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YouTube Used for Whistleblowing

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the when-they-don't-listen-find-a-bigger-megaphone dept.

407

fightmaster writes "A Lockheed Martin engineer with concerns about the safety and security flaws in a fleet of refurbished Coast Guard patrol boats turned to YouTube in order to publicize concerns he felt were being ignored by his employer and the government. From the article: 'The 41-year-old Lockheed Martin engineer had complained to his bosses. He had told his story to government investigators. He had called congressmen. But when no one seemed to be stepping up to correct what he saw as critical security flaws in a fleet of refurbished Coast Guard patrol boats, De Kort did just about the only thing left he could think of to get action: He made a video and posted it on YouTube.com.'"

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This might be usefull: (5, Informative)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004180)

It took me long enough to find this but here's the actual youtube video [youtube.com] .

WARNING: goatse-link (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004269)

WARNING: video shows a PFY pulling off a goatse

Or... QWZX (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004182)

If the employer AND the government AND the congressman AND apparently no one else will listen to this boob, maybe, just maybe, his issue ain't that important and he should quit bellyaching.

Re:Or... QWZX (-1, Flamebait)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004254)

Wow - the most important criminals, Lockheed Martin (arms dealer to the world), the present fascist government, ready to attack Iran as soon as the oil prices start to slide down, and a member of the largest whore house in the Western Hemisphere, your friendly neighborhood congressperson....

Re:Or... QWZX (1)

bubbaboy (761487) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004315)

Or... maybe LM just has so many people that they pay-off they can hide things and look all good to the government. LM does not have a good image (but what defense contractor does...); it always amazes me at how they can keep getting contracts, hence RSA IIA on WR. "#3"

Re:Or... QWZX (5, Insightful)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004403)

If the employer AND the government AND the congressman AND apparently no one else will listen to this boob, maybe, just maybe, his issue ain't that important and he should quit bellyaching.

Does this also apply to engineers of electronic voting systems?

Re:Or... QWZX (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004425)

When engineers warned that New Orleans levees could not withstand a moderate-strength hurricane and complained to their employees, AND to the state, AND to the federal government AND apparently no one else would listen to these boobs, maybe, just maybe the issue was important and someone should have listened to their bellyaching.

You idiot.

Re:Or... QWZX (5, Insightful)

Grym (725290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004437)

If the employer AND the government AND the congressman AND apparently no one else will listen to this boob, maybe, just maybe, his issue ain't that important and he should quit bellyaching.

Did you even watch the video?

Basically the entire project he was working on was a sham. Not only were the systems not designed to specifications but were flawed in such a way as that if they did fail they would do so catastrophically.

Do you even know what FLIR is? It's how they know navigate and identify targets in low-level light conditions or fog (which, I hope I don't have to tell you is very common on coastlines). It's very simple, if the FLIR system fails (and according to him it will at low temperatures), people can die--either from collisions or friendly fire. If what he's saying is true, he should be making a stink.

Furthermore, the security camera issue is huge too. It's one thing to have blind spots. It's quite another to have two symmetrical approach angles that lead right ONTO the ship which can't be seen. Again, a failure due to this design flaw could lead to either the capture or deaths of American servicemen. And it could've been fixed by only adding one more camera.

As far as the non-TEMPEST compliance goes--I don't know. As I understand it, TEMPEST is literally tin-foil hat paranoid, but honestly there's no reason not to use something as simple as shielded cables is that's all that's preventing compliance.

Regardless, this is just another example of how government incompetence combined with corporate greed serves to hurt the American taxpayer and unnecessarily puts the lives of our service-men and women at risk. If you don't think there's a connection between this very believable story and deadly screw-ups like the lack of armored vehicles in Iraq or the Ospreys crashes, you're the boob--not the whistleblower.

-Grym

As an engineer... (5, Insightful)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004480)

His DUTY was to INFORM his management, government, congressman, intelligence services, etc. that he had SERIOUS concerns relative to the project he was leading. Anything less is unworthy of the status of Lead Engineer

YouTube Video Link (5, Informative)

LogicX (8327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004184)

Thank You slashdot editors for providing a link to the video in question. [youtube.com]

It actually took me three tries to find it, entitled: "Homeland Security - Coast Guard Issues [youtube.com] "

Re:YouTube Video Link (1, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004204)

OMG.. you killed YouTube.

Re:YouTube Video Link (3, Funny)

psxman (925240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004517)

You bastard!

Re:YouTube Video Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004222)

Thank you logicX for doing the editors job! Because of crap like that people like me prefer digg.com :)

Re:YouTube Video Link (1)

mthreat (632318) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004288)

And why the hell can't the washingtonpost.com link to it?

Re:YouTube Video Link (4, Interesting)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004477)

Look, I've dealt with big stupid government contractors. This video sounds par for the course. Hopefully, this YouTube video will kick somebody into action.

And the real problem... who will take action? It's not anybody's job to fix fvck-ups.

There are tons of outstanding engineers and managers who really care at Lockheed and the other companies involved. This project probably didn't get many of them.

