Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

McCain Campaign Sells Info-Loaded Blackberry PDAs

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the quickly-unring-that-bell dept.

Security 165

An anonymous reader writes "A news station in Washington D.C. has reported that the McCain Campaign has allegedly sold to reporters Blackberry handhelds with campaign-related information such as e-mail messages and phone numbers: 'We traced the Blackberry back to a staffer who worked for "Citizens for McCain" ... The emails contain an insider's look at how grassroots operations work, full of scheduling questions and rallying cries for support ... But most of the numbers were private cell phones for campaign leaders, politicians, lobbyists and journalists. "Somebody made a mistake," one owner told us. "People's numbers and addresses were supposed to be erased."'"

cancel ×

165 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Nice. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106383)

I wish my incompetence could land me a job whereby I have full access to politicians and such and I can just hand out their information freely :D

Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (4, Funny)

soloport (312487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106563)

Fresh set of GOP numbers? What to do...

Joe: Hello?

New BB Owner: Is your refrigerator running?

So many possibilities!

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (5, Funny)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107201)

Ha, more like...

Me: Is your toilet running?

Joe: Why, yes!

Me: Better hire an actual plumber to fix it.

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107707)

Ha, more like...

Me: Is your toilet running?

Joe: Why, yes!

Me: Better hire an actual plumber to fix it.

Yes, I know this was a joke. However...

There are many things you could say about the whole Joe Plumber deal, but there's one subtle message that was not lost on me. If you stick your neck out and actually question the candidates, you will become an overnight celebrity whether you want to or not. Look at the background checks that have been performed against Samuel J. Wurzelbacher and the fact that whether or not he is actually licensed as a plumber (apparently he is not, at least not in Ohio) became a very public issue. Of course none of this has anything to do with his question to Obama about taxes, and so it constitutes an ad-hominem attack. For putting a question to Obama, he was rewarded with reporters trying to dig up dirt on him. Whether they were successful or not has nothing to do with the message, which is "if you're not with the media, then sit down and shut up or we will find skeletons in your closet." That message could not have been more clear.

I know that he has written a book and therefore could profit from this experience, but whether he has something to show for it does not negate anything I am saying. I realize that much of this was because of McCain trying to use "Joe Plumber" as something of a campaign symbol, which probably made him more of a target, but really, the reason why this is the case or how it got to be that way is trivia. It might be interesting to some of you but it won't address the chilling effect that this may have on others who would otherwise stand up and ask similar questions of other candidates.

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26108037)

For putting a dishonest, loaded question to Obama
fixed that for you.
 
captcha: divert
sounds about right

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26109413)

Burn him! Burn the HERETIC!

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (5, Insightful)

drkich (305460) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108067)

I agree with you to a point. I think the moment he started seeking the lime light by going on the talk shows, and showing up at rallies, he invited it upon himself.

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (5, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108199)

It also didn't help that as they dug, they started to find connections to McCain and his campaign, almost as if he'd been planted there just to create an issue where McCain could routinely criticize Obama over what amounted to nothing.

Sorry, but when you become a campaign slogan and start doing interviews because you asked a presidential candidate a question that doesn't actually make sense (saying that you're looking at buying a business and suddenly having an annual salary WAY above average for people in that line of work, and then trying to argue you'd only be doing moderately well is, to say the least, stretching the bounds of believability), you forfeit your right to be just another anonymous face in the crowd. that's just how it works.

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26108441)

"almost as if he'd been planted there..."

Didn't Senator Obama wander into Joe W.'s yard during a rally?

And since politicians are so good at stretching the truth, what's the harm in Joe's widening the question? Sen. Obama will be president for four years, after all. I can certainly understand phrasing the question based on what I'd be hoping to earn after a few successful years in business, not limiting it strictly to what I earn right now.

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26108295)

""if you're not with the media, then sit down and shut up or we will find skeletons in your closet." That message could not have been more clear. "

if you aren't a fictional 2 dimensional sterrotype created to further a candidates agenda then sit down and shut up.

McCain made him a target by using him as a symbol. yes. prior to that, he was just some dude that asked a question, one of thousands along the trail.

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (5, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108317)

"but there's one subtle message that was not lost on me. If you stick your neck out and actually question the candidates, you will become an overnight celebrity whether you want to or not."

You know,

If Joe actually WAS a plumber, as he said he was, he wouldn't have taken so much heat.

If Joe actually WAS in a position to take over his boss's business, he wouldn't have taken so much heat.

