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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The First Word

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  1. icon
    The Logician (profile), 28 Sep 2012 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It would be wise of you to refrain from posting as you do, Average, unless you wish to persist in this illogical course of action and continue to appear as clearly uninformed as your words and tone portray. Arrogance and condescension will not win you any minds, but rather only harm both your case and your reputation. I realize that as an attorney, you argue for a living, but there are times when it is more beneficial not to do so. This is one of those times. If you do not refrain from your insults and other derogatory methods of speech, they will continue to undermine everything you say. Falsehood and misrepresentation will take you nowhere. At least, nowhere that you wish to go. Therefore, I advise you to abandon them. Otherwise, your intellectual dishonesty will cling to you like a pair of Tiberian bats.

    It would also be wise of you to begin examining the government with a clear eye, as opposed to the clouded lenses you use now. Logic clearly dictates that the best individuals to supervise technology or any other field are those with many hours and years of experience with it. For example, Mr. Scott is the chief of Engineering because of his high degree of expertise and many years of experience in the operation and maintenance of the warp engines and their related technologies. It would neither be logical nor prudent to have an individual in charge who did not have such qualifications. Yet you appear to have no issues with an official supervising a field with which she herself admits she has no practical experience. To make and enforce policy in such an environment based on the decisions of one unfamiliar with what they are supervising would be both unwise and possibly dangerous.

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