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!

US Military Leaks its Secrets Online

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the check-out-the-cia-myspace-page dept.

United States 198

athloi writes "Detailed schematics of a military detainee holding facility in southern Iraq, geographical surveys and aerial photographs of two military airfields outside Baghdad and plans for a new fuel farm at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan are among the items accidentally left online by government agencies and contractors."

cancel ×

198 comments

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

How egalitarian (5, Funny)

devilradish (637660) | more than 7 years ago | (#19832935)

see this is what I like, I'm fine with the government invading privacy just as long as they don't get to have any either.

Re:How egalitarian (5, Interesting)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833069)

I'm fine with the government invading privacy just as long as they don't get to have any either.

I'm not, but it is still vaguely funny. Funny in the sense that the military is even more obsessed than the famously obsessed Federal Government (of which it is a prominent member) is with controlling information could make a mistake this stupid. Not funny in the sense that often (though not always), military secrets are secrets for good strategic or tactical reasons, and our military is at least nominally on our side. (It's like rooting for the home team. ;) )

Privacy isn't supposed to be a two-way street between a citizen and their government; symmetry of relation is inappropriate. Governments by definition are in service to the public, and act on behalf of that public; thus, there are precious few acceptable reasons why any corporeal manifestation of that government can assert a reason to keep its actions from those whom it serves, whereas a private citizen is private until and unless it gives ample reason for a public agency to believe they are doing something illegally naughty. The names almost give it away. Public Government. Private Citizen.

As a citizen, I don't want my government thinking it is in some egalitarian relationship with me and my fellow citizens. The government ought to consider itself subordinate to its citizens.

And I know this is taking your joke and dragging it unkindly into unfunny territory, but the 'you show me yours, I'll show you mine' meme is, I think, destructive to any defensible notion of privacy.

Re:How egalitarian (2, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833271)

I'll root for the home team the day they get a competent coach who knows something about basic tactics and the proper use of overwhelming force, as well as how to budget properly.

Re:How egalitarian (1)

Vulva R. Thompson, P (1060828) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833333)

Sounds like Microsoft. Up until a few years ago anyway.

Re:How egalitarian (2, Insightful)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833475)

Well, the other reason I root for the home team is I am acquainted a few of the players, and sometimes when they lose, they die. I don't want them to die, hence, I want them to win, or at least to stop playing and go home.

Re:How egalitarian (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833827)

Interesting position. I am also acquainted with some of the home team's players, but don't root for them. They've got better equipment and a much bigger team than the other side, and the other team's nonparticipating fans have been dying much faster than the home team's players. Though I'm not personally acquainted with any of said fans, I can't support killing them.

Re:How egalitarian (2, Interesting)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834043)

Point. That's why the option I *personally* favor is 'stop playing and go home'. Means both teams get to go home to play another day. But so long as they are playing...

What was that sound? That sound was the spirit of a sports metaphor dying in agony. ;)

Re:How egalitarian (1)

robbiethefett (1047640) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834181)

wtf is a sports? i haven't seen the sun in months, and i'll be damned if i have to think about something that involves going outdoors.

Re:How egalitarian (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834821)

what is this sun of which you speak? I've only read references to it in ancient mythology, seems like a pretty unhealthy thing, caused skin cancer, melted wax-based wings and whatnot..

Re:How egalitarian (5, Funny)

undeaf (974710) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834901)

what is this sun of which you speak?
Okay, how do I explain it in an easy to understand way. The sun is like a huge server that uploads Vitamin D to you. However, we're constantly told scare stories about how we'll accidently download skin cancer from it, to sell antiviolet products. Unless you live near the equator, you can't get very good access to it except in the summer.

Re:How egalitarian (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834535)

With this coach, the second is the better option; but like most bad coaches he doesn't know when to forfiet.

Re:How egalitarian (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833605)

The other option is that there are not enough staff to keep private contractors in line.

Re:How egalitarian (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834303)

Are all of you so naive as to think this wasn't intentional? Or are you just playing along?

Really, feeding the enemy wrong information as the oldest trick in the book, I'd guess this and the "accidental" release of the specs for the embassy are the work of the same counter insurgency program. Ha ha, look at the stupid Americans.

Re:How egalitarian (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834421)

Are all of you so naive as to think this wasn't intentional?

Time to be patronising here since I am being called naive. I suspect when the above poster is old enough to join the workforce they will become aware that governments are not omnipotent and life is not a Tom Clancy novel. There's plenty of incidents in the press of ridiculous incompetance, bullying and petty infighting in agencies people hold in Godlike awe such as the FBI, let alone amateurs called in as contractors to help out when the military is overstretched.

Re:How egalitarian (1)

Massachusettensis (1126999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833759)

If you REALLY believe that "Governments by definition are in service to the public" then you haven't looked closely, or even not that closely, at many actual governments lately. Or ever.

A government's first duty is to remain in power. This most certainly includes the government of the USA. If performing that duty tramples on the public, so be it, as our current administration appears to believe in spades. Some of them have hidden it better.

