March 28, 2016

The origin of Hillary's email problem: "She hated having to put her BlackBerry into a lockbox before going into her own office."

WaPo reports:
She insisted on using her personal BlackBerry for all her email communications, but she wasn’t allowed to take the device into her seventh-floor suite of offices, a secure space known as Mahogany Row.... Her aides and senior officials pushed to find a way to enable her to use the device in the secure area. But their efforts unsettled the diplomatic security bureau, which was worried that foreign intelligence services could hack her BlackBerry and transform it into a listening device....

“The issue here is one of personal comfort,” one of the participants in [a meeting of security, intelligence and technology specialists], Donald Reid, the department’s senior coordinator for security infrastructure, wrote afterward in an email that described Clinton’s inner circle of advisers as “dedicated [BlackBerry] addicts.”

108 comments:

Robert Cook said...

Well, shit, if a high-level government official violates the law in favor of "personal comfort," that official should leave office.

MadisonMan said...

Rules are for little people.

Michael K said...

I think the FOIA was more important. That and the Clinton Foundation, which was the parent organization for the State Department then.

damikesc said...

Indeed. Don't return "Freddie Got Fingered" and face jail time.

Systematically violate laws on confidential document handling and become the front runner for the White House.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

She's really a piece of work, that one.

Comments at WaPo are not sympathetic to her.

Martha said...

"Clinton did not use desktop computers, she relied on her personal Blackberry."

Wow. In 2009 Hillary! did not use desktop computers. Wouldn't that degree of computer/tech ignorance disqualify Hillary! for any job beyond a minimum wage job flipping hamburgers in a fast food restaurant?

rhhardin said...

Women know about the need to be comfortable. Just look at thermostats.

SJ said...

Didn't Obama also want to use his personal BlackBerry?

sydney said...

Too freakin' bad. There's a lot of technology I would like to use with my patients to communicate but the government privacy laws make it nay well impossible. No sympathy. No sympathy at all.

Barry Dauphin said...

And that's why she needed a server at her house?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Martha said...

Wouldn't that degree of computer/tech ignorance disqualify Hillary! for any job beyond a minimum wage job flipping hamburgers in a fast food restaurant?

I think she would be eminently qualified for a job stamping out license plates...

Larry J said...

SJ said...
Didn't Obama also want to use his personal BlackBerry?


Why yes, yes he did.

I've had a security clearance for over 35 years as a condition of employment. Had I done even 1/100th of what Hillary did, not only would I lose my clearance and my job, I'd likely be in jail. Of course, laws are for the little people. No matter how much she needs to be prosecuted, she won't be.

Curious George said...

Bullshit. It had nothing to do with that.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Ask anyone who has worked for a tech company and had to practically silkwood shower before entering secure areas whether they have sympathy for her "personal comfort."

Xmas said...

SJ,

Obama had a Blackberry that was modified by the NSA. There is a an email thread in the Hillary dump about how the NSA didn't want to perform the same special modification for Hillary and her staff.

Ars Technica article about it.

Curious George said...

This is Hillary copping to a lesser offense so that the questions stop. She can survive this. And WaPo is happy to help.

Bob Ellison said...

I deduce that Hillary's not a touch-typist. I type quickly and hate using tiny buttons and thumbs for communication. I think most people who touch-type quickly feel similarly.

What might that mean? She probably never played the piano, at least not well. She may have avoided typing class as a feminist thing. She may consider composing text to be a menial task, something done by an underling of some kind.

She probably goes to this blog once a week or so (first commanding an underling to type out "althouse.blogspot.com") and thinks of commenting. She starts talking at the computer screen, but it refuses to type out her responses. The computer screen dims brightness both in sympathy for her lack of same and in disgust at her terrible delivery-- too slow, too varying in accent, and too shouty. Computers don't like that. They're quite touchy about spoken words. Like cats.

Brando said...

Still, none of her explanations are believable. Being annoyed at not being able to take your blackberry into an office suite might explain why you would bring the device into the suite against policy, or sometimes "forget" to leave it in the lockbox. It might explain why you would check your personal e-mail from your work account--relatively simple actions that may have seemed harmless to you, even though you know you're breaking some rules to do so. Convenience often gets us to cut corners.

But here she went through a LOT of trouble--setting up a separate server, hiring outsiders to put it together and maintain it, and of course Hillary had a large group of advisers working for her at State--all of course having access to the Department's policies and the lawyers who could advise on those. To go through the trouble she went through simply so she could take her blackberry into more places? It's simply not believable that she would not have had the question run by the General Counsel's office at State, or otherwise confirmed that this would be okay. This isn't a quick "hey tech support, can you fix this thing?" sort of task. This was a lot of trouble she and her people went through to set it up, and at no point did they get clearance to do so.

Americans don't trust her on this issue not because Republicans poisoned their minds, or because no one will give the Clintons a break. They don't trust her because she still has no believable explanation for this, and the only possibilities that remain are pretty damning.

Gabriel said...

Horseshit. She rejected the State Department-issued Blackberry because it was subject to FOIA.

And that's the reason she had her own email server: she wanted FOIA searches to turn up nothing.

Meade said...

"She starts talking at the computer screen, but it refuses to type out her responses. The computer screen dims brightness both in sympathy for her lack of same and in disgust at her terrible delivery-- too slow, too varying in accent, and too shouty. Computers don't like that. They're quite touchy about spoken words. Like cats."

