Gross Incompetence?

As if we didn’t need another reason to disband the Department of Education (see its Dear Colleague letter for an example of its gross dishonesty), here’s another, of utter failure to perform. DoE isn’t taking care of its digital data.

The Education Department doesn’t hold nuclear launch codes. But its vast data trove on student-loan borrowers and their parents—and the nearly $100 billion it disburses in new loans every year—are reason enough to want the bureaucrats to prevent digital intrusions. ….
The stakes go well beyond personal privacy. Federal student loans outstanding exceed $1 trillion, and Team Obama is trying to forgive those debts. It would add injury to injury if cyber-fraudsters were able to pile on for a taxpayer plundering.

Personal Secrecy vs National Security

The latest batch of 3,105 emails includes 275 documents upgraded to “classified” since they landed in the former Secretary’s personal inbox. That brings the total number of classified docs found in the emails to 1,274. A State Department official told Fox News on Thursday that two of those emails were upgraded to “secret,” while most of the others were upgraded to “confidential.”

Because Democratic Party Presidential candidate and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s desire to keep her doings in our name as a Cabinet Secretary were more important than our national security.

We don’t need four more years of this from within the White House.

Another Thought on Encryption

Apple’s Tim Cook had one [emphasis added].

On your iPhone, there’s likely health information, there’s financial information. There are intimate conversations with your family or your co-workers. There’s probably business secrets, and you should have the ability to protect it. And the only way we know how to do that is to encrypt it. Why is that? It’s because, if there’s a way to get in, then somebody will find the way in. There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is, if you put a back door in, that back door’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys.

Maybe It’s Time

Banks fear a growing number of employees are unwittingly exposing valuable information to hackers or in some cases leaving digital clues that make a breach possible.

And

Several banks are also increasingly testing whether their employees unintentionally leave them susceptible to hackers by falling prey to “spear-phishing” attempts, in which criminals lure recipients to click on links.

And

Weeks after JP Morgan Chase & Co was hit with a massive data breach that exposed information from 76 million households, the country’s biggest bank by assets sent a fake phishing email as a test to its more than 250,000 employees. Roughly 20% of them clicked on it, according to people familiar with the email.

Encryption and Backdoors

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) wants (this is old news) a means for Government to read our private communications, most especially those we’ve chosen to encrypt. She wants Government to be able to penetrate that encryption, via, perhaps, a backdoor.

I think that Silicon Valley has to take a look at their products. [I]f you create a product that allows evil monsters to communicate in this way,…that is a big problem.

They have apps to communicate on, which cannot be pierced even with a court order[.]

On the one hand, perhaps hammers and screwdrivers should be Government controlled—they get used by evil monsters to commit mayhem.

Apology and Action

I would like to publicly renew my apology for this breach of trust and affirm my commitment to restoring it[.]

That’s what Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy said to a joint session of the House and Senate Homeland Security committees. The hearing focused on the Secret Service’s illegal search of Congressman Jason Chaffetz’ (R, UT) background. He also told the session that “dozens were being disciplined.” That discipline is limited to some agents—who are getting a whole 3-12 days of suspension—while no supervisors have been sanctioned.

We don’t even get to know who these few wrist-slappees are.

American Companies Beholden to Foreign Governments?

Now it appears that the Obama administration is taking yet another step to make us look like Europe: he’s negotiating an agreement that could end up requiring American companies, domiciled in America and operating in America, to report to European Union authorities.

Recall the European Court of Justice’s ruling last month that European citizens’ personal data that winds up being stored in the US as a result of various business deals is too exposed and the 15-yr-old, successful data-transfer Safe Harbor agreement between the US and the EU. This is the arrangement that’s being renegotiated, and potentially included in the new agreement is this:

Religious Bigotry in our High Schools

Bremerton, WA, High School football assistant coach Joe Kennedy has been suspended from coaching his high school football teams because after each game he leads a voluntary prayer session with his players and others wishing to join in at the 50 yard line.

The school district says it’s afraid of being seen as endorsing religion. It prefers, instead, to be seen as banning religion.

While the district appreciates Kennedy’s many positive contributions to the [Bremerton] football program, Kennedy’s conduct poses a genuine risk that the district will be liable for violating the federal and state constitutional rights of students or others[.]

Fatal Flaw

The “problem” with encryption of private communications is becoming empirical rather than hypothetical. Hillar Moore, District Attorney for East Baton Rouge, LA, says he’s one of 16 prosecutors to write the Senate Judiciary Committee calling for back doors into encrypted devices for law enforcement.

He, and other state and local prosecutors and police have a mix of smart phones owned by deceased victims and suspects that those government representatives can’t get into for any evidence related to the crimes being investigated because the phones are locked and the passwords are unavailable or the suspects refuse to give them up.

Power Grab

Here’s one worthy even of President Barack Obama’s legendary reach.

France’s data-protection regulator on Monday rejected Google Inc’s appeal of its order to expand Europe’s “right to be forgotten” to Google’s websites world-wide….

The French presume to extend their legal reach beyond their legal reach—beyond their borders.

France’s Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés, or CNIL, said that Google must now adhere to a formal order in May directing it to apply Europe’s right to be forgotten to “all domain names” of the search engine, including google.com—or face possible sanctions proceedings.