No, it's not the way it SHOULD be. It is the way it is. Recognize it, deal with it...

Mass...

Re:How egalitarian (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834087)

That the reality departs from the ideal should not be a reason to abandon the ideal or give up striving for its achievement. There have been rare moments in historical governance (both in the US and elsewhere) where a government and its constituent politicians acted in service to its people rather than to itself. To make such events the rule instead of the exception should be the goal of any people. That it is the exception simply means you and I have to work harder, but the fact that it occasionally happens means it is possible.

I am no naif, and I don't believe that ideals are easily achieved, but I *do* think that they are valuable and worth fighting for nonetheless.

Re:How egalitarian (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834329)

Ideal? Ha!

Have you read what the founding fathers wrote?

From Federalist #51 [constitution.org]

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
-Madison

The whole point is for government to control the people. That was what the constitution was written for.

Re:How egalitarian (2, Insightful)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834395)

Way to ignore most of the sentence. Let's review:

In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men...

In other words, governments must be composed of human beings...

the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed...

Humans without some enforced public order are brutish and generally nasty. The establishment and maintenance of public peace is what the Founding Fathers (tm) meant by 'control', not manipulation, either crass or subtle, of a person's desires and fears, as the term is generally understood today...

...and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

Which is the part you simply ignored. In order for a government to have power enough to, ahem, *govern*, and yet be limited, some *ideals* must be made manifest to rule over the baser instincts of those *men* of which the government is ultimately composed. That is the purpose of a constitution, as a codification of principles that justify the continuity of a government so long as that government remains faithful to those principles. The idea was to establish limits upon the reach of authority by delegating specific powers to government and assuming (and later explicitly stating) that the rest were out of reach.

Governments control people just fine without a constitution. The Constitution's purpose was to delimit and control the Government, as Madison himself indicated in that passage; this was the solution to the second half of the problem that the Federalist papers were written to argue for, that a Constitution was the best way to oblige a government to control itself and yet be capable of governing in a way that the prior system (Art. of Confed.) could not.

Re:How egalitarian (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19833899)

This is a pretty misleading headline. U.S. Military? These are government contractors, civilians that do not have a clue about IT security and have not even considered what their actions can result in! This really bothers me because for the most part, your military is a cross section of society, coming from all different parts of our culture. When these stupid civilians put lives at risk, possibly mine, I would like to put them on the gate of any compromised base. I bet they would take security much more to heart. Their actions all boil down to a company that wants to make a buck by showing what a great fing job they are doing to fight the war.

As an active duty Marine, I completely agree with your statements on privacy, I appreciate what little privacy I enjoy and your right to privacy is one of the reasons I have served for 20+ years. I do however take issue with your comparing this instance with our current administration and congress and the military. Politicians are the government that you refer to, not those of us on the ground that are carrying out the fight. Most of us hate the politicians worse than any normal citizen, we fight, bleed etc, they get elected or re-elected based on the B.S. they can sell to the American public. There is not one single politician that has any integrity that I know of.

Heck, this administration forced me to not be a republican anymore and I will never be a democrat. They all are liars.

Re:How egalitarian (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834915)

I do however take issue with your comparing this instance with our current administration and congress and the military. Politicians are the government that you refer to, not those of us on the ground that are carrying out the fight.

I'm reminded of the quote, "A job not worth doing is not worth doing well".

In other words, it really doesn't matter what a great job you and yours are doing. I would rather you weren't there in the first place. That is no reflection on your skills. But you have to admit it makes for a distressing dichotomy: I want to support the troops...

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19832953)

First Post!

Re:First Post! (0, Offtopic)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833053)

And don't forget to troll with, "There is nothing to see here, move along."

The sad thing is, I actually think I'm funny.

Re:First Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19834775)

Fuck off.

From the article (2, Interesting)

nlitement (1098451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19832979)

But it's already out there, posted carelessly to file servers by government agencies and contractors, accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
How did they end up "posting carelessly"? I thought they have an Intranet that is separate from the web servers.

Re:From the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19833083)

Usually. But their intranet tubes got tangled with ours, due to an extreme strain on the internets from people looking at too many pictures of cats with funny captions.

Re:From the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19833505)

They do. Two different ones actually. Providing different degrees of security. SIPER, and NIPER.

Re:From the article (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834267)

If you do manage to leak secrets though, SNIPER is the one to watch out for.

Just block all IP blocks from "enemy" nations (0, Troll)

Mr. Haplo (75276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19832993)

Look, this is simple. The military should just block all incoming access from any country that it deems an enemy. That way, no matter how lax they are with security, it'll be that much harder to get to even unprotected documents by our "enemies". Of course, this should be done at the core router level... Just in case they weren't aware...

-- Jordan

Re:Just block all IP blocks from "enemy" nations (1)

Ai Olor-Wile (997427) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833027)

Proxy, sir. Proxy.

(Preferably an anonymous one.)

Re:Just block all IP blocks from "enemy" nations (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833503)

Proxy, sir. Proxy.

At last the excuse we've been looking for to declare proxies and using proxies as illegal/treason. Thanks DoD.

