If Top Gov't Officials Need To Leave Blackberries Outside A Meeting, Shouldn't Someone Guard Them?

from the just-a-thought dept

Apparently a Mexican press attache at a meeting with White House officials in New Orleans saw an opportunity and swiped the Blackberries of a bunch of White House staffers. At many such meetings, it’s required for attendees to leave their phones and mobile devices outside of the meeting room. You would think that with such high-powered government officials that someone would then be left to guard the devices, but apparently not. This guy grabbed a bunch of the devices and made a run for the airport, where he was caught by Secret Service officials, who promptly showed him the surveillance camera footage of him taking the devices. His response was that he thought the devices had been left behind, and he was merely picking them up to return them to their owners, which might be more believable if the folks weren’t still in the meeting room when he grabbed all the devices. Who knows if it’s true, but I’m still wondering why no one was guarding the Blackberries.

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Comments on “If Top Gov't Officials Need To Leave Blackberries Outside A Meeting, Shouldn't Someone Guard Them?”

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Chunky Vomit says:

Apparently somebody was on guard as the guy was caught.

So maybe a better question to ask is why the government uses the same kind of security model that McDonalds uses for children’s shoes in their play places?

Do they really need a person guarding the devices? Why can’t they just put a big safe in the room where the government employees are having their meeting?

BTR1701 (profile) says:

Re: Phones

> Why can’t they just put a big safe in the
> room where the government employees are having
> their meeting?

Because per government regulations, the phones can’t be in the same room where classified material is being discussed.

This isn’t an issue of not wanting the meeting interrupted by ringing phones. It’s an OPSEC issue because it’s fairly easy for a hostile intelligence agency to turn your cell phone into a wireless bugging device.

Larry says:

Don't believe all the troll bait

Sorry for this but…

I’m tired of reading all the “government bashing”. I mean REALLY. Whatever it is you bashers do, I know that the “light of day” would show you to be even bigger dummies about this kind of crap. I digress…

I’m retired military (scoff all you want). I got a job OUTSIDE the “government” when I “retired” and what a bunch of bozo’s. Yeah, I guess they could make some money, but only by selling overpriced crap to the dummies that make up 40% of our population (I’m talking at YOU aUSchtizen). The “managaged” to work themselves into a tizzy about the stupidest little things, but let the good ideas wither and die (no, not all my ideas).

So, now I work for the “government”. Yeah, I get asked to do stupid shit now and again…Wanted to have a meeting and was told to provide an attendance list with names, SSN’s etc via email…after I got done laughing I told them to badge my visitors themselves and call my supervisor if they didn’t like it (they never did). I won’t be one of those dummies with “personal information” on my stolen laptop.

Dummies work everywhere, not just the government. Most of them seem to have a computer AND say some of the dummest shit I’ve ever heard.

Go somewhere else and post about how our “government” is oppressing freedom of religion by removing children from an illegal and dangerous situation (yeah, I said illegal, marry two women and see where it lands YOU regardless of your “religion”).

ToySouljah says:

Re: Don't believe all the troll bait

Well, this instance was a security mishap..no matter how dumb and preventable as it is. There are many reasons to hate the US government though. Knowingly invading a country on false pretenses (he knew it was BS), killing of innocent civilians in said country (read the blogs coming from soldiers not censored by the military), raping our constitution (non-Patriot Act), spying on citizens (now trying to move it online), the list goes on and on…it would be easier to list the good things they’ve down which I’ll list in my next paragraph.

Well lets see…well we are getting $600 to spend! Yay! I knew I could think of something….lmao. Seriously though the bad outweighs the good by far. Politicians are way too crooked to serve us which is their job, but they are too busy taking bribes…sorry…keep saying that…I mean campaign contributions from corporations.

I soon see a revolt if things do not shape and I think the government senses it too which is why they are trying to take away citizens right to own firearms, but Bush has wiped his ass with the Constitution before so everyone has just gotten used to it. The real patriots living in the US though are getting fed up and hopefully I can be there to storm the whitehouse to drag his ass out to the street for a public trial for the crime commited towards humanity…him and all his cronies.

Republican says:

Re: Re: Don't believe all the troll bait

I get really tired of hearing from you fruit loop liberals about the reason we invaded Iraq. If Bush knew it was BS then all the Dems that voted for it and the rest of the world knew about it too. After all, everyone was given the same intel about Iraq. The intel wasn’t just given to President Bush! Innocent civilians always get killed in war, but our soldiers over all do their best to limit those casualties. I really think that people like you need to just sit down and shut up with all your BS!!

