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Clinton defence of personal email server fails to placate critics

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Mushroom

Nothing Is Illegal For A High Government Official

Nothing. Absolutely Nothing. In fact people would be flabbergasted if one actually admitted to one. He wouldn't be prosecuted. He'd be sent away for psychiatric evaluation.

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Re: Nothing Is Illegal For A High Government Official

We had a president named Richard Nixon who might disagree with you.

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Re: Nothing Is Illegal For A High Government Official

Richard Nixon: Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.

The David Frost Interview

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Re: Nothing Is Illegal For A High Government Official

You may be correct, but In this case it certainly wasn't illegal:

"During Clinton’s term as secretary, regulations were tightened concerning the preservation of e-mail records, and concerns were raised about the use of personal e-mail accounts for official business. But the legal requirement to immediately preserve e-mails from nongovernment e-mail accounts was not made mandatory until nearly two years after she stepped down."

3/10/2015 Washington Post Fact Checker: Hillary Clinton’s e-mails: a timeline of actions and regulations

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Re: In this case it certainly wasn't illegal:

Quoting a story from flacks working for the DNC doesn't work in this case.

It's been illegal since she was too young to vote, specifically the Federal Records Preservation Act of 1950.

I work as a contractor in IT Support for the government. There simple truth is a high level politician CAN'T have a single email account and comply with all the laws governing the use of email and government equipment. You can't use official government accounts for fundraising. You can't use personal accounts to transmit government sensitive information. Anything that is a record MUST be preserved. The only way you can work all of this is with separate email accounts for each function, and the government one has to be on government equipment to meet discovery and preservation requirements.

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Re: Oh bugger!

Correct. And the point of being able to BYOD is moot, as Clinton currently has two devices, BB for gov and iPhone for personal.

Also, as there was no illegality, no voter would ever use this as a flipping point for their decision to vote for or not Clinton in as President.

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Re: In this case it certainly wasn't illegal:

Yes, currently , what you say in your MAIN paragraph is the LAW NOW, TODAY. But prior to Clinton stepping down, for EMAIL, was NOT the case. And, No person or government was using email in the 50s. And the Fed Pres Act for Records has NOTHING to do with Personal vs Federal vs Business classes of mail (let alone email, which didnt exist then for anyone).

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Re: In this case it certainly wasn't illegal:

Hmmm

Actually Hillary did appear to BREAK a variety of laws, not just one. And there were and are applicable laws regarding the transmission and retention of communications of government officials which included emails. But for the sake of argument, let us assume that somehow that act of creating all those communications between Hillary and other government officials on her personal commuter (she has publicly admitted she had them) somehow some way did not constitute felonies; She still broke the law because she willfully failed to retain those records pertaining to her government related communications. A regular Joe would have already been convicted of multiple felonies. Never mind her outright refusal to appear before Congress. You see regular Joe doesn't have a right to refuse to appear. Hillary also lied outright both publicly and privately to a variety of government officials. You may recall that other mere mortals have gone to jail for doing just that.

Not only is this a Red Flag in terms of Hillary's fitness for President; it is a condemnation of her complete lack of integrity, honesty, and basic moral values. In short, she is doing a great job of matching the scumbags on the Republican side of aisle illustrating to the American people what we don't want for President. Sadly the last honest candidate for President was Ron Paul. Even his son has turned out to be a true to his backers instead of the Republic.

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Re: In this case it certainly wasn't illegal:

Yes, currently , what you say in your MAIN paragraph is the LAW NOW, TODAY. But prior to Clinton stepping down, for EMAIL, was NOT the case.

Really? The USDOJ guidance on Records has a link to archive.gov's definition of "a record":

Records include all books, papers, maps, photographs, machine-readable materials, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by an agency of the United States Government under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the Government or because of the informational value of the data in them

Email is an "other documentary material" in that list, and I would be happy to argue as such in court (IANAL though). Looks to me like the Federal Records Act 1950 may indeed be relevant enough, even without any amendments that specifically mention email, to claim that Hilary's decision to only use personal email and then fail to properly record all of it in case it is required, may already have been an offense.

Speed limit regulations do not specifically mention my make and model of motor vehicle, but I am still liable for exceeding them with my make and model of vehicle. Federal documentation legislation doesn't have to specifically mention email, for emails sent as official Federal correspondence to count as Federal documents...

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Anonymous Coward

"What difference does it make?" often retorted by queen Hillary...

Nice quote, but try that in front of a judge when you are tagged for going 40MPH in a 25 MPH zone. You won't get far (and I've tried!).

It is often said that "Ignorance of the law is no excuse". I think it applies here.