- RIAA & MPAA

Re:Just block all IP blocks from "enemy" nations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19833029)

Totally safe because, of course, there are no such things as zombie machines or proxies....

Re:Just block all IP blocks from "enemy" nations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19833203)

Hey at least you'll get to find legions of zombies in China!

Re:Just block all IP blocks from "enemy" nations (1)

Aaron Isotton (958761) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833047)

Yeah right. Because it is soooo hard to get a free proxy/ssh/web account or whatever in the US. This would simply annoy everybody who wants to legitimately access information from abroad and not help against the bad boys at all.

Re:Just block all IP blocks from "enemy" nations (2, Funny)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833115)

Sounds a lot like DRM to me. I think the military should try this. It's working so well for the music/movie industry.

Re:Just block all IP blocks from "enemy" nations (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833131)

Security through obscurity rocks! And almost always works... bad.

then when i attack using my hacked USA box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19834227)

you will let me right in..

Let's head this off at the pass... (5, Informative)

SoapBox17 (1020345) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833023)

Before anyone cries foul...

From TFA:

"None of the drawings are classified and we believe they were all handled appropriately per the government's direction," said CH2M Hill spokesman John Corsi. But the company added a password protection to its FTP site after the AP's inquiry and referred the direct request for the documents to the government.
The DOD has a special category of Unclassified documents called "For Official Use Only" (FOUO) which prevents the information from being released to the public under the FOIA. This information was not classified, but was not supposed to be released.

okay, explain that one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19833459)

The DOD has a special category of Unclassified documents called "For Official Use Only" (FOUO) which prevents the information from being released to the public under the FOIA. This information was not classified, but was not supposed to be released.

That just sounds like nonsense. In all seriousness, what is the intended utility of this, uh, classification called FOUO? Is there something like a built-in expiry date for FOUO's, or some other sort of access difference that would make one genuinely understand how this classification is not a classification?

Re:okay, explain that one (4, Informative)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833867)

FOUO is specifically designated to NOT be used as a way of keeping Unclass info away from FOIA inquiries. It's for things that aren't government secrets, but shouldn't be shared with the general public. You would likely agree with many of these. Examples:

Privacy Information, Social security numbers, medical, etc.
Company Trade Secrets
Legal documents, law enforcement documents, with limits
And there are others, some discretionary. Full definition in Chapter 4 here (~100 page PDF):
http://www.dtra.mil/documents/be/5400.7-R.pdf [dtra.mil] BUT, from Chapter 4:

C4.1.1. General. Information that has not been given a security classification pursuant to the criteria of an Executive Order, but which may be withheld from the public because disclosure would cause a foreseeable harm to an interest protected by one or more FOIA Exemptions 2 through 9 (see Chapter C3.) shall be considered as being for official use only (FOUO). No other material shall be considered FOUO and FOUO is not authorized as an anemic form of classification to protect national security interests..

Also from the article (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833479)

Freeman, who showed the AP the documents from Sandia and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, said he made a conscious effort to avoid information labeled classified but still managed to accidentally download files from Sandia with "top secret" classifications, forcing him to wipe his computer hard drive clean and notify authorities.
Now, top secret is not suppose to be anywhere near the internet, so it could be disinformation, but I kind of think that this was a real error in handling classified material because it happens. People put things on laptops that shouldn't be there for example. So, what the AP found was unclassified, but that does not mean that classified material has not been treated this way, and the article does point this out.
--
Solar power in the wild: http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Let's head this off at the pass... (1)

bark (582535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833493)

Before you stop reading past the 1st few paragraphs, also from the same article

Freeman, who showed the AP the documents from Sandia and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, said he made a conscious effort to avoid information labeled classified but still managed to accidentally download files from Sandia with "top secret" classifications, forcing him to wipe his computer hard drive clean and notify authorities.

So Top Secret and Classified documents were actually found, forcing the investigator to give himself up to the FBI.

Re:Let's head this off at the pass... (2, Interesting)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833707)

What's interesting is that after spending a good 10 or 15 years with a TS security clearance, I can do the odd 'search' and find an astonishing amount of information put on line by both the military and contractors, the kind of information that would generally land a person in the trade in some rather deep hot water. (or jail) 3 letter agencies don't really have an employment stream for people to sit on google all day looking for in house classified documents. It usually takes a bit of digging by a reporter and a few major headlines before anyone much cares.

Re:Let's head this off at the pass... (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833929)

This information was not classified, but was not supposed to be released.
Is that like being ugly but having a beautiful soul?

Re:Let's head this off at the pass... (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834033)

Maybe...

as in "In the morning I will be sober but you will still be classified".

Re:Let's head this off at the pass... (1)

ZachMG (1122511) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834777)

no more like the vice presidents office its part of the executive branch but not really

Re:Let's head this off at the pass... (2, Informative)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834067)

But the company added a password protection to its FTP site after the AP's inquiry

I hope they realize that FTP does not encrypt the transport, and thus the password, and that this is only marginally better than no password at all until they bother with encrypting the underlying connection (port forwarding 21 or whatever port they are using through an SSH tunnel for example).

yeah (1, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833025)

This is just another example of how Michael Bay's Transformers movie is completely ridiculous. Megatron wouldn't have had to send his Decepticons to break into the government's computers to steal the location of the all-spark.