If Joe's boss's company actually MADE as much profit as he said id did each year, he wouldn't have taken so much heat.

All in all, he made up a bunch of stuff to pretend to be in the tiny portion of the population that Obama's plan might not be good for.

I think the one not so subtle message is: don't lie your ass off trying to 'nail' someone with a question when you have a ton of cameras pointed at you.

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (2, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108591)

If Joe...

Doesn't matter. Simply for engaging the candidate in a discussion, he was investigated by the media. That they found some weirdnesses does not make it OK.

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (2, Insightful)

Jazon Bladen (938809) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108689)

Not even really weirdness, it was basically technicalities and half-truths that the media harped on for weeks to make them sound like solid facts, (of course, this tactic is not new or innovative for the media.) For starters, he didn't need a license to be a plumber where he lives, but that didn't stop them from saying he wasn't a plumber, and if I were McCain, I'd have had him show up during my campaign stops as often as possible.

Besides, imagining Obama yelling out "THOSE PESKY PLUMBERS" makes me smile.

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (5, Insightful)

crazyjimmy (927974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108725)

Simply for engaging the candidate in a discussion, he was investigated by the media. That they found some weirdnesses does not make it OK.

I could be wrong, but wasn't it the fact that John McCain brought him up over and over again in the debate, and attempted to use him as a model of the "average American" that caused him to be investigated so heavily? It was less that he asked the candidate a difficult question, and more that McCain's camp was so eager to use him for their own ends. --Jimmy

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (3, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108883)

"Doesn't matter. Simply for engaging the candidate in a discussion, he was investigated by the media."

Really? Simply for that? Obama was asked questions by THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of people during the last 2 years campaigning. Thousands alone in each of the early states where they campaigned early and hard.

How many guys from Maine do you know all about from the media because they asked Obama a question? Answer: None

How many guys from Iowa do you know all about from the media because they asked Obama a question? Answer: None

This guy was investigated because McCain directly pointed him out no less than 5 separate times on a national debate shown on all the major channels.

But I'm sure that never occurred to you.

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (2, Informative)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108907)

If Joe actually WAS a plumber, as he said he was, he wouldn't have taken so much heat.

He actually WAS a plumber. You do know that, right?

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (2, Informative)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108953)

He actually WASN'T a plumber. You do know that right? Being a plumber in Ohio requires a license. He didn't have one (ever).

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26108399)

Look at the background checks that have been performed against Samuel J. Wurzelbacher and the fact that whether or not he is actually licensed as a plumber (apparently he is not, at least not in Ohio) became a very public issue. Of course none of this has anything to do with his question to Obama about taxes, and so it constitutes an ad-hominem attack. For putting a question to Obama, he was rewarded with reporters trying to dig up dirt on him. Whether they were successful or not has nothing to do with the message, which is "if you're not with the media, then sit down and shut up or we will find skeletons in your closet." That message could not have been more clear.

You've got the message wrong. Most of the illegal searching was from democrat operatives in Ohio.

So much for "change". It's business as usual, which you can clearly see from the Obama team's lies about Blagojevich. Or Jesse Jackson Jr offering a pile of cash for a senate seat.

Re:Fresh Set of GOP Numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107357)

I'm just calling to inform you of a new line of smart winter dresses from Milan designed expressly for moose hunting hockey moms, now 30 percent off through Sunday at Neiman Marcus...

Time Machine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106397)

Slashdot: the wayback machine for last week's news.

Not a surprise... (2, Insightful)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106401)

...every so often there is a story about some person or organization that sold a device without wiping the data. According to TFA, there was nothing compromising on the device (information showing wrongdoing by members of the campaign, sensitive personal info, etc) so not a major flub. I would consider it a story if something compromising was found on the device, but extra care is usually taken to dispose of that.

Re:Not a surprise... (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106425)

The cure is to destroy devices, which are trivially cheap, instead of selling them.

Re:Not a surprise... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106501)

We use a fancy expensive hard disk shredder to obliterate them... What a waste to see a perfectly working Bold being destroyed but it's the only way to ensure the permanent PIN # is not reused. The issue of potentially receiving embarrassing PINPIN texts is resolved.

Re:Not a surprise... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106527)

If your BackBerry belongs to an organization there is usually a remote wipe capability and remote disable feature. The last firm I where I worked would regularly wipe and disable lost BlackBerrys.

Re:Not a surprise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26109393)

We use a fancy expensive hard disk shredder to obliterate them...

So, they don't blend then?

