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US Democrats Accidentally Publish Whistleblowers' Email Addresses

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the oh-whoops-our-bad-honest dept.

Privacy 352

iluvcapra writes "The US House Judiciary Committee recently emailed all of its potential whistleblowers information about how it was restructuring its whistleblower program. Unfortunately for its sources, it emailed them this information with their addresses in the "To:" field (and not the Bcc: field) It also cc:'d this email to the Vice President. I'd like to think think this is some sort of ingenious subterfuge, but I'm doubtful."

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Could be worse (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21139741)

Some other political party would have intentionally revealed a whistleblower's identity.

Both the Dems and the Reps... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21139779)

...are generally equally both moronic and evil. Each may have their own distinctive traits of evilness and stupidity, but if you placed a numerical value on each trait and then added up the sums to get a score for each, you'd basically have a stalemate.

Re:Both the Dems and the Reps... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21139909)

No, the Reps have most of the "evil" market cornered. But they're certainly more clever. The ironic thing is that they advertise themselves as the "morality" party despite scandal after scandal after bribe after...

Re:Both the Dems and the Reps... (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139963)

Apparently you're too young to remember when the Democrats had real power in the 80s. Both parties are equally evil. The question is only where you want the evil directed, as that's where there are slight differences.

Re:Both the Dems and the Reps... (-1, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140669)

when the Democrats had real power in the 80s. Both parties are equally evil.
Oh really? Did they start a war for profit in the 80's? Did they abolish habeas corpus? Did they gut the 4th amendment? Iran-Contra? Abu-Ghraib? Rendition? Do you have any similar list of misdeeds by the Democrats? I'm not talking about penny-ante corruption, I'm talking about wars, tyranny, torture.

This idea that there are two sides to every story is pure nonsense. Sometimes, there is right and wrong, Reality Master. I understand the desire to put a pox on both their houses, but when it comes to our two political parties in the US, there is no moral equivalence.

Re:Both the Dems and the Reps... (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140691)

The question is only where you want the evil directed, as that's where there are slight differences.
You think so? Maybe if you modified that with "evil rhetoric", then I could agree.

Re:Both the Dems and the Reps... (0, Flamebait)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140307)

The ironic thing is that they advertise themselves as the "morality" party despite scandal after scandal after bribe after...

I call that the Google syndrome (Do no evil, ever... unless of course it, interferes with making money...)

If the Reps never bothered to claim a higher moral ground, nobody would have paid this much attention to all their sexual escapades and bribes. But as soon as they said "oh look at those immoral Democrats, we'd never kill babies, commit adultery and so on", they immediately shot themselves in the foot because now the voters will scrutinize them more closely. And I actually believe both parties are equally evil. It is just necessary to recycle them once in a while. As soon as one party stays in power too long, they become more lazy and corrupt. It gives the other party(ies?) a chance to use that to kick them out.

Enough with the "they all do it" argument (-1, Troll)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139955)

No, they're not all equal in their wrongdoings. Republicans have been responsible for the overwhelming majority of the evil things done in the US or by the US in the last 60 years, even when you take into account the fact that they held the presidency most of the time. That even includes good ole' Eisenhower, who is responsible for the ousting of democratically elected Mossadegh, which both set the climate for US policy and the political situation over all the middle east for decades to follow.
And yes, even though JFK and LBJ are responsible for starting the Vietnam war, their leadership doesn't cover the most deadly part of it, which belongs squarely to Nixon and Kissinger.
So in the end, democrats and republicans are both criminals, in as much as stealing candy and premeditated murder are both illegal.

Re:Enough with the "they all do it" argument (5, Insightful)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140453)

"No, they're not all equal in their wrongdoings. Republicans have been responsible for the overwhelming majority of the evil things done in the US or by the US in the last 60 years, even when you take into account the fact that they held the presidency most of the time."

The Dems have controlled the house and senate for a huge majority of that time, who makes laws and spends money? Democratic presidents got us into Vietnam, as for your excuse I suppose if Hillary or Obama win the election (both of whom have said they dont know when they'll get troups out) and things get far worse it will be more Hillaries fault than Bushes? get real..

