FBI Is Still Figuring Out This Email Thing

from the so-what's-that-SMTP-thing? dept

Okay, by this point, it should be no surprise at all that the FBI is somewhat incompetent when it comes to technology. Considering their ongoing saga of throwing millions of dollars at computer systems that arrive late, over-budget, and don't actually do anything useful, is it really any surprise that the FBI is now admitting that many agents don't actually have email accounts yet? That, of course, is for external email accounts -- not their internal system. Of course, this isn't the first time that the FBI's email system has been in the news -- though, apparently, it's too much effort for most of the press covering this story to look back into the past. About a year ago, there were news reports that the FBI was shutting down their email system, because they were afraid of hacks -- similar to the one that the Secret Service faced. What was interesting there, was that the FBI's email system was apparently run by an outside party. It's not clear what's happened in between now and then -- and if the agents lacking email used to have accounts that were ditched last year or if this is an ongoing issue. Either way, is it really that hard to set everyone up with an email account? If the fear is having the system hacked, then set up policies. Since they already have internal email within the FBI, then clearly such a system should only be used for non-confidential information.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Wiley, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 3:49am

    Us the Carnivore System

    Why don't they use their carnivore System....DOH! That isn't working properly either.
    Hmmmm...

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    ?, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 3:52am

    email shemail

    "is it really that hard to set everyone up with an email account?"

    humph! I'd like to see you setup an email account!

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Mont, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 3:59am

    Free Email

    Google's security and Privacy policy is probably better than anything the government can come up with. They gave me 100 free accounts for my domain, I'm sure they could help the FBI.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    rude error, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 4:05am

    Fbi's google mail

    i'd like to se the FBI get an gmail, something like "pleasedonthackuss@gmail.com"

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Brandy, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 4:08am

    The FBI is a pretty time-consuming job. How much of a life does a person have outside of it? Chances are not that much of a life. For many people e-mail accounts for private use probably aren't necessary.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Devang, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 5:13am

    spam

    I thought getting spammed, phished, and spywared is what most e-mail users and providers worried about now a days... Weren't the last serious e-mail server software hacks like 10 years ago? Setting up and adhereing to good e-mail policies should be 2nd nature to anyone who's used e-mail. Is the FBI really that far behind?

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Matt, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 5:34am

    lol

    Im sure they could come up with a solution, like, not having those machines accessible via web (if all they do is use fbi emal for work)

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Skeptic, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 5:34am

    Email

    Working for a government agency I can shead some light on the mentality that brings about this situation: THE INTERNET IS EVIL, ONLY BAD CAN COME FROM THE INTERNET. HACKERS HAVE ALL THE KEYS TO OUR DOORS IF WE OPEN THE BLAST CURTIAN.

    The FBI might be paranoid, but isnt it every little hacker and hackeret's dream to "hack the FBI" even if it is aslame as an external mail server to email out thousands of prank emails to all their friends from the FBI.gov domain? Who wants the hassle if it isnt truly necessary?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Shred, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 5:57am

    Cover your tracks

    This isn't about security. This is about how hard it is to cover your tracks once it's been said in an email. It's diffuclt to purge an email that may have been sent out and in turn forwarded to a couple dozen people. I think the reluctancy to use email here isn't about security.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Brad L., Mar 21st, 2006 @ 6:09am

    LEO.gov

    Odd that the Bureau can provide secure email access to officers, deputies, and agents through their leo.gov site but fail to use the same program in-house. Considering that individual agents didn't have computers until the mid-90's I guess it's a bit less puzzling.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Salamander, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 6:58am

    thats hilarious

    thats funny

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Jeremiah, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 7:03am

    The FBI is incompetent.

    That's right, the FBI is a bunch of bumbling, incompetent fools without email accounts and web access....

    ...there is no such thing as DCSxxxx, and they absolutely cannot tap any of your internet traffic at peering points, or playback your web surfing like a VCR.

    Nope, can't do any of that.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Tyshaun, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 7:18am

    Re: Free Email

    Google's security and Privacy policy is probably better than anything the government can come up with. They gave me 100 free accounts for my domain, I'm sure they could help the FBI.