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Re: "What difference does it make?" often retorted by queen Hillary...

It could not possibly apply here - there was NO law in place during Lcinton's Sec of State Office holding governing the separation of personal, business or government email!

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Facepalm

Re: Goopy Re: "What difference does it make?" often retorted by queen Hillary...

Democrats during the Sarah Palin investigation: "Personal email? She must be trying to hide something!" Same Democrats today now it's Shrillay's turn: "Nothing to see here, move, move on." (http://news.yahoo.com/sarah-palin-mocks-hillary-clinton-s-one-phone--convenience--excuse-in-email-controversy-185405335.html)

But it's not just the supporters, the Senior Democrats have just as conveniently selective memories. Nancy Pelosi's behaviour during Bibi's speech to Congress was of classically hypocritical levels. And now the Whitehouse staff are muttering about the Logan Act, conveniently ignoring Pelosi's little trip to Syria during Bush Jr's reign (https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/10/gop-2007-attacks-pelosi-interfering-bushs-syria-policy-v-todays-similar-dem-attacks-iran/).

The only real truth displayed is that Democrats will desperately excuse their nominee's behaviors and actions regardless if only because the Democrats have no real contender other than Shrillary for 2016.

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Hindsight is 20/20

I'm thinking that she is like most politicos and thinks no one would dare hack her account. If so, she's a schmuck. And that "convenience" reason is pure BS. Any one lower on the food chain would probably be fired and/or face some charges.

To give her the benefit of the doubt.... did anyone give her a "serious" security briefing about email, etc.? The answer seems not to be apparent except that it was in the context of a "discussion". I mean, she was the Secretary of State for crying out loud. Not the head of the Secretarial Pool. In industry, we make all the higher ups use secure emails (the company's, not personal) for business purposes. So how did she fall through the cracks? Or do Cabinet members get to make the rules for secure computing?

I think the biggest shock to me is that until now, she got away with doing it.

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Re: Hindsight is 20/20

What seems to have been pushed under the rug is that Department of State's email system have been multiply hacked (Russians? Chinese? ...) and the only reason that it came to light is that another foreign power informed them. Apparently they are still infested. True, that doesn't justify anything here. However, why is anyone shocked that some Executive, corporate or government, doesn't follow infosec rules of procedure? Duh!

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Re: Hindsight is 20/20

Someone working at the State Dept while Hilary was Secretary WAS fired under the regulations in force at the time for using his private email and failing to adhere to record-keeping standards.

As for the wonk quoted in the article about "busy professionals", oddly enough, Hilary was a *public servant* at the time. While public service is a quaint old-fashioned notion to our corporate masters, part of the role of being a public servant is to carry out their business in a transparent (supposedly) manner that can be readily audited for the public good.

Frankly, since Hilary doesn't seem to understand this basic principle, she's not suitable for govt (and of course, nor are nearly all the Repubs and a big chunk of the Democrats in the Senate or House).

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@ Trixr -- Re: Hindsight is 20/20

Links, or it didn't happen.

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@Someone Else - Re: Hindsight is 20/20

Links, or it didn't happen.

Google search: state department fired use of private email

Former ambassador under fire for private email use "Very surprised" to learn that Clinton was doing same thing

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/06/politics/hillary-clinton-emails-state-department-ambassador/

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Re: Hindsight is 20/20

Your lack of being able to read is shokcing, most shocking.

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Re: Hindsight is 20/20

And So? This is what the NSA does to us foreigners (and congress also) - so - Hillary & Co can just suck it up, like the rest of us have to!

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Absolutely pathetic.

President Johnson OKed the bombing of neutral Cambodia and Laos an act which eventually caused the death of over a million people.

JFK had sex in the Whitehouse with various starlets (including Marylin Monroe -- the guy had taste)

GW Bush embroiled the west in a useless war in Iraq -- meltdown still in progress and body count still rising.

Hilary Clinton used a personal e-mail account -- shock horror has the girl got no morals! Is she fit to be president, how many innocents will die. Just what you'ed expect from a non Texan.,

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I don't know. Her "one rule for me and one for everyone else" doesn't distinguish her that much from any of the other examples you cite.

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Brevity in this case is a good thing. Otherwise your list could go all the way back to the beginning. As for morals, etc. I'm waiting for the Repubs to bring up Billy's affair... err... non-affair... (whatever) and her continuing to stay with him. That could be a strength or a weakness, depending on point of view.

Yeah.. she's a threat to the Repubs... a serious one at this point.

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Politicizing technology

More to the point,

1) Karl Rove & cronies illegally used private email to plan & cover up the political firing of 70 attorneys, with the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' knowledge. No one charged or censured.