As we can see, the DOD would likely just left that information open, available over the web.

Re:yeah (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833073)

They put the information in a movie so that we wouldn't believe it was true! Just like the Matrix...

Re:yeah (1)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833129)

I guess they should have used a search engine and looked on Ebay....

Re:yeah (2, Funny)

PsychoSlashDot (207849) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833181)

This is just another example of how Michael Bay's Transformers movie is completely ridiculous. Megatron wouldn't have had to send his Decepticons to break into the government's computers to steal the location of the all-spark. As we can see, the DOD would likely just left that information open, available over the web.


Funny thing is that Optimus Prime claimed to have learned how to speak our languages on "the World Wide Web", but he didn't once use any l337 speak.

l337 in$igh7 (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834103)

m0d p4ren7 up

"Accidently"?? (5, Interesting)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833059)

Please! So those were the "real" plans, huh? Nod Nod Wink Wink..

Re:"Accidently"?? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19833211)

Yup, sometimes it's nice to believe your government is sneaky rather than stupid. On the other hand, in a society where the government seeds disinformation, it seems that enemies of said government cannot be held ethically responsible for their actions.

I.e. if the government intentionally tries to present the misinformation that it is committing torture when in fact it is not*, and only doing so to intimidate its enemies, then those enemies can't in my mind, be held culpable for the traditional ethical violations they commit in retaliation.

* God I only wish I really believed that...

It's sad that the majority of americans seem to be ignorant of how not-torturing people, encouraging-free-speech, and not-lying-to-the-public actually INCREASE NATIONAL SECURITY. While the actions of the current administration are DECREASING NATIONAL SECURITY.

Re:"Accidently"?? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833913)

Yup, sometimes it's nice to believe your government is sneaky rather than stupid.

It's not a big stretch to believe the "stupidity" thing could be an act presented by the media. Some things are just too stupid as to not be intentional. Couldn't tell ya. The view's not so good way up here in the bleachers.

While the actions of the current administration are DECREASING NATIONAL SECURITY.

Yeah well, they're pocketing the change. And I don't believe they call their form of robbery "national security" when the cameras are turned off. I think they phrase it as , "Hehehe... suckers".

That's the problem with secrets. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833445)

You never can tell where the lie ends and the truth starts.

Re:That's the problem with secrets. (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833809)

Well, I would have to say that the truth starts with us. Some base it on belief. Some will base it on known facts. Obviously, I have insufficient data to decide what's true here. So I have to deduce it from past performance. But, like in the stock market or the race track, it doesn't always work out that way. But I'm still willing to stake odds. Keeps me interested in the game. 5:1 they were fake.

Cut corners (1, Troll)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833943)

The actual buildings won't look anything like the plans, due to 'cutting of corners' that is endemic in Middle Eastern construction. So instead of a rectangular jail with 1000 rectangular cells, there will be a roughly circular construction, much smaller than planned, with a few large and somewhat rounded out rooms. This is why mosques always have rounded domes. That is the ultimate example of corner cutting...

Keeping secrets (3, Insightful)

Aminion (896851) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833067)

And somehow, these people manage to keep secrets about aliens, JFK, weapon programs, etc.? ;)

Re:Keeping secrets (2, Insightful)

kd5ujz (640580) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833357)

They still have some people believing Saddam had WMDs, so I do not see a JFK/Alien/Roswell/Moonwalk cover up out of their reach. :P

Re:Keeping secrets (0, Troll)

cheezedawg (413482) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833407)

The world witnessed Saddam use his WMD against the Iranians and Kurds on multiple occasions. This takes the notion that he had WMD out of the "belief" realm and plants it solidly in the "proven fact" category.

Re:Keeping secrets (2, Insightful)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833793)

The world witnessed Saddam use his WMD against the Iranians and Kurds on multiple occasions. This takes the notion that he had WMD out of the "belief" realm and plants it solidly in the "proven fact" category.


We didn't claim to invade for weapons he had in the 1980s (when he was an ally and we were PROVIDING him weapons and technical expertise). We claimed he had WMDs in the year 2003 and was refusing to get rid of them *in 2003*. Please, stop trying to move the goalposts to make yourself feel better about wasting a trillion dollars and thousands of lives.

Re:Keeping secrets (1)

thebonafortuna (1050016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834867)

Saddam Hussein was never an ally of the United States...it was the Baathist party we helped to put in party. He simply butchered and murdered his way through the hierarchy, until he reached the top. We had no hand in that, and we didn't do anything to support him once he took over. If anyone has any evidence we supported him in his eight year war with Iran in the 1980's, please provide it.

Second point: according to many sources, Saddam did have chemical and biological weapons in 2002, and early 2003. He moved them through conveys into Syria after a dam burst and most of the countries in the region sent "aid". There are some interesting stories about it available in the main stream, should anyone choose to do the research.

