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.

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Comments on “FBI Is Still Figuring Out This Email Thing”

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Tyshaun says:

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.

Skeptic says:


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?

Steven says:

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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