Haha

Steve Uhr said...

When DOJ gave immunity to the computer guy a couple weeks ago, Hillary's people said that signals the end of the investigation. In fact it is the opposite.Typically it is at the beginning of the investigation that low-level people who won't talk voluntarily are compelled to testify before the grand jury. Odd DOJ waited this long given what is at stake.

Danno said...

Is this the same lockbox where our Social Security funds are kept?

Wilbur said...

Lies. All lies.

When there are no consequences to your lies, you continue to do so.

Trump is the licorice popsicle. Yuck. Hillary remains the turd on a stick. What would you choose?

MaxedOutMama said...

Larry J - that is why this situation is so deeply disturbing to me. I don't have a security clearance but I am close to several who do. Knowing that this will not be punished just reinforces that we are a country ruled not by law but by connection.

It seems to me to embody the decay of our democracy. I genuinely fear for the ending.

coupe said...

I think she is correct, that way too much information is classified at too high a level.

While she doesn't really get to vote on that, she can still bully her way, and people will step aside if their worthless government jobs are at stake.

It's the way government works. There are those at the top, and then everyone else.

AJ Lynch said...

If she were a Republican, she'd have been shunned already and never considered again for any govt role.

MaxedOutMama said...

Regarding the information in the article, which is pinging my bullshit meter in a very aggressive manner:
Kennedy is the one who wrote the email (later) about FOIA, a secured Blackberry, and referenced Clinton's email server being down (after the big storm). So at some point he knew, and apparently the FOIA issue was a known concern of Clinton's aides, at a minimum.

It turns out that Pagliano was hired at State as a political appointee, and that he had been worked for Clinton before being hired. So he was brought in apparently for this purpose? Nor was he really being "paid privately" for his services - checks may have been cut, but the political job at State was the payoff.

Last, but not least, the email account was set up before Clinton was even confirmed, which makes it unlikely that the "comfort issue" was the motivation. Nor was the use of the server confined to Clinton - her top aides, including Mills and Abedin, all had accounts and used them. The fact that these were Clinton Foundation employees is disturbing.

What it looks like to me is that there was an utter entanglement between State and the Clinton Foundation, and that the intent and motivation was to hide this entanglement, thus the concern over FOIA. The, ah, strategic omissions in Clinton Foundation IRS reporting appear likely to have had the same goal.

Finally, we have the Blumenthal problem, which may be unrelated - how was he getting his hands on such secret information? We also have the Huma Abedin getting paid by everyone at the same time.

The flagrant disrespect for law and ethics disqualifies her for the Presidency.

Birkel said...

The WaPo is perfectly cromulent to help Hillary's modified, limited hang-out.

Brando said...

What's really sad is that Bernie Sanders is the best hope for keeping Hillary out of the White House. Odds are heavily against Trump stopping her, and the only snag in her coronation is the upstart Vermont socialist who has shown serious staying power in the primaries.

holdfast said...

This is just Clinton's latest lie of defense, another fallback position to hide the truth. She wanted to avoid FOIA and scrutiny by her nominal boss BHO.

AprilApple said...

Everybody breaks the law for personal comfort. When Democrats do it, you're supposed to applaud them and then shrug it off as a VRWC.

Besides, she gave herself permission and "everybody has a private server."

Luckily for Hillary, the pro-dem hack press lets her get away with the confusion between private e-mail and private server.

Bob Ellison said...

coupe said, "I think she is correct, that way too much information is classified at too high a level."

That's irrelevant.

I think speed limits are too constricting, so I go 50 when the sign says 35.

Obey the law, or don't. We're getting to the point where the law carries no weight. Marijuana, speed limits, employment (especially of illegals), even voting-- who cares what the law says?

Abraham Lincoln spoke eloquently of the problem of the rule of law. Laws can restrict behavior and control bad impulses, but they can also compel behavior...but that ability to compel dissolves when bad, stupid, offensive, or destructive laws are passed.

Hillary, like Trump, assumes that laws and morals don't apply to her. She's outside the rule-of-law arena. People like that are everywhere and always will be.

But don't elect them to any office.

Brando said...

"What it looks like to me is that there was an utter entanglement between State and the Clinton Foundation, and that the intent and motivation was to hide this entanglement, thus the concern over FOIA. The, ah, strategic omissions in Clinton Foundation IRS reporting appear likely to have had the same goal."

There's a lot of theories as to why she did this--hiding official business connected to the Foundation, using improper backchannels through Blumenthal or Abedin--to me what matters is there is no legitimate explanation (I can't think of one, and I have not seen any Clinton defender come up with one--and Clinton most of all has failed to come up with one, so the truth must be pretty bad).

This election cycle, it was all supposed to be so well set for her after the 2008 disappointment. Bill was to talk Trump into running to mess up the GOP (it worked), the DNC and the rest of the Clinton strong-arm operation cleared the Dem field for her (except for Sanders, though he's a long shot)--and then along comes her e-mail scandal, just to remind us that this isn't the "New Clinton" any more than in 1968 we had a "New Nixon". This was a warning, people.

Michael McClain said...

The Clintons' contempt for the rule of law is well documented.

CWJ said...

Curious George succinctly nails it. It's the magician asking you to focus on his free hand, not the one in his pocket. It may have a grain of truth, but it's not the reason.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I didn't know that a foreign intelligence service could turn a BlackBerry into a listening device.

I hope they're not working on cats.

holdfast said...