Here's my own personal similar story. Remember the BFV (Bradley Fighting Vehicle... which eventually became a good unit, I think). One of my first jobs was building the analog circuit to integrate the signal from gas gyros in a 'pistol' control. The tank commander would in theory pull the pistol and shoot it at an enemy. The result would be the gun turning automatically and sighting in on the target. The probem was that the gas-gyros drifted... a LOT. By the time you made a system semi-useful, it was only good for a few seconds out of the 'holster' at a time. The electronics took up a cubic foot INSIDE the BFV, and generated a LOT of heat. There was no way that system was going to be reliable.

I recommended that they give the tank commander a joy-stick instead (reliable, low heat, low volume, darned cheap). Guess how far that went :-)

Wow a TubeCast! (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004186)

That's like so Web2.0! He can even toss together a mashup of the boats' locations and some Google maps and have active video links pop up when you hover your mouse over the tags.

Or he could have just sent an anonymous tip to the press who would have loved to pick up on something like this...

Re:Wow a TubeCast! (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004248)

He could even setup a podcast of the commander in chief saying "You've sunk my battleship!"

Re:Wow a TubeCast! (3, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004419)

Or, maybe, instead of posting a video of him reading from a script, he could have just posted the script. Saves a lot of time and bandwidth for everyone involved.

Re:Wow a TubeCast! (2, Insightful)

sbrown123 (229895) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004530)

Or he could have just sent an anonymous tip to the press who would have loved to pick up on something like this...

You think the media would have posted this? The media is more concerned with the (now cleared) Jon Bennett Ramsey suspect, a plane that crashed after flying off a short runway, and some polygamist that somehow ended up on the FBI most wanted list (I still wonder how that polygamist beat out all those serial child molesters, mass murderers, and terrorists).

And despite this being out there now, expect no mention in the mass media.

I don't get it (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004190)

Was he going for first coast?

I saw this a little while ago.. (4, Insightful)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004191)

Very interesting. While I don't think all the equipment should be replaced to meet the artic temperature thing, I think that the problem should be noted, and the contractor should have to pay some reimbursement for not meeting all the terms of the contract. Some number of ships should be retrofitted, but it may be a big waste to do it with all of them

Lockheed Martin is an inferior company (0, Flamebait)

voice_of_fate (998696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004349)

The news is no surprise. Lockheed Martin is known to be an inferior company producing largely inferior products, excepting the engine and some other parts produced by superior British manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce PLC. If the company wants to make real advances, it should hire all British workers and make LMUK its primary headquarters. It is the only way to stop dangerous mistakes like this being made.

Personally, I realize it is a mistake to allow those in the so-called "United States" to manufacture or hold any kind of device that could be used as a weapon or in war. The consequence of allowing rogue colonists such tools were revealed to the British in 1776. That is a mistake we shall not repeat. Next time we cross the Atlantic, it shall be as Henry V took Agincourt: outnumbered but fitted with superior tools and men. Once more unto the breach, dear friends.

Re:Lockheed Martin is an inferior company (1)

palutke (58340) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004382)

You just try and tax my tea, redcoat! 'Superior tools' didn't help you the last time . . .

Re:Lockheed Martin is an inferior company (1)

S.P.B.Wylie (983357) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004453)

But will the french save our ass this time?

France is inferior (1)

voice_of_fate (998696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004522)

We will take back France, too. We don't like the way they have polluted the country since we handed it back to them. Too many French people for our liking.

America's Independence was Fitting Punishment (5, Funny)

voice_of_fate (998696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004495)

In spite of modern attempt at historical revision, it is clear to honest historians that Britain won all the battles of 1776 and then left a humbled America to govern itself as punishment for disloyalty. Shortly thereafter, the country spiralled into civil war and went further downhill from there: freedom of its slaves, freedom of speech, and that snake in the grass: "democracy".

So far from England, the Green and Pleasant land, America struggles under inferior governance.

Because of their inferior education, Americans have inferior intellects. This corruption began before the country broke away from British governance. The colonists believed their British brothers had added more tax to their their tea when in fact the wise governors in England had enabled the colonists to purchase tea at a lower price than even smugglers could offer. This allowed the colonists, whose economy had suffered due to their grumblings against Britain, to purchase superior British tea without breaking superior British law.

Our superior tools, dentistry, and teas have made Britain the proud ruler of the world it is today. Our enemies crumble at our feet, as emphasized in the way we single-handedly defeated Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti and hanged, drew, and quartered him at Tyburn.

I have heard CNN and Fox News have been lapse in reporting this to Americans. No surprise, they are inferior news corporations. If you had been watching BBC News, you would know this already.

Re:Lockheed Martin is an inferior company (1)

SpecTheIntro (951219) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004470)

Personally, I realize it is a mistake to allow those in the so-called "United States" to manufacture or hold any kind of device that could be used as a weapon or in war. The consequence of allowing rogue colonists such tools were revealed to the British in 1776. That is a mistake we shall not repeat. Next time we cross the Atlantic, it shall be as Henry V took Agincourt: outnumbered but fitted with superior tools and men. Once more unto the breach, dear friends.

I, for one, welcome our British overlords. (Is that the proper response here?)

The Simpsons is an inferior televised production (1)

voice_of_fate (998696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004504)

Yes, although I regret that you have chosen to paraphrase an inferior American television production in showing your loyalty.