Re:Not a surprise... (3, Insightful)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106547)

Yeah, that's really great for the environment.

</sarcasm>

Re:Not a surprise... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106667)

1 device per person, per year would probably end up being high (I doubt there are 300 million devices worth treating as sensitive in the U.S.) and would be essentially irrelevant to the environment.

Conservation is a good way to save money, but we need to come up with ways of creating things that don't harm the environment, and ways of dealing with waste in ways that don't harm the environment, and not ways of constantly struggling to do less harm.

Re:Not a surprise... (1, Funny)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108099)

Simple answer - limit technology to a level which does no harm. Anything after about 1900 or so is going to create pollution and harm. No escaping it really. Are we ready to bite that bullet? If you want the Earth to be a pristine paradise you better start thinking this way.

Re:Not a surprise... (2, Insightful)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108285)

don;t know what to mod this...funny or flamebait?

Oh well, I just posted in the discussion. :)

Re:Not a surprise... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107939)

Oh yeah, we all know how important environment issues are for the Republicans.

(not that Democrats care too much about it either, it's more a matter of magnitude)

Re:Not a surprise... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106701)

The cure is to destroy devices, which are trivially cheap, instead of selling them.

Or, since this is a blackberry, use the built-in, server-controlled guaranteed wipe function before selling them.

Or, use your blackberry server to encrypt the device content with AES, and force the user to have a strong password.

See how easy things are with blackberries? But you do have to click a few options.

Idiots.

Re:Not a surprise... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106885)

they were trying to raise money for the Palin Famiily Shopping spree.

Re:Not a surprise... (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107173)

We have a big shredder that turns hard drives, RAM, and PDA's into fancy, super sharp splinters. They sell the scrap at auction. No idea what someone does with this stuff.

Re:Not a surprise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107581)

They probably harvest the metals.

Re:Not a surprise... (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107611)

We have a big shredder that turns hard drives, RAM, and PDA's into fancy, super sharp splinters. They sell the scrap at auction. No idea what someone does with this stuff.

Jigsaws.

Re:Not a surprise... (1)

tylerni7 (944579) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108075)

RAM?
I understand being worried about hard drives storing information, but RAM? That's more than a little bit over the top...

Re:Not a surprise... (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108123)

Supposedly, there're ways to pull data from old RAM. And it's not that big a deal to chuck 'em in to the shredder.

I've picked up used computers from our auctions and they come with no RAM or HD. Still, for the price, are worth it.

Re:Not a surprise... (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#26109333)

They come with no RAM because it's already been stripped for recycling internally. Getting old data from RAM? That's like reading somebody's writing from examing the pencil: not likely.

Re:Not a surprise... (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108665)

Flash memory chips aren't very big and can survive a lot of punishment. Unless you plan on melting it slag, you're probably better off wiping them than shredding them or smashing them.

Re:Not a surprise... (1)

duane534 (1431259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26109323)

My BlackBerry has a simple local wipe AND a remote wipe feature. It wouldn't eliminate the PIN-to-PIN issue, but FFS, verify the recipient. No different than an SMS.

Thanks but no thanks (5, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106447)

I said "thanks but no thanks" to those naked pictures of Sarah Palin that I found on my Blackberry.

Re:Thanks but no thanks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106461)

homo

Re:Thanks but no thanks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106669)

i am gay, but i'd throw a shot into palin.

hate fucking, i think it's called.

Re:Thanks but no thanks (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107189)

Ah, that explains a reoccurring dream I have for a room mate that stiffed me on rent and utilities and wiped out my checking account. Trying to explain how to wife how it's possible to still want to have sex with someone you don't like, couldn't really get the point across.

A beer goggles worldview (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106737)

>homo

thanks but no thanks for that pair of eyeglasses

Re:Thanks but no thanks (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106665)

Wow, you had John McCain's blackberry.

Re:Thanks but no thanks (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107179)

That was the one that was blinking "12:00" over and over

Re:Thanks but no thanks (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106805)

I said "thanks but no thanks" to those naked pictures of Sarah Palin that I found on my Blackberry.

but don't you want to know Who's nailin' Palin [google.com] >

Re:Thanks but no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107065)

That's wholly unfair. You should at least use your modding powers properly. My link was an ancillary reference to the parent's joke. If you check the link, you will see that it connects to a Google search of "Who's Nailin' Paylin", a Hustler pornographic video which has footage of an adult actress that resembles Sarah Palin. I.E. "naked pictures of Sarah Palin".