This paragraph in the linked article completely undermines the headline and premise. It also shows an additional, potentially more serious security violation:

"Clinton used her BlackBerry as the group continued looking for a solution. But unknown to diplomatic security and technology officials at the department, there was another looming communications vulnerability: Clinton’s Black­Berry was digitally tethered to a private email server in the basement of her family home, some 260 miles to the north in Chappaqua, N.Y., documents and interviews show."

MikeR said...

Confusing article. I thought this whole story was dreamed up by Faux News - what's with that?

PB said...

I guess trading in a personal blackberry for a government blackberry was so difficult...

Because her offices were a SCIF, putting it in a lockbox and then using the computer in her office to access email or forwarding her cellphone to her office phone was such a burden...

It should be clear to even the most idiotic supporter that Hillary's sole interest was keeping her emails, texts, and records of phone calls away from scrutiny by Congress and the public via FOIA requests. This in itself is a sufficient crime to mark her unfit for office. Other crimes she committed multiply and add to the charges.

She should go to jail.

Sebastian said...

1. She deliberately set up a private server to handle all of her email 2. At least some of her email was bound to contain classified or top secret information. 3. Therefore, regardless of particular markings on particular messages, she knowingly and intentionally violated the law from the outset.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Her desire to keep using her Blackberry has very little if anything to do with her decision to set up her own email sever.

Every time you hear Hillary or one of her spokespersons say "other SecStates used personal email" ask them who in the past set up their own personal email system/server and used it for government business. The answer, as far as I can tell, is no one.

You can feel that this is the line Hillary wants to push because SecState Rice and her staff received waivers to allow them to use Blackberries. The number of waivers & Blackberries in use for secure comms grew and the department revised its regs to say that they would no longer be approved. Hillary's trying to set up an argument that what she did was the same as what Rice/previous SecStates did. It is not, and we shouldn't let her pretend like it is.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Gotta love the WashPo writer giving credit for breaking the story to the NYTimes and AP before mentioning a few paragraphs down that it was Judicial Watch's FOIA requests (and the realization that the responses to some of those requests were nonsensical--finding that the SecState had 0 emails on certain topics within the State Dept. system) that really broke it open.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Also this article points out that her first emails through her "basement server" happened in Jan 2009, but does not point out that Clinton herself has said that her first use of it was in April or May of 2009.
Eh, at this point what do a few months matter, right?

Big Mike said...

I held a SCI clearance for thirty years and worked in secured areas for most of that time. Yes, it is awkward to remember to take your cell phone or BlackBerry off your belt, and, more of a challenge, to remember to pick it up on your way back out. However, IT IS A CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT, not to mention that repeated violations (assuming that you are still around after the second violation) can put you on the wrong side of the bars in Leavenworth.

In addition to the contempt that Hillary Clinton has shown for the law, this episode says a lot about the Obama administration's lax approach to security.

Item: Healthcare.gov (the Obamacare website) was rolled out on October 1, 2013, with no security whatsoever for the customer-furnished HIPAA-protected health information (PHI) or personally identifiable information (PII). This was claimed to have been fixed last year, but not every security expert agrees that the data is safe. Certainly sensitive customer-provided is known to be shared by the government with private corporations so that the latter can do advertising -- if you are an Obamacare user, have you wondered why third parties know so much about your health issues?

Item: The OPM data breach of 2015 (which actually took place in 2014), included not only names and social security numbers, but even fingerprints. This covered millions -- millions! -- of current and former government employees.

Item: The hack of Department of Defense form SF86 data, which is not only mandatory for people to fill out to acquire and maintain their security clearances, but which, besides PII, contains extremely sensitive data about relatives out to step-brothers and step-sisters, potential blackmail issues (!), financial data, arrest history, etc.

This administration simply doesn't care about data privacy and securing the personal data it collects, but even by those standards Hillary Clinton was not merely lax but in open violation.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I mean, the Clinton cronyism/government corruption/Moncia Lewinski job @Revlon angle is pretty bad, too:

In May 2009, with Kennedy's help, Pagliano landed a job as a political employee in the State Department’s IT division, documents and interviews show. It was an unusual arrangement.

At the same time, Pagliano apparently agreed to maintain the basement server. Officials in the IT division have told investigators they could not recall previously hiring a political appointee.



If Clinton wants to argue now that Pagliano continued to provide support/security services for her personal email server and was paid for it wouldn't he need some waiver from State that would allow him to do so (to hold his State job & another)? What is it with these Clinton folks like Huma who decide it's cool to draw several simultaneous salaries despite rules preventing that--is it just that the Clintons have always gotten away with it so they just assume the rules don't really apply?

Tom said...

When John Kasich became governor in Ohio, is was more than a little irritated that he couldn't use an iPhone or iPad with his state email and that state employees were on a bunch of different domains - in fact, there was no way to search for a state employee's email in a single system. But instead of carving out a special status for himself, he realized that if he was irritated, it was likely the rest of the state was trapped in antiquated systems. So he pushed an IT transformation that sets the state up for the future. Now, this mean breaking down political silos, consolidating agencies, and centralizing some IT function. But the results are starting to come in and it's really boosting the performance of state government.

Contrast this with Hillary.

Michael said...

Hillary knew her Blackberry had not been compromised because she herself had secretly applied a thin coat of Gorilla Glue where it would open and into a critical spot she put a tiny hair that if missing would signal the fact that the phone's security had been breached.