ToySouljah says:

Re: Re: Re: Don't believe all the troll bait

Actually, many Americans knew it was BS. I know about collateral damage and yes it is a part of war, but not when you deliberately kill innocent civilians for the hell of it or for target practice. Check out this link. It is a video of just a few things going on in Iraq from the eyes of an ex-marine…yes I say ex since he washed his hands of them. There are more videos listed on the page as well, but look around and you will find out the truth. Of course it is easier for the typical American sheep to go to Fox or CNN and listen to the lies instead since it paints a pretty picture for you. Citizens such as yourself are the reason this country will never change. You all just go along letting them take away your freedom in the name of “security”…just remember what Benjamin Franklin said “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”. He was right, but as long as most of America remains blinded then it will get much worse. So tell me…what would it take for you all to wake up and realize what is really going on and who really runs this country? It’s not the president…it doesn’t matter who is in office really since they are just puppets taking orders from the banks and big corporations. Try to read between the lines/lies told to you through the media. Real patriots are now labeled terrorists because we believe in the Constitution set forth by our forefathers and what it stands for. You on the other hand are loved by the government because you so easily give up your rights and give them more power, but in our eyes you are nothing but non-patriotic citizens who hopefully will wake up and help take back our country alongside us.

mobiGeek says:

Re: Re: Re: Don't believe all the troll bait

The rest of the world knew exactly what the Bush administration did…and that’s why EVERY OTHER COUNTRY (except for the ultra-powerhouse Poland) refused, even under MASSIVE pressure, to not invade Iraq.

The true allies were side-by-side with the US when it came to the invasion of Afghanistan, and tried very desperately to help the realize the errors in their reasoning for invading Iraq.

American says:

Re: Re: Don't believe all the troll bait

Ok, 1. The war was voted forward by 90 some odd percent of the country. 2. The patriot act, which I opposed, was voted forward by a large majority. 3. The list that goes on and on does so because of a general lack of intelligence in the American voters…who are mostly Democrats.

Enough of the Bush Bashing. Whether you are for the war now or not, it’s most likely you were for it then, so the responsibility for it’s consequences weigh just as heavily on you. Quit pointing fingers and accept what you voted him to do.

JJI says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Don't believe all the troll bait

And who’s responsibility was it, Deb, to get the truth to you before you voted on the war? Was it the government’s responsibility? Was it network tv’s responsibility? NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! It was your responsibility. And as far as liberating Europe in 4 years goes…. We liberated Europe from a group of soldiers in uniforms. Don’t you think that if our current enemies would declare themselves as such, the war would now be over? Come on, grow up and start reading something besides those picture books.

mobiGeek says:

Re: Re:

Previous articles on TechDirt and others have pointed out that Gov’t official complain that no one pays attention in meetings due to BlackBerries.

Rather than deal with the problem appropriately, they take a heavy-handed, blunt-force approach

If the content of the meeting is not enough to retain people’s interest, then why hold the meeting? Or is it that the meeting is too long, too inefficient, too general?

Yep, don’t address the root problem. Eliminate the competition. Sounds almost….corporate.

haha says:

So reading through the comments, I almost forgot what the article was about. People, stop turning everything into party politics! Moving on, it is rather unfortunate that those running our government would display such a lack of common sense. I have to point out that security recovered the phones so it is not like our government was completely ignorant in this situation.

fat Tony says:

Not protected?

The reason they are left outside is because of EMSEC. Emission Security…any transmitter can somehow be used to transmit data if you are smart enough.

As far as I can tell, the reason they were not guarded is due to the fact that the secret service was recording the entire chain of events. Guarded…monitored…I can’t imagine that you would need some shlub to stand there and watch 10-30 phones. Particularly not when there is a camera watching. That is sorta the point of monitoring systems…sorta


Comedian says:

Re: Typical Libs

Your comment could have been a lot more cutting. For example,
“Wait aren’t the Libs Against more goverment monitoring?”, but I side track myself.
It takes 2 sides to create a situation like this, Perp and Victim. The Government were sitting big dumb and happy watching a TV monitor, mean while the Perp showed up on monitor stole stuff and was later apprihended.
This is one of 2 scenerios, 1- Government inappropriate level of security, or 2- Deliberate attempt to “leak” information or entangle someone. You can choose which one based on the level of your paranoia.

Bandit says:

To break it all down

I feel that every person who was voted in to some goverment office should only serve 2 terms. No matter if it was a pressendent or a congressmen or a senator and a repersenative. Then after they serve thier term or term’s should go back to thier civil live’s again. That way every thing would be changeing with the times.

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