The Simpsons is an inferior televised production except when shown in syndication by the BBC.

Re:The Simpsons is an inferior televised productio (1)

SpecTheIntro (951219) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004514)

Duly noted.

Re:Lockheed Martin is an inferior company (3, Insightful)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004505)

Compaired to who? Last I checked Lockheed makes the best radar systems in the world. Last I checked Lockheed makes the ONLY anti-ballistic missle defense systems in the world, not just land based by sea based.

It was also the company that is bailing out Raytheon on the Zumwalt class destroyers ( DD(X) / DD-21 ). Politics screwed that decision, almost forcing the contract to Raytheon who didn't have the capability to really design the ship. Realizing this Raytheon subcontracted Lockheed to do a lot of the work...

Again, inferior compaired to who? Now I do think that this might have some merit, but if no one cared at the Coast Guard, the people who are ordering the ships, I don't think there is anything more to say. In the end, they are the ones who need to say that it is unacceptible. They are the ones who need to say that we want X% of money back due to not meeting X requirement(s). Once they had been notified by this engineer of the concerns, I don't know what more you can say. Do we know if Lockheed themselves brought this up to the Coast Guard? As the engineer states, he no longer works on the program, and wouldn't be privy to that knowledge. If Lockheed brought the matter up to the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard didn't care, this is all a big nothing in my opinion. Yes, improvements could be made, but we can say that about everything out there. It all comes down to costs to make the improvements. If the Coast Guard would rather have the ships as is now instead of waiting x months for redesign, re-fit, then so be it.

Re:I saw this a little while ago.. (2, Insightful)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004487)

contractor should have to pay some reimbursement for not meeting all the terms of the contract

Why should LM shoulder all the blame and punishment? The Coast Guard was made well aware of the issues, but chose to push the project through anyways and quietly-but-knowingly accepted the faulty products.

Say a car salesman offers you $10k for your car. On the way there, you realize that you're leaking brake fluid, slowly but surely. So you're upfront about it when you finally get the car to the lot...and the salesman just shrugs his shoulders, gives you the $10k anyways, and says, "Let's just keep this between you and me, eh? I'll just drop the car on the next sucker to come through the door, and nobody'll ever know." So you cash the check, and he turns around and sells it to the sucker. One of the junior salesmen gets all ethical and blows the whistle, saying that this could result in somebody's death, etc. Ok, maybe you didn't do the most ethical thing, but then again, why should you be any more responsible for paying to fix the leak than the salesman? You're not the one who shelled out big bucks for a piece of shit. You were up front about it, they accepted the deal anyways.
This needs to come back on the Coast Guard and every other agency the guy tried to take this to far more badly than it needs to come back on LM. If the government starts to get punished for paying more and accepting less, they'll stop doing it, and private business will take care of itself (or go broke and be replaced by someone who will...either way is fine.)

Why not.... (1)

Asm-Coder (929671) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004192)

...edit the Wikipedia entry? http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/28/18 1223 [slashdot.org]

rv (1)

Carthag (643047) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004343)

rv original research

Video link (0, Redundant)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004193)

Here's the video [youtube.com]

So at what point does this become a violation... (1)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004217)

....of whatever NDA this guy signed?

Re:So at what point does this become a violation.. (1)

Al Oser (950774) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004355)

No doubt as soon as he posted it. However, it is unlikely that Lockheed Martin will litigate, as this would be an admission that the video contains confidential information. Their official stance is that the video is BS, meaning that no confidential information was leaked. Thus he has a sort of immunity to this avenue of litigation. Lockheed Martin could never recoup the losses they would incur by admitting to these failures, especially not from one man.

It makes much more sense for them to pursue the libel avenue of silencing him. In this case, they are no worse off than if they did nothing, and have the chance to debunk the contents of this video if they are successful.

A Fine Example... (5, Insightful)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004205)

While his employers probably will administratively punish and / or fire him, because his actions may save my coastie brothers and sisters
in the long run,I tip my hat off to you. Sometimes you gotta grab life by the horns, to do the right thing.

Regards,

MBC1977,
(US Marine, College Student, and Good Guy!)

Re:A Fine Example... (1)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004234)

It's sad to know that he will be punished in some form, maybe even thrown in jail, just for doing the right thing. All he wanted was to do a good job and protect the lives of those who protect all of ours.

Re:A Fine Example... (1)

johansalk (818687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004398)

Those who protect all of yours are dispensible nobodies, they don't show up in the bank accounts of those in charge of the military-industrial complex contracts.

Re:A Fine Example... (1)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004241)

He's already been fired, but according to Lockheed he knew that he was going to get fired before he made the video.

Re:A Fine Example... (5, Informative)

deafpluckin (776193) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004255)

If you RFTA you'll find that he was fired a few days after the video appeared on YouTube and that Lockheed Martin claims that he was fired for financial reasons (he was transfered off the project on the ship even earlier when his complaints were first voiced). His claims have subjective merit but the politics dealing with him seem a little too convenient.