As for Nixon being over the worst part? " By 1968, the peak of U.S. involvement, there were more than 500,000 troops in the country. During the same two-week period of April that year, 752 U.S. soldiers died, according to a search of records kept by the National Archives."

Re:Enough with the "they all do it" argument (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140537)

And yes, even though JFK and LBJ are responsible for starting the Vietnam war, their leadership doesn't cover the most deadly part of it, which belongs squarely to Nixon and Kissinger.


That a fact?

US Servicemen killed Vietnam:
Johnson - 35,751
Nixon - 22,041
(information obtained by five seconds of Googling)

If you're talking about Vietnamese casualties, then you've got secret inside sources in the Vietnamese government.

Re:Both the Dems and the Reps... (4, Insightful)

rdean400 (322321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140239)

Indeed. The Dems and Reps are both moronic and evil -- it's just easier to catch the Reps at it because most members of the media (except for Fox and the radio talk show hosts) has a chip on its shoulder about them.

Re:Could be worse (5, Insightful)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139789)

So here are our options:
1) Incompetence, or
2) Malice.

We're screwed.

Re:Could be worse (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139939)

That's always been the situation with our government.

Re:Could be worse (5, Funny)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139991)

3) All of the above

Re:Could be worse (5, Funny)

ScrappyLaptop (733753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140481)

4. Profit!!!! (See? No '????' needed with politics; there's always profit to be had when you control everything!)

Re:Could be worse (4, Insightful)

glindsey (73730) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139999)

So here are our options:
1) Incompetence, or
2) Malice.

We're screwed.
I really wish I could mod this (+1, Amusing At First But Gradually Becoming Horribly Depressing As You Realize The Implications).

Re:Could be worse (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140337)

No shit! Although... I wonder. While it's tempting to say that if the Democrats were so stupid as to have fucked this up, perhaps it's indicative of their overall incompetence and it's no wonder they haven't been able to stop, or even limit, the Iraq war, get SCHIP passed or any number of their bills.

However, maybe it's the technology, e-mail is not exactly a communication system designed with high level security in mind. I've made the mistake, twice now in my lifetime, of hitting "reply" when I meant "forward." Once was a serious foot-in-mouth moment, but fortunately it was no one I knew. Since then I've tried to not to say anything that should not be repeated in an e-mail but maybe everybody has to go through this at least once before they learn.

Re:Could be worse (2, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140015)

I'm going with 1 with the addendum of 'this is a new level of stupid.'

Re:Could be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21140045)

Or (3) Thoughtlessness and (4) Poor email software design. I'd bet Microsoft Outlook was involved. Outlook's interface seems prone to people adding recipients to unintended fields. Thoughtlessness, obviously, for the sender not double-checking before sending.

While I'm inclined to give the email sender the benefit of the doubt, it's a serious error: we're talking about contact details of whistleblowers being leaked direct to a President with a record of being pro-torture and rendition, who conducts illegal wire-taps, who came up with the legal quagmire of long-term detention without trial at Guantanimo Bay in Cuba, whose senior staff have even outed senior undercover CIA operatives when they consider it in their interests. Not good, to say the least.

Re:Could be worse (3, Interesting)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140061)

It boils down to no options at all: Grey's law [blogspot.com] .

Re:Could be worse (1)

jgercken (314042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140069)

Please see one of my favorite quotes below.

Re:Could be worse (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140085)

In any system of significance there'll be incompetence and malice, call it Kjella's law if you like. If you develop software of significance, manage a network of significance or something completely different like the Democrat's administration you'll have incompetence and malice. If we were "screwed" for that reason alone, we're all so royally screwed you wouldn't believe it. That's why we build in safeguards to deal with it, to make sure people don't blunder and to keep "honest" people honest.

For example, why make this possible at all? Why not make some sort of interface that'll only send out bcc'd mail? How many had access to this list anyway? Were they just relying on people to do this right every time, never to slip up and forget and make a mistake? Newsflash: People make mistakes. People make huge mistakes. People fall for temptation. Try reading some of the tests they've done, like drop a wallet with money and ID, then see how many returns it without the money or not at all. You have to work with what you have, not some imaginary world where everyone is competent and honest...

