DHS Boss, In Charge Of Cybersecurity, Doesn't Use Email Or Any Online Services

from the that-would-be-a-problem dept

We've talked in the past about the problematic efforts to push for new cybersecurity regulations, especially when little to nothing has been done to show the actual problem. There has been quite a turf war over who would "own" cybersecurity within the federal government, with some wanting to give it to the Defense Department, where the NSA would control it (along with all your info), and others wanting to give it to the Department of Homeland Security. While neither option is ideal, DHS is clearly the lesser of two evils should it come to pass. It makes much more sense for this issue to be in the hands of a civilian organization rather than a military one -- especially a military one with a horrible track record when it comes to privacy. That said, it's tough to be enthusiastic about DHS either, given the various problems and abuses we've seen in that Department as well. Making matters even worse, it appears that the DHS boss, Janet Napolitano, who would effectively be in charge of cybersecurity, doesn't know much (if anything) about the internet, and seems rather proud of that fact, referring to herself as a Luddite:
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who is a key player in national cybersecurity efforts, said on Friday she doesn't use e-mail.

"Don't laugh, but I just don't use e-mail at all," she said during a discussion at a Cybersecurity Summit hosted by National Journal and Government Executive. She didn't explain what communications tools she does use.

President Obama, who appointed Napolitano, broke precedent by carrying his own BlackBerry device. But in response to a question about her personal cybersecurity practices, Napolitano said she avoids many online services. "I don't have any of my own accounts. Some would call me a Luddite," she said.
I don't think anyone should be laughing, but perhaps they should be very, very worried. Or, perhaps they should be asking why she's in that job when she doesn't seem to have the necessary experience. If it does come to pass that DHS gets control over new cybersecurity efforts, this seems like a good reason to find someone else who actually has some grasp on what it is that they're regulating.

Filed Under: cybersecurity, dhs, email, homeland security, janet napolitano, luddite, online services

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  1. icon
    average_joe (profile), 29 Sep 2012 @ 5:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's not a good apology, Mike. Only you could be a complete asshole while apologizing. But you did apologize nonetheless, and I appreciate it.

    Don't pretend for one second that I can't be engaged in a normal debate. I've been trying for YEARS to have a substantive discussion with you. All you do is change the subject, get hostile, lie, squirm, run away--anything but just have a normal conversation.

    Karl and I just had a very good conversation. Unlike you, Karl is not scared to stand behind his beliefs. As I mentioned above, someone made this comment: "Couldn't agree more. These discussion are some of the best I've seen on TechDirt." Source: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120915/13334520392/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdirt .shtml#c3329

    I've been hoping for years that you and I could have a productive discussion. I've tried everything I could, relentlessly, to get you to just have an honest back and forth. But you have refused, always with excuses, games, and ridicule.

    Here's a case in point: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120908/13441520319/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdirt .shtml#c6009

    You claimed: "*poof* AJ disappears into thin air."

    But I hadn't gone anywhere. I waited around for days to address the ONE question you claimed that I had been dodging. Finally, days later you showed back up: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120908/13441520319/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdirt .shtml#c6764

    You, of course, then refused to have the conversation that you claimed *I* was avoiding. I didn't avoid anything. Everyone can see that I stayed in that thread for days, waiting for you to have the conversation you were pretending I ran away from. All you had were excuses. That's all you ever have. And you, of course, wouldn't just have the conversation you claimed *I* didn't want to have.

    To pretend that I'm not able to engage you is laughable. I have over a hundred bookmarks of threads where you ran away, unwilling and unable to discuss some silly claim you'd made. You're a complete coward, Mike. You won't stand behind your own words because you know they're bullshit, and you care nothing about the truth. All you care about is manipulating people and spreading FUD. All I care about is the truth.

    I'm now 100% positive that you act in bad faith 100% of the time. For 2.5 years I've tried to get you open up and have meaningful discussion, but you have proved over and over and over again that you won't and you can't. I know you're trying to save face by pretending the problem is me, but the fact is that I've been ready, willing, and able to discuss issues with you for years--and all you've ever had were excuses. You're a complete fake and coward through and through. No wonder your most ardent fans are imbeciles.

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