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

Reader Comments

The First Word

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    average_joe (profile), 1 Oct 2012 @ 8:16am

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

    Heck, I pointed out that you didn't respond to Pixelation at all, then you did and you STILL took shots at Mike in it.

    My answer to Pixelation is that I'm happy to post many, many issues that Mike has avoided. I'd love to post them and go through them one by one. But you and I both know that Mike doesn't want to do that.

    As I said, you aren't here to debate. We can all see why you're here, it's to insult Mike.

    I insult Mike because after YEARS of trying to get him to defend his claims, and him refusing, I've come to the inescapable conclusion that Mike is intentionally misrepresenting things/jumping to conclusions/working backwards/acting like a zealot.

    I would LOVE to debate Mike. He could decide to engage me right here in this thread, and I could prove to you all that I want to challenge him on the merits of his claims. But you and I both know that he won't engage me. He won't even give me the opportunity to debate him. Instead, he only has excuses for why he won't debate.

    So what you're claiming makes no sense. I'm right here in this thread ready to debate Mike on hundreds of claims he's made. Yet he's the one who won't engage me. You should ask yourself why he's always got an excuse, but he never just engages me to prove that I can't engage him in a meaningful and substantive manner. The only one preventing this debate is him. You're buying his excuses, but I think it's beyond obvious that he's running away, again, for the thousandth time.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.