      Secretary Clinton said she didn't want anyone to be able to search or examine her personal emails. The system she deployed made it so no one could search her official emails either.

Long computations which yield zero are probably all for naught.

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