Clearly, I was not trolling.

Re:Thanks but no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107267)

If it makes you feel any better, I agree. So I modded you up. Posting AC for the obvious reason.

Re:Thanks but no thanks (3, Funny)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106831)

I would be more interested in Bristol's wedding date. I could sell that to magazine for a million dollars.

Re:Thanks but no thanks (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107389)

More like a billion since that sham of a rekindled relationship ended when the campaign did.

Re:Thanks but no thanks (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107603)

That boy dodged a huge bullet when the repubs lost.
If McCain had won, that would have probably been the biggest shotgun wedding in the history of the USA.
Marry Bristol, or spend the rest of his life in Gitmo... <insert obvious joke about not being sure which is worse>

Re:Thanks but no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107069)

Dude, that's like the only thing she has going for her.

Re:Thanks but no thanks (0, Troll)

Darby (84953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107761)

Once you go moose, you never stop being loose.

Excellent... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106459)

Now I can learn all the secrets of a highly successful political campaign!

Oh wait...

Standard military education ... (1, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106641)

Don't military educations include the study of famous historical campaigns ... not just to discover the secrets of why one side won, but also to analyze why the other side lost?

"A fool learns from his own mistakes, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others."

But giving your enemy access to your strategy and tactics in a lost campaign is just plain dumb-ass, for your future conflicts.

Re:Standard military education ... (4, Interesting)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106715)

But McCains mistakes were not contained in secret reports, or conversations with advisors, they were big broad mistakes that everyone, including the legally blind, could read. Not everything the winner does contributed to the win, and not everything the loser did contributed to the loss, to assume otherwise is folly.

Re:Standard military education ... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107965)

It almost seemed the Reps tried as hard as possible to lose this election. They committed about every cardinal sin in the book of campaign running.

Re:Standard military education ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26108559)

There's not much they could have done, considering that the least popular president in history is from your party.

The Republicans did surprisingly well, under the circumstances.

Re:Standard military education ... (3, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108623)

Perhaps they knew the economy was going down the pan and took a dive so that the Democrats would get the blame? Memories of the New Statesman episode "The Party's Over" [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Excellent... (2, Funny)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106819)

Now I can learn all the secrets of a highly successful political campaign!

That's easy.
 
1) Tell people how great things are going to be if you're elected.
 
2) Keep telling people how great things are going to be if you're elected.
 
3) Tell them how great things are going to be some more.
 
4) ???
 
5) Profit!

Re:Excellent... (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107165)

4) ???

5) Profit!

Step 4: Get out of office, write a book, go on the lecture circuit and join the Board of Directors for a few companies.

Being President isn't a big money maker.
Being a former President is the path to riches.

The real PROFIT step ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107643)

... Sell PDAs with juicy emails on them for bonus bux.

"Somebody made a mistake," one owner told us. "People's numbers and addresses were supposed to be erased."'"

Just the numbers and addresses - not the emails!

As a reporter, which are you more interested in, anyway - phone numbers and addresses, or campaign emails? As a user, which would you prefer were erased - your name and address, or your emails?

If they can't even get that right, it's a good thing they lost.

GNPL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106497)

Gay Nigger Public License, the only license you will need for your nigger.

Yet another reason... (2, Insightful)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106503)

Yes this is another fine example of why septuagenarians should not be allowed anywhere near tech.

Re:Yet another reason... (4, Insightful)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106619)

I'm a huge obama supporter, but let's be fair to the guy. He's so out of the tech loop he's not personally responsible for this stuff. His tech people are responsible. Of course, they were all let go Nov 5, so I'm not surprised these last duties were neglected.

Re:Yet another reason... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106835)

Yes this is another fine example of why septuagenarians should not be allowed anywhere near tech.

It wasn't McCain's blackberry.

And for all the grief McCain receives about not being IT-savvy, the reason is he is unable to type, due to the injuries he suffered while being tortured by the Vietnamese.

On this point, McCain deserves some slack.

Re:Yet another reason... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107003)

Some slack. But not as much as some people kept wanting to give him.

When it comes to blackberries, PDAs, etc, yes they'd be pretty hard for him to use. But, there are a lot of disabled people that still manage to use the internet. If he had any tech interest, he would have found a way.

That he didn't doesn't make him a horrible person, but it does mean he can't really make a good claim at IT-savvy.

Re:Yet another reason... (4, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107055)

Yes this is another fine example of why septuagenarians should not be allowed anywhere near tech.