Re:A Fine Example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004264)

"because I've never met anyone like that. I don't care how much trouble I'm in. I don't care what laws I've broken. I'm gonna save his life. Because that's the right thing to do."
-Tarzan

Re:A Fine Example... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004275)

While his employers probably will administratively punish and / or fire him

Yeah, interesting thing about the Federal Whistleblower Act is that it only protects Federal employees.
Contractors to the Federal Government are NOT protected.

Re:A Fine Example... (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004409)

I think you are correct.

People with real strength of character that do the right thing despite all the peer pressure in the world are often punished by our system and the cowards within it. It took 30 years for the military to recognize Hugh Thompson.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Thompson,_Jr [wikipedia.org] .

Or Sibel Edmonds, former FBI translator, is another good example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibel_Edmonds [wikipedia.org]

In both cases, they are/were both punished for their roles by the very people they called out. This engineer will face a similiar time, I imagine. If not openly, they will find a unrelated reason to fire him within 6 months if not immediately. Or put him in a crappy closet as an office (same thing happened to my principle whose contract guaranteed they couldn't fire him for anything short of being a murderer. My school district once was paying 14 principles at the same time because of crap like this, but alas that's a different story...)

Re:A Fine Example... (5, Insightful)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004430)

While his employers probably will administratively punish and / or fire him, because his actions may save my coastie brothers and sisters in the long run,I tip my hat off to you. Sometimes you gotta grab life by the horns, to do the right thing.
Also, to add to this from an Engineer standpoint. If you are an Engineer in Training(EiT) or Professional Engineer(PE) and you are serious about your job and your career, you are aware that there is a code of ethics for any Engineer; therefore, this IS the ONLY OPTION left. If this guy (as a PE I would assume) has gone through his management and Congress the only option is then to alert the the general public as a matter of ethics, espescially if he believe tests were altered/forged.

In the end this must be said. This man is upholding the highest standards of what an "Engineer" is. If he ever faces legal action, I will gladly donate to his cause. Also, I would hope that the National Society of Professional Engineers [nspe.org] (NSPE) should not only suggest many good lawyers, but they should offer much assistance to this man as possible.

He is in the most difficult place an Engineer could be. Chose between your family(supporting them with a career) or his duty as an Engineer.

Re:A Fine Example... (5, Interesting)

imispgh (998714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004491)

I am already unemployed

Re:A Fine Example... (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004499)

Before you get all teary eyed -- the camera system was just to make sure all the Coasties could knock-off at 1300 instead of having to stand watch.

If they were smart, they would've just done what we do -- get the Marines to stand watch. ;)

Re:A Fine Example... (1)

SomeGuyTyping (751195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004523)

Any time someone feels the need to say they are a "good guy," I think they are lying

Couple of old sayings come to mind (3, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004212)

If you point the finger at someone else, there are three more pointing back at you.

In other words, the standard pointing gesture highlights the intense scrutiny the whistleblower will face.

Spend your silver bullet wisely.

I sincerely hope that follow-on work isn't hard to come by.

If YouTube had existed in time for some space-shuttle engineers, we might not have had two birds transferred to NADA.

Re:Couple of old sayings come to mind (3, Interesting)

antispam_ben (591349) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004492)

If YouTube had existed in time for some space-shuttle engineers, we might not have had two birds transferred to NADA.

You don't need Youtube to expose things. Free Geocities websites have been available for a decade or so. The popularity and exposure of the Internet perhaps came too late for Challenger, but as Columbia was orbiting there were emails going between engineers and management, saying the launch videos show something hitting the orbiter, let's have a big telescope look at it in orbit to see if it's okay. Management nixed the idea, though it had been done on early shuttle flights when tiles were a concern. If these concerns had been made public on a Geocities page, perhaps things would have been different.

Too you (5, Funny)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004216)

I guess when your youboat is going to sink, you need a youtube to keep you afloat.

How does he walk with balls that big? (4, Interesting)

Software (179033) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004220)

He is unemployed after being laid off by Lockheed Martin days after he posted the video. Lockheed said that the video did not influence the decision to lay off De Kort and that he had had been notified earlier this year that he would be out of a job.
Pull my other one, it makes a sound! Does Lockheed Martin really expect people to believe them?

Seriously, this dude has some balls, if not much sense. Tip for all you would-be whistleblowers: make sure you have the facts, the media, and God (not necessarily) overwhelmingly on your side before you start. Otherwise, you're just screwed. I hope the guy can find another job, or get a book deal. De Kort, thanks for taking one for the team.

Re:How does he walk with balls that big? (1)

Ian Wolf (171633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004313)

Definite balls. I must say that if I were faced with a similar situation I do not believe I would be as brave/stupid (take your pick) as this guy.

Possible Retribution? (3, Interesting)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004223)

In the article it said that he was fired shortly after he posted the video, but he knew before hand that he was going to get canned. I wonder how much of his actions reflect wanting retribution or just having nothing to lose.

Re:Possible Retribution? (2, Insightful)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004515)

the problem here is a belief that defense contractor work, and the suckage on the taxpayer teat has a direct relationship with the original requsted specification. Nothing could be further from the truth. This fellow honestly believes what he does what he builds or what he designs bears ANY resemblence to what some boots on the ground WANTED. Who was it who said: "Elephant: mouse designed by commitee to government specification" ?