Re:Could be worse (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140093)

Well - incompetence means that nothing will happen while malice means that whatever happens is intentional and not in the public interest. If I have to choose I'll go for incompetence because then all actions should average out to a nothing.

But one may wonder - can it get worse? Well... Jeb Bush [wikipedia.org] may be appointed... Since George W isn't eligible for a third period.

Or shall we wait a few years and see either Jenna or Barbara Bush [wikipedia.org] become elected? Then it's really a family affair and it may be time to rename the office from "President" to "Majesty".

Re:Could be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21140251)

In the case of the Democrats I think that incompetent malice is a possibility. Or maybe malicious incompetence. Or possibly BDS.

What do you think?

Re:Could be worse (4, Insightful)

rdean400 (322321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140301)

Please....the Bush's don't have a monopoly on either malice or incompetence (and to be completely honest, our problems are more due to GWB taking incompetent action than taking malicious action). If the Iraq War had been prosecuted competently, all we'd have left in Iraq now is a police force training Iraqis on how to police their own country.

No, it wasn't malice that caused this to be a mess -- it was incompetence.

Re:Could be worse (0, Flamebait)

apparently (756613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140475)

(and to be completely honest, our problems are more due to GWB taking incompetent action than taking malicious action)

Bull. Our problems are due to the GWB administration incompetently implementing malicious action. Iraq was not an incompetent mistake: the administration knew that WMD's weren't present, that Saddam wasn't tied to 9/11 or Al Qaeda, and that invading Iraq would result in a quagmire, but yet the invasion was marketed to the American people as a necessary and relevant front to the "Global War on Terror". That is treasonous malice.

Re:Could be worse (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140131)

Welcome to the bi-party political system.

Voting: Damned if you don't and damned if you do.

Re:Could be worse (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140411)

No, your options are between a douche and a turd [wikipedia.org] .

Let's get out and vote!
Let's make our voices heard.
We've been given the right to choose,
between a douche and a turd.
It's democracy in action!
Put your freedom to the test.
A big fat turd or a stupid douche,
which do you like best?

At least the campaign signs would be somewhat entertaining.

Re:Could be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21140643)

Just speaks volumes about how the basics of computer use still eludes people in power. Scary thing when the basics of security and confidentiality are missed.

This should be a test question on the High School Exit Exam - or the Middle School Exit exam:

Mary is responding to the gossip about her affair with Marvin - she wants to copy it to Marvin but not let anyone know she did it. How can she do this?
a. Call Marvin on the phone while standing in a closet.
b. Send Marvin a snail mail letter from the post office in the next town.
c. Send it to Marvin's email using the cc option.
d. Send it to Marvin's email using the bcc option.

Five bucks says most high schoolers would get the right answer.
Ten bucks says that 50% of allgovernment employees would fail.
Two hundred bucks says that 80% of all politicians would fail.

R

Re:Could be worse (2, Insightful)

moseman (190361) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139869)

Or Hillary could just off them in a Park.

Re:Could be worse (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21140249)

I noticed that your post had been modded as "troll", but you actually are closer to the truth than some of these liberal slashdotters may realize. Several people near the Clintons have mysteriously died or were killed. I hope I don't have to say, "I told you so." after Shrillary is elected. I fear that I may not be able to say much of anything anti-Clinton. Want to be audited? Want her holding your FBI file in her dirty little paws? Wanta go for a walk in a park? The Sopranos have nothing on this bitch and her minions. You want socialism? Boy, are you going to get it in spades!

Re:Could be worse (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140509)

Another point: despite claims of how smart and accomplished she is, a divorce and remarriage are the only reasons Paula Jones or Gennifer Flowers aren't the junior NY senator (and leading democratic presidential candidate) right now.

Re:Could be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21140605)

"Shrillary"? Is that your most poignant political opinion? "HAHAHAHA! I made a joke about her name! She's shrill!" Motherfucking terse, sound-bite loving Americans, I swear.

Re:Could be worse (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139893)

Because there is nothing better than flaming the opposition when you have done something wrong? Pathetic.

Re:Could be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21139913)

Because there is nothing better than flaming the opposition when you have done something wrong? Pathetic.