Re:Keeping secrets (1)

thebonafortuna (1050016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834879)

*we helped put in power.* Sorry.

Saddam and WMD (1)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833949)

The world witnessed Saddam use his WMD against the Iranians and Kurds on multiple occasions. This takes the notion that he had WMD out of the "belief" realm and plants it solidly in the "proven fact" category.

Poppycock. What have you been smoking? That was during the 1980's when the US government (then president / 'actor' Ronald "Ray Gun" Reagan) was supplying Iraq with the WMD to use against Iran. US supplies weapons, Iraq uses them as directed by the US, then 10+ years the US complains... Not to mention --> After the Gulf War they were destroyed which is why none were found during or after the 'latest' invasion.

You been under a rock for a few years or something, or have I mis-understood your comment?

Right now the US is paying over 12 Billion US$ a month just for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and for what?

Re:Saddam and WMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19834671)

Right now the US is paying over 12 Billion US$ a month just for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and for what?

Since you asked... as I see it, our invasion of Iraq created the perfect training and breeding ground for terrorists (everyone killed in Iraq has parents, most have siblings, some have children). Our job now is simply to keep them disrupted so Iraq doesn't turn into another Taliban that sells national resources to fund projects that project power outward. Right now the terrorists in Iraq (as opposed to the insurgents, who just want their country back) have no capability to project power. But if they get control of the government, army/police, oil stockpiles, the one semi-deep-water port, the international airport, etc., then they have the potential to project power beyond the borders of Iraq. We need either Iraq to have a reasonable representative Republic rebuilt, or for the whole country to be so weak and chaotic that no one faction can assert sufficient control to project power. Unfortunately, the former is looking less likely.

Re:Saddam and WMD (1)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834853)

Dream on. I remember how Reagan crowed about how the US won the cold war by bankrupting Russia through actions like CIA funding the Taliban in Afghanistan. Now it's the US's turn as Russia (not to mention China) rise as the new world powers in large part because of the US's military focus (All war, All the time). And with all the fuss about taxes in the US, the US spends more for 'defense' (offense, really) than all the other countries in the world combined.

Invade Iraq - What a great idea! Let's destabilize an important oil supplying country, leading to destabilizing an entire region, breeding thousands, if not 10's of thousands, more terrorists!

It's also interesting to note that the US military uses as much fuel (gasoline, jet fuel, etc.) as all the citizens in the US do. Pretty soon, as peak oil starts to hit home, the US will be fighting just to keep the military supplied with fuel.

History has shown colonialization does not work.

And just to remind, all but 1 or 2 of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia...

Right now the terrorists in Iraq (as opposed to the insurgents, who just want their country back) have no capability to project power. But if they get control of the government, army/police, oil stockpiles, the one semi-deep-water port, the international airport, etc., then they have the potential to project power beyond the borders of Iraq.

If the US leaves Iraq, it is likely the Iraqis will kick out the 'outside' terrorists (who are currently getting great training in Iraq). Essentially the only way the US can 'win' in Iraq is to kill 80 to 90% of all the Iraq population (as was done in the early days in the US with the Indians {The only good Indian is a dead Indian} under the banner of Manifest Destiny) and set Iraq up as the 51st US state at great (to say the least) expense.

Re:Keeping secrets (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19833359)

See, it's all about the master conspiracy. By leaking unimportant information that only some measly civilians and combatants need to be safe, they distract us from the important matters, like alien JFKs programmed to be weapons.

wow.... (0, Troll)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833071)

The level of incompetence required to make such stupid mistakes is just mind blowing. Direct result of the problems the US faces over education?

Solution: (2, Funny)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833869)

H-1B Visas. Just hire some competent foreigners to handle national security. Oh, wait....

Schematics? (1)

Farfnagel (898722) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833101)

When the fuck did building drawings become schematics? Somebody has been watching too much '24'.

This just in: (2, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833149)

US Military Leaks its Secrets Online

In other news, water is wet!

Doubt this is a mistake. (2, Interesting)

detain (687995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833171)

I have no problem believing that there are countless incompetent people within both our government and military, but they are both run in maners that should prevent mistakes like this from happening. Its my guess that these documents were intended to be 'leaked' and that its no real threat to us to have anyone aware of them. I dont see something like this being an accident at all. Its probably more a strategic move than a mistake.

Re:Doubt this is a mistake. (1)

Danga (307709) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833325)

I kind of thought it seemed like a good way to accidently leak bogus information to confuse the "other side" too. I mean how stupid can you be to put sensitive information out on an anonymous ftp server? I definitely would never even think of putting anything like that on an ftp unless the ftp at least required a password (and even then I would think about who all already has or can get access to that ftp). It seems like security 101 to me. Who cares if the ftp is not indexed? That is like saying it is ok to leave a stack of sensitive papers in a box behind a bush at the back of a building instead of out front where everyone walks in because it is not so easily found. Stupid people!