Meade said...

"she put a tiny hair"

You mean, like from a cloth?

The Drill SGT said...

Robert Cook said...
Well, shit, if a high-level government official violates the law in favor of "personal comfort," that official should leave office.


Cookie, we disagree a lot, but it's always polite on my part. That's why I'm taking a second to generally agree with you here, but I'd go farther and add:

that official should leave office, and "Go to Jail, do not pass Go"

PS: I've held a TS for the last 45+ years and put my iphone in the slot outside the SCIF.

Michael said...

Do you think if you worked for Apple in the development area that it would be OK for you to send secret code to a colleague across the world on your Gmail account because it was more convenient for you? Do you think Mr. Cook would be cool with that? Do you think there is any possibility that there are those who would be more than a little interested in the content of those unsecure emails?

More stunning than Hillary's stupidity is the cluelessness of the press who bought her argument that she never sent anything marked Top Secret from her Blackberry. Hillary and the press apparently believe that the machine itself determines the quality of the content and so marks it.

holdfast said...

Putting aside the homebrew server for a minute. When Clinton was overseas, all of her emails, sent AND received, were being transmitted unencrypted over local cellular data services. Think about it - we're talking places like China where the telcos are government owned or at least very cozy with the regime. That's a huge additional vulnerability, since she was just using an off-the-shelf commercial BBerry.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Here's another instance where reporters are just taking Clinton's word for it, again:

The number of emails moving through the basement system increased quickly as Hillary Clinton dove into the endless details of her globetrotting job. There were 62,320 in all, an average of 296 a week, nearly 1,300 a month, according to numbers Clinton later reported to the State Department. About half of them were work-related.

How does he know half were work related? About half were deleted and no one outside of the FBI has yet to see 'em...why would he assume that they weren't work-related? Why would anyone take Clinton's word on this point? The method Clinton's team claims was used to find work emails was apparently to search for a few keywords, and if not found to delete the email. I'm not sure that's been confirmed (on the record) as what happened, but even if it did why the hell would anyone think that's sufficient to determine which were work-related (esp. when the people doing the determinations work for Clinton) and which weren't?

I'm not sure on what basis the reporter feels comfortable flatly stating "about half were work related."

Michael said...

In addition to Gorilla Glue on her Blackberry's hinges Hillary had developed other "tradecraft" to insure that her server in her closet at her home was not "hacked". The door to the closet, for example, was a false door and someone wishing to infiltrate the closet would turn and turn the knob forever and the "door" would not open.

The actual entrance to the closet was through a false bookcase in an adjacent room and on the top of the knob Hillary placed a tiny hair that if not there would signal that someone had "hacked" her world wide web server.

Fernandinande said...

Why's everybody always pickin' on me?

holdfast said...

Why's everybody always pickin' on me?

The updated version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaGKxAgCguU

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I last worked in a SCIF before cell phones were around. Are cell phones able to send and receive calls/data within a SCIF? ( I'm not asking if it is allowed, I'm asking if they can successfully communicate with the cell tower ). I would have thought that the SCIF was shielded such that the signals would not get through.

Not being able to send/receive does not remove the security risk, since the device could be used to record audio/video, then carry that information out in memory. Carrying info out on recorded media is a big no-no (except through certain elaborate procedures. )

I remember someone having a baby shower, and one of the gifts brought in to them was a video on VHS. Once the person opened the gift, they had to notify the security department. Even though it was still in unopened shrink-wrap, the only way they were allowed to remove it from the SCIF was if they first had it degaussed. ( They didn't bother, instead turning it over to security for destruction. )

Jane the Actuary said...

So in her own telling, she wanted this system so that she could send out personal e-mail on company time?

Meade said...

Hillary: "Perhaps we could just [email on our BlackBerries] softly, sir."

YoungHegelian said...

I saw this article last night & was amazed that the WaPo was dedicating so much space to it. I mean, it just goes on & on!

I strongly suspect that the release of this article by the WaPo means that they know that something is going to break fairly soon, i.e. that the FBI will request an indictment or there will be resignations in protest.

But, the article brought up a technical question for me, that I don't know the answer to: was HRC's basement server for her Blackberry running MS Exchange or was it running Blackberry Server? Doesn't change the legal aspects any, but it gives me some insight into what Pagliano had to deal with.

Meade said...

Can't we just be satisfied that she finally upgraded to a BlackBerry from her shoe phone?

William said...

There a lot of words in that WaPo article, and, if you're not technically literate, your eyes glaze over. The writer did state that there is no evidence that her server had ever been hacked. For heaven's sake, why not? Wouldn't her server be a desirable target for a foreign intelligence service and aren't there ways of doing it that minimize the evidence of hacking?.......I'd be interested to learn if anyone in the intelligence community considers this a greater breach of security than the Valerie Plame affair?...........Slightly off topic: I saw the movie Bridge of Spies. In that movie about espionage, the screenwriter tactfully omits mention of the fact that Powers U2 plane was brought down by a proximity fuse that had been supplied to the Soviets courtesy of the Rosenberg spy ring.

khesanh0802 said...

I think the WAPO article deserves Ann's Bull Shit tag. As many have pointed out this is a smoke screen. Although having the WAPO even acknowledge that there was, indeed, a security issue is progress!

YoungHegelian said...

@Ignorance,

Are cell phones able to send and receive calls/data within a SCIF?