    Great, so now all of the FBI e-mails can be scanned by gmail for ads and placed on their servers? No thanks, as much as I like google I don't trust them to handle potentially classified information. I think the FBI has more than enough capable people that could get a reasonable system running. Working for a government contractor I can take a guess that the problem is beurocratic(sp?) apprehension rather than lack of technical savvy.
    Readers of this forum must remember that a lot of people on planet earth still aren't convinced that the network is inherently a good thing and aren't clamoring at the doors to wire up all of their employees completely. In fact, for some things, perhaps it's better to have a culture that embraces slow acceptance.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Mont, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 7:43am

    Gmail idea

    I am sorry I forgot to use my tag.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Lee, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 8:03am

    FBI has no e-mail

    Hey, to help save tax payer money and to help the FBI with running their IT department, why doesn't the FBI require their employees to set up yahoo account. You could have JOESCHMOESECRETAGENTMAN@yahoo.com.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Mr. Lucas Brice, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 8:05am

    No Surprise

    Humans, on the whole, are stupid. Since the FBI is comprised of humans, there's no reason to expect that they would be anything other than stupid. What's the surprise?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Nick, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 8:07am

    i would spam the FBI

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Dixon of Dock Green, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Free Email

    I think the gmail comment just might have been a gag.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 8:11am

    Re: Cover your tracks

    TERRIBLE GAMMER

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Proxax, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 8:18am

    Cant Believe this!!!!

    FBI is all Hyped about being the best n great in trackin ppl and doing sting op's and they dont have a good email system!!!Phhhbttt.......Sheesh Hide behind the curtain.....the guy who runs IT in there and IT Training especially. Great with Guns and Bad with Keyboards Huhn..

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Jared, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 8:57am

    God I love this country!

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    secret agent man, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 9:01am

    FBI

    DUH !!! More anti government crap. Why should the FBI have its agents identified as such by having an E mail ID under .gov etc. Wouldnt it make more sense for each agent to have his own (incognito) account.??? using whatever IP he/she chooses.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 9:02am

    Who gives a shit if FBI agents don't have personal email accounts? Why is this news?

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    hmm, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 9:05am

    Re: Fbi's google mail

    hahahahha

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Haywood, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 9:06am

    CTU

    Perhaps they should find out who CTU got their compuers from, theirs are smokin

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Sparky, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 9:21am

    Re: CTU

    Mr. Jablowmi,

    CTU no longer exists, it is being assimilated into Homeland Security. Gosh, don't you know anything?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Haywood, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: CTU

    If you believe that you don't know jack!

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Devin Michael, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 10:19am

    Why are external addresses necessary

    First off, why is the need for external email addresses so great. Secondly, the FBI could create policies that the external email addresses are for non-confidential information but why even open that floodgate? We have policies at the agency I work for and no one follows them.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Steven, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 10:27am

    FBI agents and computers

    One of the factors may be the kind of people who become FBI agents. Lots of them are trained as lawyers, who are notoriously non-technical, non-computer types.
    My "significant other" is a former (she terms it "recovering", lol) lawyer who, she says, is a rarity: a computer savvy lawyer. She now runs another legal website, and is the content mananger, since the techhies running the site had their own blind side; the content on the site was formerly of marginal use for lawyers and people seeking legal help.
    Apparently, most lawyers, and apprently, by extension- FBI agents, make limited use of computers- simple e-mail, looking up case law online, etc.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Sparky, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: CTU

    Hahaha...I love subtle humor!

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 10:38am

    Re: FBI agents and computers

    i find it hard to believe that the majority of agents are lawyers

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    art_vandalay, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: FBI agents and computers

    Maybe all the lawyers are agents?

    and...

    Everyone knows that CTU is comprimised on the inside. If it wasn't, Jack's day would be exponentially easier. They'd have to change the name of the show from "24" to "3".

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re: FBI agents and computers

    "Maybe all the lawyers are agents?"

    definate NO. ;) i divorced one after 8 years. theres no way he could be an agent. he was a great lawyer, but definately no agent. sucky husband but thats besides the point! hahaha

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    SPaRky, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 11:08am

    CTU

    Ahhh...compromised. Did Audrey sell the schematics? Hmmm...

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    just me, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 11:42am

    Re:

    I agree. Whyis this news? I think they can make their own decisions. Can't please everybody!

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Greg Keene, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 4:18pm

    Stunned

    I'm so stunned, I decided to begin to calculate the actual cost.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Greg Keene, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 4:20pm

    Oops....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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