First of all, why would someone who is 70+ not be able to handle technology? I will always remember great uncle who was writing geodesic software on the ZX Spectrum, at the time when most people have not even heard about home computers. Oh, and he was 70+ then.

The second thing that puzzles me is, why would McCain's alleged computer illiteracy be a factor in this incident? So if he is not familiar with computer technology, then his staff will sell blackberries without deleting sensitive information? I think you're making a huge leap in your logic, there.

Re:Yet another reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107459)

Your grandfather was R. Buckminister Fuller? Tell him his domiciles suck.

Home Sweet Dome, my ass!

Re:Yet another reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26108633)

Yep, I don't blame Big Mac for anything. He is going to be leading the train of Senators and House Representatives leaving the GOP to start the America's Liberty Party, a centrist party that will cover this spectrum, as the GOP is going far right and the Democrats are going far left. Like 10 senators and around 50 House members...
Damn!!! I was not supposed to tell that, but it was on that refurbished blackberry I bought...

Re:Yet another reason... (1)

CaptainTux (658655) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107317)

Is it now?
OR...is your post an example of someone who doesn't read Slashdot articles?

I report. You decide.

Re:Yet another reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107889)

Yes this is another fine example of why septuagenarians should not be allowed anywhere near tech.

Septuagenarians? You mean like Don Knuth?

Meh. Deliberate PR stunt (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106521)

It's a deliberate publicity stunt [youtube.com] . Stuff like this might seem bizarrely incompetent or a deliberate attempt to sabotage themselves, but you've got to remember this will play really well with the grassroots.

Re:Meh. Deliberate PR stunt (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107985)

Huh? The US voter wants incompetent leadership?

I dunno, we usually choose politicians that we expect to be at least halfway smart and able to run a country, not someone our dog could replace, and be cheaper too.

this happens all to often (5, Insightful)

unix_geek_512 (810627) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106523)

This happens all the time and most of the time we never hear about it.

You would not believe how many times government computers containing critical information have been sold without having their drives wiped or have been lost or stolen.

The private sector is no better.

The vast majority of organizations do not encrypt their data or their communications. In fact data which is supposed to be encrypted such as credit card information or social security numbers is often mishandled internally ( i.e. emailed half-way around the world unencrypted or stored in the clear ).

Re:this happens all to often (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107663)

This happens all the time and most of the time we never hear about it.

You would not believe how many times government computers containing critical information have been sold without having their drives wiped or have been lost or stolen.

Which is precisely why no one should trust the government to keep personal information about them private - the kind of personal information that law enforcement and others have been clamoring to collect from the populace at large ever since 9/11 (actually they've been clamoring to collect that kind of stuff forever, the levels were just ratcheted up to unbearable since 9/11).

After all, if the people in government can't be bothered to adequately protect their own personal information, what hope is there that they will protect any information they have about you?

They don't understand (4, Interesting)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106709)

The problem is they really don't understand or don't care. I got a computer from a government agency and it had not been wiped. They contacted me a week later and told me I had to return it so it could be erased and reformatted. I let them do that, but, I still don't understand what could make somebody think that erasing information that has been out of their control serves any purpose whatsoever. These are people who -could- think that chain of custody is flexible.
I just noticed the message at the bottom of my web page and it say that the Earth was destroyed by a solar flare. This post is pointless then I guess.

Re:They don't understand (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107997)

It's all about procedure. The prescribed procedure requires hard drives to be wiped, so when you forget it you order the drives back and wipe them. This way the procedure is fulfilled, the system works.

No password locks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106731)

What are campaign supports, with private information such as this, doing using a blackberry without a security password? 10 incorrect password attempts and the blackberry is wiped clean of all emails, contacts, and phone logs.

Secrets (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106889)

And nothing of value was lost

gross incompetence (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106949)

Only an idiot sells a computer/phone/pda without making some effort to erase their personal information from it. Even if they're not sure how, they know they should find someone to tell them. Even my retired non-techie parents know that if they get rid of their desktop computer they need to worry about information that could be use for identity theft or accessing bank accounts. Someone working for the government (or trying to be) should be acutely aware of the importance. I don't mean this to be partisan, but if this is the level of sense to be found in the McCain organization, I think we just dodged a bullet. Hiring people to be responsible for your smartphones who don't know you need to erase them is like picking a running mate who doesn't know there are 50 countries in Africa. (OK, so that was partisan. :) )

The fact that info is there doesn't mean use it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106955)

Someone made a mistake. As soon as this was noticed, the item should have been returned or erased. I sure wouldn't mess with it. You could end up very mysteriously vanished!