I don't know where else to post this but... (0, Troll)

Rockinsockindune (956375) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004243)

The night manager at the Taco-Bell I work at has been taking home 2 packets of the mild sauce and 1 packet of the hot sauce home every time she works. I've tried calling the District manager, and the corporate office, but no one is doing anything. Should I put a video up of her taking them?

Re:I don't know where else to post this but... (1)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004257)

No. Now that's been done. The only thing you can do now is buy some space on a billboard and plant a picture of your manager on it with the words "this person steals sauce!"

Re:I don't know where else to post this but... (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004272)

Wrong example, doesn't sound like she's endangering brave souls' lives by taking them home.

While I've never ever stolen from an employer, I have a multitude steal from me. Just recently, my gas utility, and I would have to spend far more to take them to small claims court, wherein they would probably win as they have a lot more pull in this state than I do. Today, I would say never turn in anyone in the USA who steals from their employer as you will consistently find that your employer has been stealing from you.....

Re:I don't know where else to post this but... (1)

Rockinsockindune (956375) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004481)

I don't mean to trivialize the added risk on peoples' lives as a result of vulnerabilities. I didn't watch the video because I believed that these issues were only issues on paper, as others who have watched the video, pointed out.

Re:I don't know where else to post this but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004316)

No, you should post a video of you quitting your crappy job.

I'd "favorite" that in a heart-beat.

Re:I don't know where else to post this but... (1)

gameforge (965493) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004414)

That doesn't cost taxpayers anything. Only Taco Bell customers would care. And if you ask me, that particular demographic has more things to worry about (they eat at Taco Bell, after all).

Now, when your nightshift manager starts building insecure and poor quality taxpayer funded quesadillas, THEN make a video.

Once Again, Internet Levels Playing Field (2, Interesting)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004252)

Once upon a time, corporate giants and goverment entities could ignore the little guys with impunity. Now, anyone with a sufficiently good story can post it and attract a large public audience.

Power to the people!

2 cents,

QueenB

Re:Once Again, Internet Levels Playing Field (3, Interesting)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004408)

It will attract a large public audience as long as it is a viewpoint that the mainstream media supports. Otherwise it will just be another video amongst thousands of others.

Re:Once Again, Internet Levels Playing Field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004468)

Another angle:

Once upon a time, corporate giants and government entities would ignore the little guys until journalists listened to those little guys and exposed the corruption or criminality. Now, with journalists aspiring to nothing more than being neutered, yapping lapdogs whose idea of a hardball question is asking an official about his hobbies, the little guy has had to bypass an additional obstacle to the truth and use technology.

I sincerely believe that when historians study the fall of the American Republic, journalists will be remembered for the tools of propaganda and tyranny that they are.

Now pardon me, I need to go read who Paris Hilton is fucking this week.

Feh (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004259)

Cue Congress opening hearings on silencing the leak instead of solving the problem...

"United States" Congress is inferior (4, Funny)

voice_of_fate (998696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004428)

If this had occurred in Great Britain, De Kort would have been a loyal Myrmidon and refrained from causing such a scene. A British company would not have made such a mistake as Lockheed Martin's engineers. Also, the system used in the so-called "United States" is inferior. In Britain, such disloyalty would have caused De Kort's disappearance before he had a chance to release such material.

Britain will use this knowledge when it moves to take back its colonies.

De Kort is correct: his government is incompetent. The solution is obvious: Americans, subject yourselves to superior British rule.

Let this prove you importance of Net Neutrality (0, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004263)

See how improtant internet is for making important truth known ?

Can you conceive the fact that, had not there been channels like youtube, this scandal would left under the mat so that owners of some big contractor to the government could be able to sleep well at nights AT THE EXPENSE of security and lives ?

If you havent perceived it yet, ponder it now - if telcos get what they want, if net neutrality goes away, what is going to always happen will be what i told you.

And lo ! Its Lockheed Martin again (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004280)

The heritage of the SAME company that have bribed government heads, bureucrats in countries tenfold around the world, including germany, to oust their competitors and sell their f104s. Their FAULTY designs.

The SAME company who caused around 150-200 air service pilots to lose their lives around the world flying their faulty f104s.

The SAME company which recently admitted their wrong doing.

The SAME company, which is at it AGAIN.

Re:And lo ! Its Lockheed Martin again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004334)

Nice way to make 4 points out of one incident from 50 years ago.

Do you work for Head On?

50 year old incident. Apply directly to the SAME company.

50 year old incident. Apply directly to the SAME company.

50 year old incident. Apply directly to the SAME company.

50 year old incident. Apply directly to the SAME company.

oops (1)

ezwip (974076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004302)

I feel bad for this guy. He's about to really find out the govt isn't on his side.

His points... (3, Insightful)

BenJeremy (181303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004306)

OK, let me summarize what he covers (I didn't finish the last bit of the video, though).

1. Blind spot in watch cameras.
      OK, thanks for pointing those out. Now we can board the boats and steal them. Yes, this is an issue, and one that should be fixable, but extra cameras will also affect the systems that digitize and monitor them, as well. Still, this system should be fixed, but it's not a major thing, and now you've just told anybody who's interested (in a bad way) how to take advantage of the flaw. Thanks.