In theory, no. But, no one wants to take a chance that there might be radio-frequency "leakage" which would allow the cellular device to communicate with the outside.

Also, think of how easy it would be on a hacked cellular device to implement a program like the following:

/* Assume presence in SCIF */

If (location co-ordinates = State Dept's) AND (Carrier Signal is Lost)
Turn on microphone
Turn on Voice record
End

/* Outside of SCIF, export recordings */

When (Carrier Signal is Regained)
Turn off Voice Record
Turn off microphone
Send recording file over cellular network to IP address in China
End

And, voila!, you have the voice recording of every meeting HRC was in.

There are Tech guys in Chinese State Security who could do this in a heartbeat.

holdfast said...

@YoungHegelian

Re your hypothetical little trojan / script:

If a device were connected to a network which had been compromised (i.e. a Chinese cel phone carrier in Beijing), how hard would it be for that network to force that script onto the phone?

holdfast said...

I suppose we should blame House of Cards and other similar shows for giving the impression that everyone in government gets to use the latest iPhone.

holdfast said...

I also found the NSA's reaction to Clinton's flunkies' request for an "Obamaized" BBerry to be interesting. Since one would assume that government officials generally like to keep the SecState happy and on side, I must assume that the visceral reaction was caused by one, or both of the following (1) Obama's special POTUS Blackberry was hella expensive - like eight figures expensive (not the device, but making the bberry server software work with the White House infrastructure - and presumably making it NOT route through Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, as does most other BBerry traffic), and/or (2) the NSA harbors a visceral hatred of the Clintons from the 1990s.

Mary Beth said...

AJ Lynch said...

If she were a Republican, she'd have been shunned already and never considered again for any govt role.

3/28/16, 8:30 AM


And every comedian would be making jokes about her technical incompetence. Imagine if it had been Sarah Palin who was incapable of using a computer.

YoungHegelian said...

@holdfast,

how hard would it be for that network to force that script onto the phone?

Unless HRC kept her BB up to meticulously up to date, fairly easy. Every cell phone is essentially a small computer with a full blown operating system (Android, iOS, or BB OS). They all have known security holes which the vendors struggle mightily to patch. BUT, & this is a big "but" here, when those patches are not meticulously applied, those same patch lists become a "how to" list for every hacker to work through & try.

If a hack allows the hacker to gain "root" (administrator access), then the script I outlined above would be a piece of cake to install. The two problems are: having the script coded, tested, & ready to go & having the opportunity to accomplish the hack.

Bruce Hayden said...

But, the article brought up a technical question for me, that I don't know the answer to: was HRC's basement server for her Blackberry running MS Exchange or was it running Blackberry Server? Doesn't change the legal aspects any, but it gives me some insight into what Pagliano had to deal with.

I have repeatedly heard it was MS Exchange.

YoungHegelian said...

@Bruce Hayden,

I have repeatedly heard it was MS Exchange.

Me too, but this last WaPo article left some doubts in my mind about that.

I can well imagine some reporter along the way talking to some Geek Security Expert who just assumed it was Exchange, for whatever reasons, & the reporter, not knowing better, put supposition down as fact. From that point on, it set like cement.

Bob Boyd said...

"Alberto Brandolini is reputed to have said: 'The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.' This is the unbearable asymmetry of bullshit"

A bright young guy named Chetan Hebbale has taken on the large magnitude job described above with regard to Hillary's email scandal.
At the link is his well written, very thorough explanation of a complicated topic. This article is long, but well worth reading all the way through IMO.

Teaser quote:"As you will see, there is an email which contains information that implicates a US ally in being responsible for the attack that killed 4 Americans at the US consulate in Benghazi. She has either deleted that email, or has it on her original private server (and illegally migrated it to the Platte River Networks server), but it is now in the hands of the State Department who is refusing to release it to the public."

https://informedvote2016.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/do-i-really-need-to-worry-about-hillarys-emails-yes-she-will-be-indicted-full-form/

Ignorance is Bliss said...

YoungHegelian said...

In theory, no. But, no one wants to take a chance that there might be radio-frequency "leakage" which would allow the cellular device to communicate with the outside.

That's what I thought. In which case her wanting to take her blackberry inside in order to keep up with emails is bullshit. She could use it to look at past emails that were already downloaded, or to write new emails to be sent later. But all sending and receiving would require taking the device outside the SCIF

My name goes here. said...

Curious George for the win.

Ok, so she never quit using her unsecure blackberry? Did she just agree that she carried an unsecured device that would communicate on open cellular networks in every country she visited?

Further, let's pretend for a minute that she had a secure blackberry device. How does that in any way mitigate her use of an external email server? Do not see how it makes any difference at all. She received, it seems, classified information on that server, and she sent, it seems, classified information on that server. So did her underlings that also had accounts on that server. Had she a secure blackberry she would still have an unsecure server.

Please let me know what I have wrong.

traditionalguy said...

The dummy Hillary wanted to keep her secrecy secret from the USA authority in charge of secrecy.She knew well that from the White House on down all were corrupt.

tim in vermont said...

"Judge, I had to run the red light, otherwise I would have had to stop."

Bruce Hayden said...