However, I have seen just how bad government contractors and even the main workers can be when it comes to computers and I definitely could see them making a mistake like this. Some people just have no clue what they are doing on a computer (or they actually do know how to do a lot but don't understand the ramifications of what they are doing) and really need to be trained better before getting access to sensitive materials.

So, I could see it happening either way. I hope it was an intentional leak but my gut makes me lean more towards the human error/incompetence side. Who knows.

Re:Doubt this is a mistake. (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833527)

Its my guess that these documents were intended to be 'leaked'

Your conspiracy theory requires a greater degree of competance than is currently being displayed. Be careful with your credulity. At the far end of this scale there are those that think some elite mob of US spooks engineered 9/11 because only an omnipotent government can defeat itself.

With corruption, nepotism and political appointees you will not always get people competant enough to do the job. It's not just the head of FEMA there are smaller jobs up for grabs for those that bend or break the rules.

Is there no way to do better? (2, Insightful)

Aaron Isotton (958761) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833205)

I find it a bit sad that such things keep on happening all the time (not only to the DOD).

I do realize that, while everyone agrees that "security" is a good thing, it often gets treated lazily for the sake of usability. Even though I think that giving "normal" (i.e. non-system administrator) users the right to just "put things on the server" (likely via FTP or Windows Shares) is just utterly stupid in any context where some sort of security is required. Things will go wrong because people just don't realize (and mostly aren't even interested in) the implications of what they do. I imagine something like this (I have seen that happening too many times):

Alice: Hey, Bob, where's that super secret document we're both working on?
Bob: It's on the SourceSafe (or whatever) server, you can check it out
Alice: Awww, my SourceSafe isn't set up properly and it takes too long. Can you E-Mail it to me?
Bob: Sure! (wants to email the document)
Bob: Darn, the attachments have to be less than 500kbytes, otherwise it won't send it. I'll put it on the W: drive!
Alice: Ok, thanks!

The ideal solution to this kind of problems would be an USABLE operating system with some kind of sensible data flow tracking (e.g. you can't copy a 'classified' file into a 'not classified' folder or upload it to a 'public' server) and which doesn't get in the way all the time.

Example: I worked at a company where we had Lotus Notes internally. Additionally to the other fabulous features (such as speed, stability and an intuitive interface) of that wonderful software it supported sending 'confidential' and 'highly confidential' mail. The result of sending a 'highly confidential' mail was that you couldn't copy/paste from a mail, which was just great when someone sent you a 60 characters long windows share path and you had to type it all into windows explorer. That is what I mean by 'get in the way'.

Is there any (operating) system out there with some sensible, security-aware data flow tracking? Such as 'when you copy something from a classified document into a non-classified document the non-classified one becomes classified'? Or attaching this kind of security information to files or other objects? I know that this is a major topic of research in computer science, but have never seen it in real use.

Re:Is there no way to do better? (3, Insightful)

qzulla (600807) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833497)

Is there any (operating) system out there with some sensible, security-aware data flow tracking? Such as 'when you copy something from a classified document into a non-classified document the non-classified one becomes classified'? Or attaching this kind of security information to files or other objects? I know that this is a major topic of research in computer science, but have never seen it in real use.

I work in a class environment. I'll try to answer this.

Why should the OS care? Who is going to build an OS that can determine what is class or not. That is the owner of the datas (data's?) job. The computer does not care. It happily does what it does - manage data. It is not its job to determine what is safe and what is not.

That is for people to determine. In the end it is people who decide what goes where. I like it this way as there is some accountability and a paper (electronic) trail.

So you write an app that determines what is class. Oops! The DB is down/not up to date/hosed by a virus. In other words, you is funked.

Air gap. We have that. Locked ports. We have that. Two man rule. We have that. Can't talk beyond this. Sorry.

My point is technology can only go so far in protecting stuff. The people doing this stuff only need to think of a few words.

VPN. SecureID. One time passwords.

But ftp with no passwords and not even sftp with passwords?

Fire them all.

qz

Re:Is there no way to do better? (1)

TED Vinson (576153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833519)

Uh...no.

Implementations of Multilevel Security [wikipedia.org] exist, but they are not easy to use and are expensive to develop and operate. This is why systems processing different classification levels are on separate (air-gapped) networks. Off-the-shelf hardware and software can be used with physical security measures preventing information compromises. [Of course, an ID10T sneaker-netting data between the security domains is always a potential problem. The weak point is always people...]

Enforcing a Bell-LaPadula type multilevel security scheme is at odds with providing a flexible, user-friendly system. In order to ensure no violations of a security property, users will end up not being able to do some legitimate actions because the security monitor will see them as security violations. A MLS system that is more user friendly is going to have leaks. It is hard enough to get an OS that can enforce security at a single classification level, let alone one that can quickly and accurately handle a huge possible range of cross-security-domain user actions.

Yes - Get someone with a clue. (1)

azrider (918631) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833945)

Implementations of Multilevel Security [wikipedia.org] exist, but they are not easy to use and are expensive to develop and operate. This is why systems processing different classification levels are on separate (air-gapped) networks. Off-the-shelf hardware and software can be used with physical security measures preventing information compromises. [Of course, an ID10T sneaker-netting data between the security domains is always a potential problem. The weak point is always people...]