2. FLIR Equipment not rated for -40 deg
      My problem with this is, working in automotive systems, we regularly see this requirement, and it's more of a "spec" thing. Most electronics are fine in cold weather... short of devices with moving parts (hard drive, for example). Just because the FLIR is not "rated" at -40 doesn't mean it can't handle such temperatures, only that one or more components (chips, capacitors, resistors, etc...) in the system are not CERTIFIED to operate at the wide range of temperatures. Certification for this requirement is often an expensive process and often, certified and uncertified parts are identical in everything but price (or availability, more often). I think he's a little bit out there on this one.

3. Use of non-shielded cable in "secure" communications systems.
      This one is a bit ridiculous, and shows his paranoia. The cables failed "visual" - of course, because they are not shielded. He concludes that because they are not shielded, they MUST have failed the electronic test, and because they officially passed, somebody must have cheated. While Tempest-class (back in my days as a Marine) cables were shielded out the ying-yang, and there was, even back in the 80's some amazing intel gathering stuff out there (pull phone conversations from a telephone wire, 30 feet from the pole, wirelessly, for example)... we are talking about CUTTERS. ON THE SEA. Effectiveness of devices that can isolate and monitor any given cable line over more than 100 feet falls off dramatically, particularly in a signal-rich (i.e. "noisy") environment. I'm guessing the electronic test DID pass, which is why it was allowed to be built with the unshielded cable. Still, why couldn't they have provided proper shielded cable? It's not like a huge price difference, and if availability was an issue here, what about simple external mesh around the cable runs?

      Like I said, I see he has concerns, but this is really the wrong way to deal with it, and puts our Coast Guards at much greater jeopardy than the things he's addressing!

Re:His points... (2, Insightful)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004375)

now you've just told anybody who's interested (in a bad way) how to take advantage of the flaw. Thanks.

This might be enlightening for you:

Security through obscurity [wikipedia.org]

Re:His points... (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004422)

I don't think it was the contention of the Coast Guard to keep the flaw, but advertising it with a diagram is a bit careless.

Every day, we see a new virus "concept" but the person who discovers a flaw generally doesn't give away enough details (hopefully) for script kiddies to start immediately taking advantage of the discovery.

My point was by announcing the problem, and giving away more than enough detail, he's essentially given anybody with access to Coast Guard docks the road map to enter their 100ft cutters and steal boats, right this very minute. He didn't need to do this....

All in all, I agree Lockheed Martin did a poor job, but this was the wrong way to deal with it. I suspect the guy was difficult to work with and it was probably the pending layoff that caused him to make the video - but I'm sure some here will see it just the opposite.

Re:His points... (2, Interesting)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004471)

Point well taken. He could have made the video without exposing the flaw. Though I wonder how seriously people might take him if he hadn't. Anyway, the coast gaurd is going to have to fix the problem now that he has outed it. This might have been his intention (notice I wrote might).

Re:His points... (3, Insightful)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004397)

People missed one important point. They tested -one- piece of equipment to see if it was rated for the temperatures the ship might go into and they were told to stop testing for such a thing.

That means they added several things all of which could fail in intended temperatures. It could be stuff that fails in extreme heat or humidity too.

All in all though I found it kind of amusing that the guy making the video thinks people will find it shocking. Personally I expect govt contractors do this kind of stuff five times before they even get to breakfast every day.

Re:His points... (1)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004434)

Personally I expect govt contractors do this kind of stuff five times before they even get to breakfast every day.

Now I don't have that expectation. I know that they do stuff like this all the time, but I think that "expect" is the wrong word, at least for the way I see it. I expect them to behave ethically and make the best product available for the taxpayers and the soldiers (are people in the coast gaurd considered soldiers?). What they do in reality has nothing to do with my expectations of them, much like my children.

Re:His points... (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004469)

"3. Informal. to suppose or surmise; guess: I expect that you are tired from the trip."

Expect is a proper use of the word in this case.

Re:His points... (3, Interesting)

BenJeremy (181303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004479)

Like I said, I've worked in the automotive industry, and from the engineering side, we often don't see all the testing. I might have missed his role, but my impression was he was one engineer on a big team. If he was the system engineer, none of these compromises would have happened, right?

As one guy on a big team, he's not going to see a lot of testing.... but my main point was that temperature ranges for "Automotive spec" cover down to -40, and often, we are faced with being unable to get the part rated at the spec; this isn't because the part not rated for the spec won't work, and work reliably, it's because automotive temp ratings require a LOT of certification, and costs a LOT of money. You can build a motherboard with every chip and part, except ONE CAPACITOR, rated for automotive temp, and the motherboard technically FAILS the rating, even if it can pass the temperature extremes in an environmental testing box and under duration. So here, I sympathize with Lockheed Martin's team based on my own experience, and also know that none of the systems I've been a part of for automotive (same temperature extremes he quotes) have EVER failed because of temperature extremes - and that's hundreds of thousands in vehicles world wide (Canada to Saudi Arabia).