2) Republican aides in Congress hacked into the Democrats' file store and kept this little advantage secret for some time... No one charged or censured.

3) The NSA was (illegally) tapping into Congressional emails to find out what they were saying about... the NSA. No one charged or censured.

Hillary is accused of using her email to... something. like not commit hara-kiri in front of a witch-hunt committee on Benghazi*, or anything else that Hillary Derangement Syndrome demands.

*The Benghazi witch-hunt was started to look into why the Administration didn't see a terrorist link in Benghazi, even though the 1st day and ever-after, Susan Rice said the protest had been co-opted by armed extremists & that despite initially no indication of it being pre-planned or external Al Qaeda involvement, *we still don't know, still being investigated*

In a sane world, checks on misuse of technology would be a good idea. In a politicized braindead & vindictive world, it's just fodder for petty tyrants. Points to Hillary. Screw 'em.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Politicizing technology

So the argument does: Clinton's political opponents did some questionable things, thus, nothing she does can be considered wrong.

Let's apply this to other situations. Al-Bashir did lots of nasty things, thus, we should not criticize IS.... Glad we cleared that one up.

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Morons do that - ascribe.

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Re: Politicizing technology

See - Hillary Derangement Syndrome's got you as well.

Jump the shark from an offsite email server to approving of Islamic State.

Have a lovely sharkety day.

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Absolutely pathetic is correct.

Shame on John Leyden for writing an article on this subject which really requires no more attention, and certainly not here. Justifying mentioning it would be palatable 'cuz it is an "IT" issue, but all this one does is a not-so-decent Howard Cosell emulation... describing talking about talking about it. We are over it... over here. Those that aren't are only partisan.

Perhaps you can scribble an article about a certain letter that 47 senators should have used encrypted email to send instead of blatantly disrespecting a whole country. Perhaps on a different website.

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How did you miss her husband having sex in the Whitehouse (and lied in public about) but mentioned JFK?

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When politicians fail

"I thought it would be easier to carry one device for my work and personal email account,"

Is she being disingenuous, or is she really so (technologically) dumb? I suppose she could blame the decision on one of her 'technical advisors'; she probably needs a small army of them.

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Re: When politicians fail

It wasn't that long ago when she claimed to carry two phones so clearly her opinion of easy has changed quite a bit. Now a skeptical person might ask why she uses two phones now as her current employment status is somewhere between unemployed and freelance chin wagger but only one device for what is arguably a much more important job.

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Re: When politicians fail

It IS easier, was NOT illegal THEN, and LATER, of about 2 years ago, WHEN she stpped down from office, having both wortk and personal emails on the same device became viable and secure. It's new, and it's called BYOD.

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Re: When politicians fail

If she were doing it properly, it probably is true that she would not be permitted to access a private email account from a government provided secure cell phone. That was the case in the (DoD) agency in which I worked ~2007 or 2008, when supervisors and up first were issued Blackberries. Accessing the agency's Exchange from personal equipment was forbidden, and commingling personal and government activity was discouraged strongly , although not totally forbidden for practical reasons. Ms. Clinton chose to operate a private and probably unauthorized server and commingle her official and personal email.

This speaks ill of her judgment, her dedication to public service, and her suitability for any executive branch office, including the presidency.

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Re: Goopy Re: When politicians fail

Axelrod, is that you? The astroturf is definitely strong with this one!

"It IS easier......" I call male bovine manure on that one! As a contractor during the same period I used to carry THREE phones - my contract customer's BlackBerry (a 7230 tied to a secure BES), my work BlackBerry (a 7100 paid for by my employer on BIS) and a Nokia 6820 (with a personal email account on my own server at home). And I didn't have a big retinue of lackeys to carry them for me as Mrs Clinton did.

"....was NOT illegal THEN....." Very debatable, but really needs to be decided in a court of law to confirm legality or illegality. And seeing as there are probably far too many on both sides of the House not wanting an in-depth look into email, unlikely to happen. In the meantime, you, not being an US court, are not qualified and have exactly zero ability to declare it as "legal". Your blind and unquestioning rebleating of Mrs Clinton's excuses without any form of supporting argument is certainly not qualification.

"......and LATER....." Again, you are unqualified to make that statement. Try a supporting argument instead of blind faith.

".....it's called BYOD." There is absolutely nothing new about bring your own device. It seems you are also just as unqualified to comment on technical issues as legal ones.

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Criminal

The only reason she did this was so that she could avoid FOIA requests and to hide her activities from the US Government and US Citizens.

There's more, but you can read the Guardian, WSJ, NYT , etc ...