The implementation is not only inexpensive, but relatively easy. I have built and demonstrated just such an automated RED->BLACK system to the DSS (Defense Security Service - the folks who have to sign off on all DOD related classified networks). That prototype cost less than $2000 and took less than 30 days from conception to implementation.

The problem comes in when you have to rely on the carbon-based life forms involved to certify that the data is unclassified. Many times, I have seen people with TS/S/Confidential clearances say "I didn't know".
When we performed the demonstration, the main issue stressed was that the machine could securely interface RED and BLACK networks, but the system would fail if the parties involved did not pay attention to the classification of information transferred.

This is the same reason that MS-Office products (which do not always show hidden data) are always a problem (witness the recent disclosure of the intelligence budget - including Black programs - due to the presenter not sanitizing the background information in a Power Point presentation).

How to improve your security... (5, Funny)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833209)

"The posting of private material on publicly available FTP servers"

$ ftp ftp.usmilitary.com
220 FTP server (SunOS 4.1) ready.
Name (ftp.usmilitary.com): guest
331 Guest login ok, send ident as password.
Password: guest@guest.com
ftp>


Thankfully, they caught on and learned their lesson : "the SRA anonymous ftp server has been shutdown indefinitely. In the coming months, a new secure ftp site will be introduced that will replace the functionality of this site."

$sftp guest@sftp.usmilitary.com
Connecting to sftp.usmilitary.com...
Password: guest@guest.com
sftp>

Re:How to improve your security... (0, Offtopic)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833257)

How I wish I had mod points - you would get either "Funny" or "Insightful" -- not sure which.

Re:How to improve your security... (5, Interesting)

Rearden82 (923468) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833683)

That's much more "Insightful" than "Funny".

I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a government agency whose website was hacked. After a month-long "security audit", their in-house security experts devised a comprehensive plan to lock down their server and prevent it from ever being compromised again.

The solution, in its entirety, was to turn http://www.dumbass.agency.gov into the new, "secure" https://www.dumbass.agency.gov.

I wish I was kidding.

Re:How to improve your security... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19834245)

Considering the possibility that the hacker simply sniffed the passwords, it might be of some use.

Certainly not a comprehensive solution however.

Need a more secure alternative to FTP? (3, Funny)

statemachine (840641) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833273)

A spokeswoman for contractor SRA International Inc., where the AP found a document the Defense Department said could let hackers access military computer networks, said the company wasn't concerned because the unclassified file was on an FTP site that's not indexed by Internet search engines. "The only way you could find it is by an awful lot of investigation," said SRA spokeswoman Laura Luke.

Gopher... No one looks there!

Re:Need a more secure alternative to FTP? (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833771)

Gopher... No one looks there!

...just like most people would think of comics [or cartoon porn, sadly] if you mention Veronica [wikipedia.org] and Archie [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:Need a more secure alternative to FTP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19834237)

> > Gopher... No one looks there!
>
> ...just like most people would think of comics [or cartoon porn, sadly] if you mention Veronica [wikipedia.org] and Archie [wikipedia.org]...

Rule 34 [of security: If you want to make sure it leaks, make sure] There is an open port to it. No exceptions.

"accidental" my butt (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833313)

such stuff dont get just "forgotten" - military is not a place that permits human errors to happen frequently like the stuff was coming up about the prison tortures and so on, and a year or so later more, and now this.

i bet the army left them to leak in order to put more pressure on bush adm, with whom they are constantly in bickering and dislike.

Re:"accidental" my butt (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19833737)

such stuff dont get just "forgotten" - military is not a place that permits human errors to happen frequently

a hahahahah

hahah
hahahahahahhaah

wmahahahahahah

errhhhhh... I needed that :-)

Re:"accidental" my butt (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833811)

So, Bush is going to blame the troops now? Pathetic. This stuff endangers the troops and so this is a big error, but I really doubt it was on purpose. As is clear, the torture violated the UCMJ and had to come out. It seems clear now that Rumsfeld and the President were well aware of it long before it came out and if they wanted it suppressed they were conspiring to obstruct justice. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/ 2007/06/18/BL2007061800791.html [washingtonpost.com]

anonymous ftp? (3, Funny)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833335)

> the SRA anonymous ftp server has been shutdown indefinitely

Anonymous?... FTP? They may have as well put them on bitorrent and named them britneys_boobies.zip

Re:anonymous ftp? (1)

slacktide (796664) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833471)

Tracker Plz....

Obtaining this information from elsewhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19833409)

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency -- which provides the military with maps and charts -- said it plans to review its policies after the AP found several sensitive documents, including aerial surveys of military airfields near Balad and Al Asad, Iraq, on its server.
Anyone got a copy? It'd be interesting to see what quality these "maps and charts" were, although they're probably rescaled JPEG's which are of little use to anyone.