You can tell, I think, that it is BS, by how they address Hillary's excuses. Her original one apparently was that there was no classified information on her server. But, that would be ridiculous, if she solely used a private server for official business. She was Secretary of State, and was apparently one of maybe a half dozen original classifiers (or whatever they call them) in the govt. This means that she took advanced training in order to oversee the State Department classification system. She wanted us to believe that no one had sent her classified information in the four years that she was Secretary of State. None. In a Department that classifies most everything. That is ridiculous. Turns out that about 1/15 of her emails that were reviewed contained classified information. If she were honest about only deleting personal emails, then we are talking 1/30. But, she never is honest, so who is kidding whom? And, her next claim that none of it was marked "classified" is almost as laughable. By now, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people have gone through the same basic training that she did, and signed the same forms that she did, and in them, essentially agreed that whether or not information is marked "classified" is irrelevant. As if none of those thousands of people who had signed the same forms and been through the same training wouldn't remember it. And, of course, we come to find stuff on her server that had been marked classified, but the security markings had been removed - and, indeed, we see email where she requests just that.

The smoking gun may be the exchange where the subject of FOIA was brought up, and her people studiously ignored it. Just seeing bypassing FOIA in an email should have set off alarms in her lawyerly brain. WE are left to believe that this was a function, and not a bug, in her adoption of a private email server and insecure private Blackberry.

And, that latter has been ignored. She not only used her personal insecure Blackberry in the executive offices area that is normally protected from such (and all the vulnerabilities that come with it, like other parties being able turn on her phone and use it as a listening device, in the inner precincts at the top of the State Department). But, she also took that same insecure Blackberry all around the world, including into a number of enemies, some of which have repeatedly shown the technical expertise to hack both emails and phone calls. And, turn on cell phones to act as listening devices.

Someone the other day in another comment stream thought that my characterization of this woman was wrong, that she wasn't stupid, but was rather had a narcissistic personality. I actually think that both may be true - stupid and narcissistic.

tim in vermont said...

Nixon might not be rolling in his grave, but his eyes are.

John Henry said...


Blogger Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I didn't know that a foreign intelligence service could turn a BlackBerry into a listening device.

Not just a foreign intelligence service, it is actually a fairly trivial hack. This is why you should keep your phone in your pocket at all times, to muffle the sound. Makes it harder to head.

If you have a camera or a mike attached to your computer or laptop, disconnect it or physically disable it. Tape over the lens, epoxy in the mike hole. Don't just turn the camera/mike off or even remove the driver. Drivers can be reinstalled remotely and the camera/mike turned on without your knowledge.

Remember a few years ago where a student in NJ was outed and committed suicide because some "friends" were able to see him with his laptop camera? He thought the laptop was turned off.

Remember a year or two before that where some folks from the school district were watching high school girls in their bedrooms via school supplied MacBooks?

You do know that Chrome defaults to the mike being on and Google listening, don't you? And that even if you jump through the hoops to turn it off, they keep turning it back on.

Yeah. If you are OK with all this, fine by me. Just don't complain if a video of you watching pron and waxing your rocket turns up on the internet.


It doesn't take a foreign government or even any great deal of skill to do though.

John Henry

tim in vermont said...

Blackberry's uniquely talk to BlackBerry servers. It's encrypted, but the carrier has the keys. Signaling is not encrypted and could be manipulated by actors with access, which is to say any govt. All data streams were certainly recorded for analysis.

The Drill SGT said...

One more thing that I don't understand:

Given that State requested strange permissions form the NSA IA guys and were rebuffed, and Given that NSA runs a dedicated in-house hacking team designed to try and penetrate the same Federal agencies for which it provides IA oversight, one wonders why the quite irregular State operation didn't make it to the DIRNSA desk in 2010?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Bruce Hayden said...

She wanted us to believe that no one had sent her classified information in the four years that she was Secretary of State. None.

I don't believe this is accurate. There is a separate system for handling classified information. She had access to that system, and presumably sent and received classified information there. ( That does not change the fact that she also sent and received classified information on her personal email/server. )

tim in vermont said...

Blackberry's encryption has been hacked in the past. It is up to the carrier to update the algorithm. They maybe could force carriers to run obsolete versions which the device would fall back to.

The Drill SGT said...

OT:

Most people think that US Marines are at Embassies to protect the staff, show the flag and guard the walls.

not so, that is the function of the arm of State called Diplomatic Security.

The ultimate mission of the USMC in any given Embassy is to buy enough time for the NSA crypto guys, the NSA exploitation team and the CIA station chief, along with FBI, DEA, etc to purge their files and put thermite on top of all the gear.

I have never been inside an Embassy comm center, but long long ago I was a shift chief in an NSA comm center in Vietnam. I expect they operate in the same fashion. The banks of crypto gear were in racks. There was a wiring harness installed, and at each machine branched out a line with alligator clips on it. In case of a destroy order, sheets of thermite would be laid on top of each device and the alligator clips attached. We'd remove the paper to burn drums in the yard, smash some gear with hammers, don air tanks, then hook the wiring harness to car batteries to ignite. The Crypto Warrant would try to verify destruction and get the message back to Mother before we headed for the trench line.

The Drill SGT said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
There is a separate system for handling classified information.


at least three

JWICS terminals for TS/SCI
SIPRNET (DoD) for Secret
and either NIPRNET (DoD) or the equivalent State system for normal unclass but FOUO stuff that still can't go on a Hillary system

none of them interconnected

Unknown said...

Sebastian says all that needs to be said on the email issue; she was Secretary of State, so was hardly going to be zinging emails back and forth about the menu of the State department staff canteen. Given her high office, almost anything that would come through her email system would be sensitive and all this noise about "not marked classified" from the NYT/WaPo crowd is nonsense.

tim in vermont said...

