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
    Mike Masnick (profile), 28 Sep 2012 @ 2:38pm

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

    No wonder Mike won't engage me (or any of the other critics) in a substantive discussion

    Not that it matters, but we've discussed this little lie of yours multiple times before. I can and do engage people who know how to act like they're older than a 2 year old. That's not you. But other critics, I debate all the time.

    Me debating Steve Tepp from the Chamber of Commerce:
    http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20120210/02273417726/how-being-more-ope n-human-awesome-can-save-anyone-worried-about-making-money-entertainment.shtml

    Me debating Jonathan Taplin:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120626/01023119476/innovation-copying-civil-disobedience .shtml

    Taplin and Tepp are two knowledgeable, respected individuals who have accomplished quite a lot more than you have. They are recognizable names in their fields and I was happy to debate each of them live in front of an audience where we could discuss things. I've also offered to debate each of them and others in a text format as well if they were open to it.

    We've gone over this many times before. I've engaged with you. Many times. And each time it ends in you stomping your foot like a whiny little child. You're already doing it today with your FUD FUD FUD comments. When you act like an adult, perhaps we'll treat you like one. Until then, explain once, firmly to the baby that he needs to stop throwing a temper tantrum. And move on.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-t echdirt.shtml#c1210

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