Humidity is another problem, and again, certification is very long, expensive, and many suppliers forego this. Sometimes, it's impossible to build a system with rated components simply because of avialability - the parts you need just have never been certified. That is a big difference from components that CANNOT operate at those ranges.

Re:His points... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004407)

how to take advantage of the flaw. Thanks.

Flaw? What flaw? If Lockheed Martin, the coast guard, and his congressman didn't think it was a flaw, I don't see where YOU get off calling it a flaw and claiming he's putting the coast guard "in jeopardy".

Re:He's going to be arrested. (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004447)

Shouldn't the Coast Guard have paid to have the equipment certified though? I mean, we're talking about putting multiple servicepersons' lives at risk; shouldn't the equipment at least be formally tested for the very circumstances in which they're going to be used?

Unfortunately, I think he's going to be arrested for treason for the very reasons you mentioned. I thought this as soon as I saw him put up a diagram of the camera's blindspot. He's violating United States national security in a very big way. I wouldn't be surprised if he quietly disappeared.

Re:His points... (1)

fyoder (857358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004452)

Now we can board the boats and steal them.... ....but it's not a major thing


You might want to run that first point through an internal logic checker. Unless you're seriously advocating security through obscurity as adequate protection, in which case the logic is fine, it's just the premise which is questionable.

Re:His points... (2, Interesting)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004454)

doesn't mean it can't handle such temperatures, only that one or more components (chips, capacitors, resistors, etc...) in the system are not CERTIFIED to operate at the wide range of temperatures

As someone who DESIGNS things that ACTUALLY ARE required to work at -40 deg C, I can say that it is MORE than a specsmanship thing.
To put it simply, a system is more than the sum of its components. Every part in your system could even be certified to operate at -40 C, but unless the whole system is designed that way, there's still a good chance that it won't work right.

A simple example here would be electrolytic capacitors. Sure they're almost all "rated" for low temperature operation but they also loose a sizeable percentage of their capacitance at low temperatures. This means that the system must be intentionally designed to account for this.

Re:His points... (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004508)

I agree here... but as somebody who DESIGNS these systems, you have undoubtably encountered the occasional problem of being able to meet requirements with the available certified components. In some cases, those components that are not spec'd for the temp/humidity range may be able to handle it, but they haven't been certified... because they weren't intended for such use originally. Even you know that extreme temp spec parts are often (not always) the same parts, priced more expensively, possibly binned through a testing process.

In that case, the device must be tested in an environmental box, COUNTLESS TIMES. His claim was that this system was only tested once, but I find that bit hard to believe.

Re:His points... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004458)

>OK, thanks for pointing those out. Now we can board the boats and steal them.

Now this is public knowledge, there will be people outside ensuring this does not happen. In software language, if a vendor takes YEARS to fix a major problem and simply ignores it, and you tell everyone it exists so they can either choose not to run that sofwtare, or perhaps make their own patch for it (like the coast guard will do by checking the blind spots outside the ship, I'm sure) people think you're a hero. In this case, it seems he worked hard to fix these issues properly and nobody was listening.

>Just because the FLIR is not "rated" at -40 doesn't mean it can't handle such temperatures

I think he believes the testing was inadequate. I don't deal with anything that would need to be tested to such temperatures, so I wouldn't know. However, I do know I wouldn't drive a car that wasn't tested to the temperatures I plan to operate it at. So I probably wouldn't be happy navigating a ship that hasn't been fully tested either...

>we are talking about CUTTERS. ON THE SEA

Well, I agree on the distance if we're talking distance to visible objects; but if this is serious military business, and it is worth someones time, is it impossible that either a ship could hide in the blind spot to pick up TEMPEST transmissions, or perhaps a sub could hide underneath the ship to do this?

I don't know since I don't know much about anything nautical, so you'll need to inform me if that's absolutely impossible or not.

Watch the show again dimwit (5, Insightful)

brennz (715237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004534)

He said "We found out the FLIR system would not survive temperatures below -5". There is a vast chasm between saying "this FLIR is not rated for -5" and saying "the FLIR would not survive temperatures below -5". I'm not sure on FLIR sensitivity to cold weather, but he is implying it would then break.

Oh another point, all tactical systems that handle classified material and are not in special facilities, e.g. a SCIF [fas.org] , need to be protected against TEMPEST [wikipedia.org] / COMSEC & all that jazz. This is common knowledge for anyone with a SIGINT [wikipedia.org] background in the mil/intel arena.

Obviously a cutter [uscg.mil] is built for shallow water work. That means near to shores not way out in the Atlantic Ocean. Big Antenna on the shore, camo'd in the trees, picks up classified comms - not unrealistic.

There is no such thing as paranoia when it comes to protecting classified material.

Initially, I was considered as written by an amateur, but then I noticed that part about you being a Marine. Figures!

Damn.. Wrong whistle (1, Offtopic)

demonic-halo (652519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004310)

When I first saw the headline I thought.. cool blow job videos on YouTube. They finally allowed the X rated stuff.

Sadly, I'm disapointed.

Re:Damn.. Wrong whistle (1)

antispam_ben (591349) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004417)

When I first saw the headline I thought.. cool blow job videos on YouTube. They finally allowed the X rated stuff.