Not really any slack (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107019)

He was, ultimately, in charge. The contract for the people who administered those phones should have clearly stated they were to be cleaned. The buck has to stop with the person whose name is on the check. He didn't have to use any tech to be in charge.

Look at yourself (1)

Stickerboy (61554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107149)

You make it pretty clear you hate John McCain and possibly all Republicans in general, but this is borderline obsessive.

"He was, ultimately, in charge... The buck has to stop with the person whose name is on the check."

Really? So if Jiffy Lube or whoever does your oil change on a contractual basis screws up your oil change, it's your fault? You, after all, are in charge of your own car. That's great logic there. If you ever need back surgery, and the surgeon you choose leaves you paralyzed, I suppose your response will be, Well, gee, it's my fault, I should have hired a better surgeon!

I get the whole "captain is responsible for his ship" mentality, but ultimately, you have to stop blaming people for minor details going wrong that aren't remotely in their sphere of responsibility.

Re:Look at yourself (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107481)

Good gross generalisation. I don't hate him, nor do I hate the Republican party. You're the one being an asshole making an assumption such as that.

If he was prepared to run a country you'd expect him to be able to run a campaign.

Please try to put words in someone else's mouth.

Re:Look at yourself (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107627)

actually yes. if you get your brakes fixed and they fail causing you to kill someone, you are solely the one responsible.
look up your state laws sometime.

Fraud (1)

Elder Lane Hour (1430813) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107247)

Astroturfing is fraud. Fake grassroots campaignsm like all advertising campaigns, are deliberately designed to be misleading, to implicitly give false impressions. Unlike most advertising campaigns, they rely on lies to get behind our defences. They poison our well of information with their lies. How can we be sure of who we're talking to? Must we always be forced to automatically mistrust any voice on the internet? Astroturfing is damaging our communications, perhaps permanently.

Compare this with regular, legally acknowledged fraud. Why is it illegal? It's illegal because it a) misleads people, and b) removes an element of trustworthiness for public information. Exactly the same thing is happening on the internet, but it isn't happening to multi-billion dollar corporations, so the government doesn't care.

Re:Fraud (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108025)

ALl of the Internet is fraud, or at least the part that people pay attention to. It is almost impossible to police it because about all you can do is track things back to a computer, if you are lucky. It is not possible to connect anything to an individual - without the individual's cooperation.

So fraud will always be with us. And if you trust anything you read on the Internet you are just being naive. Anything that pretends to be unbiased news is put out by people with their own agenda. Anything that pretends to be "informative" is advertising.

Re:Fraud (1)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108207)

ALl of the Internet is fraud, or at least the part that people pay attention to.
You mean they're not really having sex?

Their AssholeTurfing... (1)

A New Normalcy (1190543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108619)

...is what triggered my bullshit detector. This long-time (1972) Republican voted for the Big 'O'.

You know... (3, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107403)

If only the Blackberry were designed with a little more security in mind then this wouldn't happen.

Maybe if it were possible to set a password on the thing, making the entire handheld unusable without entering it, and if it could wipe its memory after ten failed password attempts. That would be nice.

And perhaps there should be some kind of "Enterprise Server" that could manage the things remotely, with the ability to set security policies and disable them entirely when they were no longer needed. That would be nice too.

But, sadly, those options don't seem to be there. Otherwise, why wouldn't they have been used?

Re:You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107495)

Holy case of the <sarcasm> tags, Batman!

I saw this coming... (1)

ImNotAtWork (1375933) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107613)

MSNBC had blurb during their regular news cycle that the campaign was going to sell items on eBay including blackberrys and laptops.

I said to myself.. "surely someone will purge the data off the devices..."

guess not. Well score one for "Open Politics" apparently the McCain campaign had nothing to hide.

Nice headline... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26107823)

So it wasn't the McCain Campaign, but a staffer. And it wasn't important data, as shown by TFA (which we don't read, of course!).

Darn you McCain!

hmmm (1)

Shuranoma (1414599) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107907)

thought mccain said he was against lobbyists? lol

I wonder what numbers it had.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26108135)

Like Cindy McCains connection, Umm I need it for a friend!

happens a lot (1)

eniacfoa (1203466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108451)

this type of thing isnt exactly 'rare'

Rehashing El Reg (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26108521)

Why does reading /. always give me The Register deja vu?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>