Friday, July 08, 2016

Messy Situation

Donald R. Trumpole would like us to know that the system is rigged. Which system is the King of Oompa Loompaland referring? The Public Address system at my elementary school? The system of weights and measures that doesn't allow for the United States to convert to metric? The System of a Down? The email system? Getting closer there, but I think what was blowing through that tweet-infested brain of his was the system that allowed "Crooked Hillary" to escape prosecution for her questionable handling of secure information through email.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose work you may be most familiar from their TV show starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr., announced this week that while Secretary Clinton may have been "extremely careless" in her handling of classified information through her various email accounts and servers, they couldn't find a reason to recommend prosecution. If cleanliness is next to godliness, then sloppiness is probably closer to that other place and that's still not a good thing, but not very many people get sent to jail for leaving dishes in the sink. Or using a personal email server to conduct government business.
Here's something to keep in mind: Our president finally gave up his Blackberry, which my son would consider an antique. My mother uses her email all the time, and she's still on America Online. The way Senator Ted Stevens explained it back in 2006 might help clear up just exactly what the problem is. The way my mom deals with her online presence versus the way my son experiences Al Gore's Internet provides me with some welcome perspective. Users who don't fully understand or appreciate what they are doing when they sit down in front of their keyboard or tap on their phone are legion. That's who we built the thing. This is how we get Anthony Wiener. Speed and convenience will almost always trump security. 
Let's take a look at some other recommendations from the FBI: They would like us to be on alert for scams  in which "the subject claims to be an employee (or an affiliate) of a major computer software or security company offering technical support to the victim. Recent complaints indicate some subjects are claiming to be support for cable and Internet companies to offer assistance with digital cable boxes and connections, modems, and routers. The subject claims the company has received notifications of errors, viruses, or security issues from the victim's internet connection. Subjects are also claiming to work on behalf of government agencies to resolve computer viruses and threats from possible foreign countries or terrorist organizations." Thanks for that update, FBI. Apparently, the Senator Steven's series of tubes is infected by the worst sort of people imaginable: those who would seek to profit from the careless or sloppy handling of our personal information through those tubes. Raise your hands if you have changed your password in the past six months. Keep them up. I'm counting. Okay. Six of you, right. Good for you six. Now for the rest of you, why not spend the next five to fifteen hours going through all your online accounts making sure your data is safe from the creeping hands of terrorists, or Microsoft Security. 
Or you could do what Secretary Clinton and so many of us do, which is to keep tapping away while the system is being rigged for another sloppy mess of identity theft or stolen government secrets. In the meantime, let's all go and clean up our rooms before somebody goes to jail, or gets sent to bed without supper. 

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