That guy certainly blew HIS job.

not a suprise - Lockheed Martin (1)

brennz (715237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004344)

Lockheed Martin is well known for crappy business practices. I had the misfortune of working with one of their products - The Defense Messaging System (DMS) [globalsecurity.org] . They had one of those huge mega-indefinite supply contracts they milked for so many years....What a total piece of pigslop.

Many government contractors go out of their way to shaft the US government, all in the name of the dollar. I hate these unethical bastards!

youtube the bottom line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004348)

More power to him.

rebuttal (0)

RelliK (4466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004354)

1. Blind spots.

I understand his point: because of the blind spots you need to keep guards on board, which kind of defeats the purpose of the cameras. But is it actually realistic to *not* have guards on board? I would hope not!

2. Equipment not working at -40.

Considering that these ships are intended to be used by the coast guard in the gulf of Mexico, I don't see the problem.

3. Unshielded cables.

WTF is he talking about? The only way to sniff data from an unshielded cable is if you are right next to it. It is not going to help you when the cable is on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Further, the moment data is transmitted off the ship via radar, all bets are off. Unless you encrypt it *anyone* can listen to it.

Re:rebuttal (1)

palutke (58340) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004435)

2. Equipment not working at -40.

Considering that these ships are intended to be used by the coast guard in the gulf of Mexico, I don't see the problem.


It's not a technical problem, a financial one. If the Coast Guard wrote the requirement that the equipment be certified to -40, you can be damn sure LM is charging them the cost of certified components, even though they (allegedly) don't all meet spec.

3. Unshielded cables.

WTF is he talking about? The only way to sniff data from an unshielded cable is if you are right next to it. It is not going to help you when the cable is on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Further, the moment data is transmitted off the ship via radar, all bets are off. Unless you encrypt it *anyone* can listen to it.


Once again, it's a financial issue. Somebody at the Coast Guard decided that the cables needed to be shielded, and paid for shielded cables. If the cables aren't shielded, it's not a security risk, it's fraud.

Re:rebuttal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16004449)

>>Considering that these ships are intended to be used by the coast guard in the gulf of Mexico, I don't see the problem.

As he stated, if you listened, is that the ships could be called to anywhere at anytime. And the equipment they tested stopped working at -5 (see ~4:15 in the video).

Experiences from the IT Sector (1)

pigwin32 (614710) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004526)

> 1. Blind spots.
>
> I understand his point: because of the blind spots you need to keep guards on board,
> which kind of defeats the purpose of the cameras. But is it actually realistic to
> *not* have guards on board? I would hope not!
Even if there is no immediate intention to do so, if the potential exists then someone will mandate it as part of cost-cutting measures.

>2. Equipment not working at -40.
>
> Considering that these ships are intended to be used by the coast guard in the gulf
> of Mexico, I don't see the problem.
Even if there is no immediate intention to do so, if the potential exists then someone will mandate it as part of cost-cutting measures.

Surprise? (3, Informative)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004391)

"It may be very hard for you to believe that our government and the largest defense contractor in the world [are] capable of such alarming incompetence and can make ethical compromises as glaring as what I am going to describe."

No. Not even close. I think it's quite obvious that they're capable of such alarming incompetence. Consider: Katrina. WMD/Iraq. 9/11. Diebold. No-bid contracts. Overbilling.

There's really not much more that needs to be said.

Home of the Brave (1, Interesting)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004392)

I salute this guy. The cocksuckers in Washington are our own worst enemies.

IMO, this is more evidence that Bush's "War on Terror" is nothing more than a facade designed to cover up one of history's biggest robberies. What's a suitable punishment for someone who hijacks a country of 300 million with lies, crimes and stolen elections? GWB should be drawn and quartered on the Washington Mall.

And guess what (3, Insightful)

johansalk (818687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004436)

This video was posted 3 weeks ago and only had a 100 odd ratings, even after appearing on slashdot. Meanwhile a regular skanky youtube teen could get thousands within a hours. Even you guys will probably move on to the next story in a few minutes. I think the government is safe.

Re:And guess what (2, Insightful)

palutke (58340) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004448)

Yeah, he'd have better ratings if he'd flash his tits at the camera while describing the fraud.

Somebody call Hollywood! (1)

carlhirsch (87880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004451)

This just gave me an excellent idea for a remake of "Turk 182"

That made money, right?

oversight is gone (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004493)

I was listening to a story on this on NPR. Government oversight is gone in this decade. The NPR story had a few experts basically reporting on he last portion of this video, which is a laundry list of the government officials he talked to and how they all turned him away with nonsense reasons.

There is no one in government who cares right now. The signs of something very bad happening within my lifetime within my country are numerous, and they all evolve around a populace that doesn't vote, and small groups of people who do vote for people who don't really care about anyone but themselves and the businesses that give them tons of money.

It's so bad I don't even believe that this will cause enough outrage for anyone to do anything. The government is teflon-coated now, and the american voters made it so.

Use YouTube, Go To Jail (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16004510)

With the Republican government persecuting whistleblowers [whistleblowers.org] by stripping their protections, I expect people publishing stories of government ripoffs on YouTube to be sent to jail for "leaking".
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