Par for the course for most politico's, I'm afraid. Both the supporters and their "team".

BULLSHIT!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21139941)

Who was this whistleblower and who is this mysterious other political party you speak of?

Yeah, I thought so. You can't name them. I just DESTROYED YOU.

Re:Could be worse (0, Flamebait)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140229)

Teh libertarians?

Re:Could be worse (1)

bxwatso (1059160) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140489)

Amazing. A Democrat does something stupid and all you flamers can say is that Republicans are worse or evil. The story isn't about Republicans. They do stupid things by themselves in their own way. IMO, there is plenty of incompetence and malice on both sides (I vote Libertarian). You need to free yourselves from your dogma.

Re:Could be worse (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140667)

Some other party? We only have one. The "others" never get more than 1% of the vote.

If I was blowing whistles... (5, Insightful)

doyoulikeworms (1094003) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139759)

I'd surely use a free, disposable email account.

Why didn't the person just go the Anonymous Coward route?

Re:If I was blowing whistles... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21139821)

Imagine the crap congresscritters get in their email. What credibility would anonymous whistleblowers have?

Re:If I was blowing whistles... (2, Insightful)

chakmol (88099) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139889)

I'd surely use a free, disposable email account.
I agree, and I'd probably use tor to connect to it.

This type of e-mail behavior is so common. I give my e-mail address to a trusted friend assuming I'll get e-mail from one person to ONE person, but no, let the mass openly addressed forwarding begin. Even worse, the recipients do a "reply all" and start having a conversation in my inbox. When I write to the trusted friend and gently try to explain the pitfalls of mass address sharing or how to use BCC, they invariably respond with a "huh?", or get all offended and never speak again.

Re:If I was blowing whistles... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140083)

You think *thats* annoying - theres someone with my name using a *very* similar gmail address (I think he suffixes his with jnr), but puts down mine on anything he needs to, including his friends social mailing list, his lawyers correspondance, his childrens school contact form and lots of other stuff.

I'm receiving all sorts of what should be privileged information, and I have informed him of this to just be told 'stop reading my email!' and various threats.

What do you do?!

email incompetence (1)

cumin (1141433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140263)

I dunno, but I'd like to. I'm torn on exactly how far to go. My favorite nick got taken before I got a gmail, so I'm the one with the suffix (not jnr) and the one time I tried to open up a conversation with the owner of the address, I got this "Don't hack me bro!" type response.

I'm close to signing him up for every piece of spam and junk I can. The only thing I want to do is make sure I have enough info to hit every account he ever opens.

Re:email incompetence (1)

Ansonmont (170786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140415)

So you are going to hack him? He asked you not to....
-A

Re:email incompetence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21140483)

You're an asshole.

Re:If I was blowing whistles... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21140267)

I think you just did it.

Re:If I was blowing whistles... (1)

arachnoprobe (945081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140293)

Setup an mail2web software for that emailadress - and send him the link.

Re:If I was blowing whistles... (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140377)

What do you do?!

You find his wife's and friends' email addresses, and send anything that could vaguely lead them to believe he's having a gay love affair with a Latino named Raul, including photoshopped images of him, if at all possible.

That's what you do.

Re:If I was blowing whistles... (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140417)

Post all his information on /b/?

Re:If I was blowing whistles... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21140525)

Steal his identity and utterly ruin him?

Oh right, I think you wanted something "ethical" whatever that means. :P

Re:If I was choosing friends... (2, Insightful)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140137)

You have friends who are email incompetent and choose not to learn? I suggest you change your definition of friend. Those who choose not to learn from their friends and continue to abuse that trust I would no longer consider a friend.

If they willing buy me beer and discuss technology, politics, and women, I may not call them friend but I would certainly give them my gmail address!

Re:If I was blowing whistles... (1)

apparently (756613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140647)

I agree, and I'd probably use tor to connect to it.

Tor has significant weaknesses [wikipedia.org] , especially in the face of government resources. You'd be better off using (or at least combining tor with the use of) public wifi access from a workstation that is ideally not linked to you. Obviously, the security of public wifi access is another issue. Unfortunately, true anonymous communications are a bit of a technical hurdle to the average would-be whistleblower.