Other than that, the "site plan" is not that exciting of a leak. It is something that you can work out yourself with Google Earth, or for sophisticated attackers, a flyover with a high resolution camera. Military bases and the movement of troops and equipment isn't really a secret, because it is impossible to hide. The other "leaks" mentioned in this article are hardly that important either.

Combating GPS jammers isn't much of a secret either. And a powerpoint slideshow on the topic is CERTAINLY not going to contain anything other than some pretty widgets and doodads to win some funding. Maybe I should point out "academic papers" and "academic journals" on topics such as mobile phone interference and satellite communication. This sort of material is far more important to "foreign intelligence" wanting to update their military technology - and it is freely available to all. And guess what? It has more important uses within civilian industries than in the military.

Don't worry, the FBI will be along shortly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19833575)

FBI: "These are not the documents you were looking at".

Bagram Air Base (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833763)

Primary objective: Destroy SAM radar at Bagram Air Base
Secondary objective: Photograph terrorist camp at Bandar Abbas

Ah, memories!

Re:Bagram Air Base (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834147)

Stealth Fighter! That was great -- and that jet whistle!

Re:Bagram Air Base (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19834347)

> Ah, memories!

Ah, Microprose! How many hours I spent with flaps extended at 20 feet altitude, stall warning chirping at me incessantly, practically fluttering my F-19 around Soviet airspace like a leaf on the wind, to rack up those points for "they didn't see you" towards a CMOH. Screw weapons, just gimme 3 tanks of fuel and a camera. The more fuel I had, the longer I could loiter, and the more points I could rack up by not being seen!

Long as we're fluttering down memory lane...

(1-1-2029, the stars are shining bright)

Nerves connected to the center,
We are tied to the machine
Invisible and silent,
Circling overland

The planemakers designed it
To out-turn, outmaneuver
Intruders in the skies,
Intruders in our skies.

(1-1-2029, tonight the stars are shining bright)

Backbone of the fighter force,
Of the defense industry,
Devoted tools of the power,
Warrants of the order.

(1-1-2029, tonight the stars are shining bright...)

Silicon advisers leading the way,
We reach our cruising altitude...

Invisible and silent,
We're circling overland
Circling overland
Circling overland

1-1-2029,
West Europe, midnight,
Invisible and silent,
Circling overland,
Scanning, taping, filing,
Instantly checking
Every human, car, and plane
Of the quarters we survey...


- Front 242, Circling Overland, from Front by Front, 1988

If you don't know the song, but do remember the Microprose game, you must get the song. Grab a copy of F-19 or F-117 from your favorite abandonware site, put Circling Overland into the MP3 player on repeat, turn down the lights, and fly a night photo-recon mission under Cold War "don't be seen" rules of engagement.

I'll bet there are a lot of Airmen who got started by that game.

Um, I thought we were withdrawing... (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 7 years ago | (#19833777)

So much for our plans of getting our troops out any time soon. Unless this 'leak' was intended to foil such attempts of creating a new base, and actually result in getting our troops home quicker.

Hardly news... (0, Offtopic)

Simulant (528590) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834017)

Much ado about nothing if you RTFA.

It's material so sensitive that officials refused to release the documents when asked.
As if that means anything. If you want to see government secrets online, go to http://www.cryptome.org/ [cryptome.org] Anyone else notice that the threat level is ramping up right before an election year? It's as if the terrorists WANT to keep the Republicans in office. Funny how that works.

Stupidy and Misinformation (3, Interesting)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834095)

The military accidentally leaks valuable information, and the military intentionally "leaks" disinformation. It is not an either/or thing.

"Leaking" disinformation would be useless if the military didn't actually leak real information. And if you do accidentally leak real information, it only makes sense to also release disinformation to create uncertainty.

But there is probably no way that layman like most of us here can determine if this is fake or real simply from the information in the article.

Please stop with the propaganda words (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19834201)

I know the government and the lapdog controlled media are good at brainwashing the mouth breathing herds, but would you please just stop this on slashdot, and man up a little in the brain department and just *stop* using that damn word "detainee". It's intellectually insulting and you should be embarrassed to repeat it.

    They are prisoners. Grabbed and snatched at gunpoint, threatened with immediate death if they don't comply, same as in any other war. Being detained implies a short duration in a casual event then you are free to go about your business, something the current usage contradicts immensely, they just psychologically wargamed it and found it sounded less severe for PR purposes to help to "sell" the current fiasco. It also helped them to ignore the Geneva convention rules.

Thanks, nothing personal, but being part of the brave new world order crowd's newspeak push from the current crop of blood profiteers betrays our overall commitment I think most people here at slashdot have to overall freedom/honesty issues. And it matters not if you are pro Iraq war or not, just be aware that words have meaning and repeated enough they become part of the collective consciousness, and the use of that word is *pure freaking evil*. It legitimizes and minimizes some pretty heinous things. Don't let the blood profiteers win in other words, resist it, and starting with something as simple as word usage can be of immense help.

nothing is done by accident. (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19834357)

If they were left online, it was by intention for some sinister reason.
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>