147 FBI agents investigating nothing burger.

holdfast said...

"We'd remove the paper to burn drums in the yard"

Burning paper, especially thick books or binders of it, is harder than one might think. I recently had occasion to dispose of a few boxes of old bank statements and the like, as well as some old confidential work documents, and since I also had to get rid of some old gasoline, I decided to exploit the synergies of those two tasks in an old 45 gallon drum. The individual sheets of paper burned easily, but the 200 page documents were a royal pain. The outside would burn nicely, but there would be tens of pages on the inside that were only a little singed.

I would hope that the NSA, CIA, DIA, etc. now have robust cross-cut shredders that can rapidly reduce whole books to confetti. And then one can burn the confetti to be extra-sure.

Sam L. said...

In other words,entitlement.

The Drill SGT said...

Holdfast, I agree in general and that's why we didn't plan to use the "burner" that normally consumed the burn bags, but even if you put books or binders in that 55 gallon drum it works, as long as you dont think that gasoline and a match will do the job.

Thermite burns through engine blocks. We had sheets an half inch thick and about 1 square foot. Put two of those inside, on the top of a barrel of paper and you have molten metal burning down through your binders. The only issue is keeping the burn vertical, lest if come out the sides of the barrel :)

PS: in 71, shredders were not that good

Bruce Hayden said...

One of the more interesting things that they skipped over involved the notorious Sydney "Darth" Blumenthal. As most here remember, Obama and his people denied Hillary's request to hire him as one of her State Department minions, likely because of how he attacked Obama during their nomination fight. No problem, Hillary hires him through the family foundation. And, this leaves Blumenthal to make money from other sources, including some that were trying to get security contracts in a soon to be liberated Libya. He was her personal spy (ignoring his other clients). But, what was apparently surprising was finding an email from him to her apparently concerning the Sudan that included Top Secret/Special Intelligence (and above - one was apparently issued under the GAMMA compartment) information from four different NSA documents. It was so blatant that it contained an entire paragraphs from one of those Top Secret/Special Intelligence sources. And, making it worse - Hillary got it from Blumenthal hours after they documents were originally released by the NSA in Top Secret/Special Intelligence channels. This was information that Blumenthal could not legally have (and, thus, was committing federal crimes in possessing it, and further crimes by sending it to Hillary).

Hillary Has an NSA Problem ends with:
"There are many questions here about what Hillary Clinton and her staff at Foggy Bottom were up to, including Sidney Blumenthal, an integral member of the Clinton organization, despite his lack of any government position. How Mr. Blumenthal got hold of this Top Secret-plus reporting is only the first question. Why he chose to email it to Ms. Clinton in open channels is another question. So is: How did nobody on Secretary Clinton’s staff notice that this highly detailed reporting looked exactly like SIGINT from the NSA? Last, why did the State Department see fit to release this email, unredacted, to the public?"

tim in vermont said...

Even if Hillary had her own BB server, all the network equipment along the way is basically on the honor system to direct her messages to it.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't believe this is accurate. There is a separate system for handling classified information. She had access to that system, and presumably sent and received classified information there. ( That does not change the fact that she also sent and received classified information on her personal email/server. )

Are you sure about that? She apparently didn't have a State Department user id, nor any State Department accounts. She apparently never used a computer at work, which presumably includes never using one connected to the classified network in the State Department.

The Drill SGT said...

Bruce,

I interpreted "access" as, "some minion in the office to log into JWICS and print the summaries for her daily briefing..."

Hillary's hands have never touched a full size keyboard. Ever IMHO, eveah...

holdfast said...

Drill:

That makes sense. I've used Thermite during demolitions - for steel cutting, specifically. Which is why it never occurred to me to use it in a thin steel drum : )

Still, if done properly I imagine it is "safe enough for government work".

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Bruce Hayden said...

Are you sure about that?

I'm sure there are separate systems for classified information, with separate user ids and separate accounts.

She apparently didn't have a State Department user id, nor any State Department accounts. She apparently never used a computer at work, which presumably includes never using one connected to the classified network in the State Department.

In what way is any of that apparent? What is your source of information? Was that source clear about the distinction between classified and unclassified systems?

Or, as someone else suggested, she might have not had classified information sent to her, but rather had it sent to one of her minions, who then presented it to her verbally, printed, or projected onto a monitor for her.

Either way, it is far easier to believe that she set up a system that she never really intended to use for classified information, but within which she was careless about leakage, and even specifically requested some of that leakage, then it is to believe that she set up a system in which all of the classified information that would normally flow to the SoS through the classified system would instead be routed, over the air gap, to her unclassified system.

Bruce Hayden said...

I can see having minions print it out and bring it to you (assuming that they remain in a secure area), and my guess is that is what Sec. Rice did. That is what minions are for. I have seen this on multiple occasions in the practice of law. In one case, corporate patent counsel of a communications company all here would recognize (and better than 100 patent attorneys working for him) would have his secretary print out all his emails. He would then pen responses, which she would then key in responses and send them to recipients. He also disallowed voice mail for his attorneys, under the pretext that attorneys don't do voicemail - he considered it nonprofessional, until the CEO, under pressure from his engineering VPs, forced him to. And, then he had that secretary listen and transcribe his voicemails for him. As techies, his people and the engineers he worked with laughed at someone in his position being that technophobic. But, realistically, he probably operated more efficiently as a result. Unfortunately, by then, his attorneys didn't have the secretarial staff to follow his lead. I should also point out that when I was in a largish law firm, that some of the senior partners were not much better, and, we did see some of the same sort of printing out email, penning responses, and then having the secretaries type in the responses. They claimed efficiencies (but that only applied to senior partners, not the rest of us). I prefer to think that they were all technophobes.