She should be up on charges not trying to make a run for the WH.

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Re: Criminal

Of course she's trying to hide her activities. I hope you aren't so naive as to think it is only her. Anyone can use their official government email for non controversial stuff and use back channels (personal email, texts/phones that aren't subject to FOIA, or telling people in person for really shady stuff) for anything they don't want dug up when they run for office.

The only surprise is that she went about it in such a ham fisted way. Maybe she really had given up on the idea of the White House for a time, or she would have had advisors who told her what a bad idea that was. Most politicians would want to at least give the appearance of doing things on the up and up, but don't think that because there's no smoking gun that guys like Christie are clean. They're just smarter about covering their tracks when they order lanes to be closed to spite a mayor.

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Re: Criminal

The point is that there's no 'front channel' to have a 'back channel'.

That's the issue. Her private email was the only communication and therefore any official emails sent from this address means that the government has the right to seize the equipment to protect what's left of the digital data.

The law says that while its ok to use a back channel in the event of an emergency, the emails are to be preserved.

The fact that she printed the emails and sent the printed copies, again doesn't comply with the law because it prevents e-discovery along with the fact that the email copies printed could have been altered before printing.

Again, there's more.

Sorry no naivety here. Just trying to keep it simple... she broke the law but proving it will be difficult because she destroyed the evidence. (Which is breaking the law).

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Re: Criminal

N one in office now or past can refuse an FOIA req for business OR personal records.

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Re: Criminal

Once again, morons, she did not break the law because there as no LAW THEN about this.

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Re: Criminal

@Goopy: It might depend on what law we are thinking of. I am thinking of the Federal Information Security Management Act, enacted in 2002, 6 or 7 years before Ms. Clinton's nomination as Secretary of State. This law establishes standards that apply to all systems that process or store government records. Based on available reports and analysis, the servers supporting clintonemail.com probably were not FISMA complaint.

I might be wrong in that conclusion. If so, it should be a simple matter for the State Department (or possibly a different agency that acts as its CIO) to produce the voluminous documentation that would prove the clintonemail.com systems were certified and accredited for their purpose

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Re: Criminal

FOIA only covers Government servers and their ability to provide the emails provided that they exist and that they don't violate national security. (And there are established guidelines to determine if the data can be released.)

The problem is that Clinton refuses to hand over the data and/or the servers.

That should be considered obstruction.

Deleting the emails... obstruction and more.

Even turning over printouts would be obstruction.

If she's ordered and refuses... that's contempt of court.

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Re: Criminal

We know it isn't only her. But the almost Nixonian quality of aggrieved arrogance I see in her does not speak well to her Presidential aspirations. I don't think every politician is a crook - some are honest, some are middling, some are corrupt.

Her imperial disdain for rules truly makes me uneasy.

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Anonymous Coward

Record keeping

It would seem that Clinton learned from her first foray into running the country not to keep records, since these can come back to bite.

I mean, what is it with Clinton and records? Misusing FBI files on White House personnel (remember the travel scandal), or property transfers (Whitewater). Perhaps having practical knowledge and experience in misusing records has taught her the value of ensuring none are kept, or can be appropriately sanitised or amended.

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Re: Record keeping

The start of her political career has forever foreshadowed her path: she was booted from the House

committee investigating Nixon's Watergate break-in for unethical behavior.

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@Tom Re: Record keeping

I've been trying to get to the bottom of that.

Even that's not 100% clear.

They say that Nixon's resignation made her work moot which is why it never went to court.

But yes, she's a devious little B, and should be barred from holding office after this.

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Let's face reality,

The only thing that would placate many of her critics is if she literally died.

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Coat

Re: Let's face reality,

Please. They would claim that she faked her death to avoid a thorough investigation.

Do try to keep up!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Let's face reality,

I feel that way about most politicians and government employees.

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Re: Let's face reality,

You're not wrong. They claimed she faked her head injury to avoid Bengazi hearings. They were just worried it would drop off the news since the public only cares about a scandal for the first week or so and then lose interest.

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Re: Let's face reality,

Not at all. We'd be happy if she simply did the time required for at least a couple of her blatant felonies.

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Re: Let's face reality,

Well the timing of it was quite odd. Maybe not faked, but she certainly could have made arrangements to testify. Oh, and on that whole email FOIA thing, seems most of what we're learning now is because Judicial Watch has continued to press for Benghazi emails. Guess what? Yep, they found she sent a lot of them from exactly this personal email account. And no, they don't quite match up with public pronouncements.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/documents-obtained-judicial-watch-reveal-top-hillary-clinton-advisers-knew-immediately-assault-benghazi-armed-attack/

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