Re:If I was blowing whistles... (2, Insightful)

MikeUW (999162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140581)

Wouldn't an anonymous whistleblower be far less credible than an identifiable one?

Re:If I was blowing whistles... (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140623)

If I was blowing whistles, I would use a whistle...

All your email are belong to us (5, Funny)

Ranger (1783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139769)

Narrator: In A.D. 2007, investigation was beginning.
Conyers: What happen ?
Whistleblower: Somebody not set up us the Bcc.

Staffer: We get chat window.
Conyers: What!
Staffer: Main chat turn on.
Conyers: It's you!!
Cheney: How are you gentlemen!!
Cheney: All your email are belong to us.
Cheney: You are on the way to destruction.
Conyers: What you say!!
Cheney: You have no chance to impeach make your time.
Cheney: Ha Ha Ha Ha ....

Staffer: Conyers:!! *
Conyers: Take off every 'DOJ'!!
Conyers: You know what you doing.
Conyers: Move 'HJC'.
Conyers: For great justice.

Re:All your email are belong to us (0, Troll)

Mex (191941) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140271)

Really? A year 2000 joke?

If there's one thing that bothers me about slashdot, is that for all the tendency we have to stay on the edge of tech, we are behind even Fark in terms of "funny" memes.

Who's fault is this? (5, Insightful)

NoTheory (580275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139773)

Nice inflammatory title line!

Why exactly do we have to make an IT gaff, even as massive as this one, partisan? Do we know who's staffers actually sent out the email? You do understand that the Judiciary committee does have Republican members right? Beyond the fact that Republicans don't seem to do inquiries into the Bush Administration, it's not like this wouldn't have happened if Republicans were in charge of the judiciary committee.

That said, this is absolutely unacceptable.

Re:Who's fault is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21139873)

Well, maybe the person who sent the email simply didn't know what the Bcc field is used for?

Re:Who's fault is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21139911)

Why is this a troll? He's absolutely right, the headline is partisan while the article says nothing about what affiliation the one who goofed it up has. Even IF the person behind it was a Democrat or Republican, it would have nothing to do with party affiliation. It's a mistake, and a mistake that should never happen, but the /. headline is partisan and wrong.

That said, if the headline had said "Republicans Accidentally Publish Whistleblowers' Email Addresses" then we'd have 500 posts on how it's not accidental and really a huge government conspiracy... though maybe we already do have 500 posts like that by now.

Re:Who's fault is this? (4, Insightful)

Holmwood (899130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140111)

What's really ironic and sad was that the actual email was setting up some sensible standards for control and hearing of complaints (see the link).

That said, the headline is reasonable.

This was a Democratic initiative, and possibly quite a good one until this.

The Democrats are in charge. Yes, there are Republican staffers, but are you going to suggest the Majority staffers said to the Republicans "We want a long weekend, you guys take over sending out these emails."

That would make the Democrats lazy, reckless and negligent as well as stupid.

Admittedly it would still leave us wondering if the Republicans were stupid or malicious. (I know, many would say both).

Holmwood

Re:Who's fault is this? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21140279)

If Bush was technically the head of this group, you guys would be screaming impeachment.
Since he's not in charge of this one, you guys change your tune to "Leave the poor democrat in charge of this fiasco alone."

Re:Who's fault is this? (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140383)

Why is this a troll?
After 9 years on slashdot, you come to appreciate the insight and honesty "trolls" bring to the discussion. The karma modifier should be +1. Not to worry. Just over the horizon of slashdot regurgitation, browse at -1 and enjoy some sunshine - both good, bad, right, wrong, indifferent, and wtf.

Wear that "troll" tag as a badge of honor. Sleep comfortably knowing on the other side of the screen is your planted rose seed, struggling amidst the weeds of stagnant and repressive thought.

Where do we get the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21139833)

Where do we get the list of "outed" whistleblowers? The entire concept behind such a site is ridiculous. Let's create a "secure" Internet-centric solution to protecting whistleblowers - uggg! From the same folks who bring us bridges to nowhere and endless partisan debates. Just imagine the potential for malicious behavior in putting an enemies .mil or .gov address on that list. And the idiots don't even verify before sending out mailings - it amazes me the US hasn't fallen apart yet. Very sad.

