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
    The Logician (profile), 28 Sep 2012 @ 2:32pm

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

    I'm pointing out the fact that this article is baseless FUD. It's Mike lashing out at anything and everything government-related that he can possibly cast aspersions on. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it's clear that Mike only cares about posting idiotic, anti-government/anti-authority nonsense.

    There is not one iota of evidence that the Secretary performs her duties less capably because she doesn't use email. This story epitomizes the essence of Mike Masnick. He runs with a story that makes someone in authority/government look bad, regardless of whether there's any actual actual evidence that there is in fact a problem.


    Yet you have not provided a single piece of empirical evidence to support your claim. Without such evidence, your claim is as baseless as you say Mike's is.

    Here's the extent of Mike's thought process: "Hey, that kind of makes someone in power look bad at first blush. New article! Fuck you, government servant!" That's how shallow he is.

    I *wish* Mike would conduct himself like Karl does, having intelligent discussions with those who challenge him. But Mike will *never* do that. All he cares about is pleasing the 4chan kiddies.

    No wonder Mike won't engage me (or any of the other critics) in a substantive discussion. He's just not *albe* to. It's all making sense to me now. What a waste of an ivy league MBA.


    I see you did not heed my words about changing the tone of your posts. Do not expect discourse when you hurl vitriol at anyone who speaks with you. This is why Mike and others do not engage you. Because of your arrogance and unwillingness to refrain from insults and condescension.

    Who knows, but I'll bet the CEO of USAirways can't fly a 737. Same thing for the guy who runs Amtrak- I doubt he could bring the Acela from NY to Boston.

    It is really so difficult, AC, to understand that one could move up from having done those things for many years to supervising them? In a company or organization with rational policies, this would be the norm, for experienced individuals to ascend to positions of leadership where their firsthand knowledge and expertise would aid them far more in their field than a generic business degree. Thus, if USAirways operated in a logical manner, its CEO would have been a pilot of its planes for many years before ascending to his current position, thereby possessing the experience necessary to guide such a company more wisely than a business graduate with no firsthand knowledge of how his or her business or organization and its components operate.

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