The Drill SGT said...

holdfast said...
Still, if done properly I imagine it is "safe enough for government work".


If the situation is such that the salient question in everybody's mind is,

"Are they going to take prisoners?"

then burning out drums isn't an issue

tim in vermont said...

Plus, last time I checked, a BB server had to be hooked to the signaling network. That is not open to the public because of the vast potential for every sort of mischief. NSA has access, of course.

Birches said...

That article was damning. I think it's the beginning of the end for Hillary.

Michael said...

Hillary's tradecraft included the repeated typing of false headings of Top Secret on her emails which went to family and friends and Yoga teachers. The thousands of such emails wasted the time of foreign spies and immersed them in endless discussions about the meaning of the seemingly stupid content. Slyly she never marked actual Top Secret information as such assuming her trusty BB would do that for her before the message completed its journey through "cyber" space.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoodlumDoodlum said...

Birches said...That article was damning. I think it's the beginning of the end for Hillary.

Nah. Read the comments. A substantial portion still say "there's nothing there" or some variety. Most of the Dem. supporters will take that line, and by the time it's the middle of the general all the focus will be on how awful the Repub. nominee is--if Hillary makes it that far she won't have reason to worry.

Xmas said...

Hoodlum,

If Hillary makes it that far. The WaPo article doesn't discuss potential influence peddling or the leaked Top Secret info that Sidney Blumenthal was sending to Hillary from his personal account. It's not been stated directly, but the FBI likely has their hands on the 30,000 "personal" emails that Hillary did not send to the State Department. The only emails that the public has seen are Hillary's State Department "work related" emails coming out of the FOIA request. Even those emails are incomplete, as they are only Hillary's emails. Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills also used that mail server for their State Department emails. The public has no idea what was in those emails. Huma was working for 3 different organizations at the time: The State Department, The Clinton Foundation, Teneo Holdings. The latter is an advisory firm for large corporation and organizations, some of which had business dealings that had to be approved by the State Department.

In case we forget, Sidney Blumenthal's email account was hacked and the emails released to the public, which is how the clintonemail mail server was discovered in the first place. And there is some question as to why some obviously work related emails that between Blumenthal and Clinton never appeared in the FOIA releases.

jaed said...

was HRC's basement server for her Blackberry running MS Exchange or was it running Blackberry Server?

Exchange. When this first broke, I went to clintonemail.com's home page. Yes, it served me a web page... and that web page was the login page for an Exchange server. (If your hair just stood on end, you have company.) I probably should have tried admin/admin, although if I had I might be in the CIA basement in a jar of formaldehyde, I suppose. Instead I just said "OMG" to myself and closed the window.

Zach said...

You know, just last week I was interviewing for a job where the guy mentioned he wasn't allowed to bring his phone to work because of security issues. (Very valid issues -- you wouldn't want him to bring the phone in, either.) It's not like this is the first time anybody has had to do anything inconvenient for the sake of national security.

It's incredibly selfish to declare the necessary but inconvenient parts of your job optional and just let other people suffer the consequences.

Chris N said...

Now, emitting clouds of inky bullshit is quite common in D.C, allowing escape to the next issue, or squirming out of prison.

The Clintons though, have rehearsed, weapons-grade bullshit; deep-pocketed, brazen, lawyerly bullshit of a kind rarely seen.

The quiet here seems telling.

tim in vermont said...

The quiet here seems telling

I wonder if the Democrats really think they will be able to counter Trump with targeted Facebook memes that don't need a foundation in fact?

If I were a Democrat, I would be dreading this election and the prospect of defending Hillary time and again when I knew that I could have been arguing Bernie's ideas instead.

Will said...

The evidence clearly proves that having a rogue private email server was not about comfort or convenience. As Hillary herself now admits, having a private server was doing it the hardest way possible.

Rather, the private server was completely and totally about evading scrutiny and transparency and Freedom of Information Act requests.

The server made it easier for Hillary to sell influence by using her government role to benefit her family foundation.

Someone with a clear record of horrifying ethical abuses, who stole the White House china on her way out the door (as her husband worked with Eric Holder to pardon fugitive tax cheat Marc Rich, which later, of course, resulted in cash flow to the foundation) would certainly not want to be encumbered by pesky concepts like transparency or ethical behavior.

This has nothing to do with "convenience." This had everything to do with putting personal business above public duty. It was about evading the skepticism that her career has so richly earned. It was about using loopholes and excuses and the definition of "is" to allow the State Department to (inaccurately) say to journalists that no documents were responsive to their enquiries.

What Willie Sutton, Al Capone, Enron and Wall Street scumbags only dreamed of, Hillary Clinton ensured for herself. She wiped her criminal fingerprints "with a cloth, or something."

And she almost got away with it…. As with Enron, there will be a smoking gun of Raptors out there structured to enrich her, that will bring her down… We already know the Clinton Foundation setup shell companies in Sweden and other places to evade scrutiny, a revelation which caused them to have to refile their tax reports….. Just keep peeling the onion and it will unravel… And like Fastow she will be in jail where she belongs.