Quite obviously on purpose (5, Interesting)

HotdogsFolks (1145369) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139837)

This reminds me of that Army guy who "anonymously" complained about the torture of Iraqi prisoners, only be thanked by name by the Secretary of Defense on TV while in an Army canteen in Iraq. The message is clear: if you are a whistleblower, you will regret it.

Re:Quite obviously on purpose (5, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139915)

Rumsfeld should be charged with reckless endangerment. This was no accident. Rumsfeld knew how the kid's unit would respond.

Re:Quite obviously on purpose (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140115)

Which is why you should always use the name of someone you dislike... Or your boss's.
 

Re:Quite obviously on purpose (2, Informative)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140179)

No, Rumsfeld should be charged with treason. Or be given the option of having the whistleblower work in Rumsfeld's office as a liaison for other military whistleblowers.

2001-2007 = A comedy of errors (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140701)

2008: Please choose wisely America.

The VP cc: is likely the result of a prank (4, Interesting)

gambolt (1146363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139841)

Tips were submitted from a web form with no email verification. Some joker likely thought it would be funny to use the public address for the VP's office when submitting a tip. When the mass mailing was sent it out, it got sent to that address as well.

Re:The VP cc: is likely the result of a prank (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139885)

Some joker likely thought it would be funny to use the public address for the VP's office when submitting a tip. When the mass mailing was sent it out, it got sent to that address as well.
Or maybe it's simpler than that, maybe the Vice President wants to be a whistle blower. Personally, I think he's got a lot of whistle blowing to do. Mostly on himself, but there are a few others.

Think: a blubbering Chunk from The Goonies talking about shooting a man in the face.

Of course (4, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139849)

Next year, they can point to Cheney, and screech that he obtained (and implying that he will use) personal information on the whistleblowers. The exact mechanism of how he got it will be brushed away.

Or so my tin-foil hat wearing buddy told me.

Re:Of course (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140527)

With the widespread Unlawful Domestic Surveillance, it's not like Cheney didn't already have his own list of whistle-blowers.

Who's got the list? (4, Funny)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139851)

Someone should email them an apology. ;-)

Re:Who's got the list? (4, Informative)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140397)

They did.... and they STILL used the "To:" field. Astounding.

FTFA:

Compounding the mistake, the committee later sent out a second email attempting to recall the original email; it, too, included all recipients in the "to:" field, according to a recipient of the emails.

Clearly Bush is behind this ! (1, Funny)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139859)

I'm kidding, but I'm sure you will find a few comments who aren't.

Re:Clearly Bush is behind this ! (2, Insightful)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139969)

Yeah. Sometimes I don't know if Slashdot has devolved into DailyKos parody, self-parody, sarcasm, or just old-woman shrillness.

I'm a Bit Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21139861)

US Democrats Accidentally Publish Whistleblowers' Email Addresses
Where is it published so that I can see it? It sounded like they were revealed to each other and the VP, is that really the same as publishing?

Second, how does an entire party (US Democrats) send an e-mail? Were they all collectively huddled around a computer when this happened? Did they all put their hands on the mouse? I think that one technologically inept Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee screwed up, it was bad but it wasn't like post-them-in-Newsweek bad.

Re:I'm a Bit Confused (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139983)

What, you've never heard of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy?

Re:I'm a Bit Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21140059)

Do you mean the ComIntern or the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion?

Re:I'm a Bit Confused (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140113)

Well, I know that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are real. Hell I even no a member in good standing: http://youtube.com/watch?v=7XrRyqses5U [youtube.com]

No, no, no! That's not how you do it! (4, Funny)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139949)

You meant: US Democrats "Accidentally" Publish Whistleblowers' Email Addresses (Note the scare quotes) Now *that*'s a Slashdot headline.

Re:No, no, no! That's not how you do it! (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140007)

You meant: US Democrats "Accidentally" Publish Whistleblowers' Email Addresses (Note the scare quotes) Now *that*'s a Slashdot headline.
No its not you seem to have missed the key word in the headline: Democrats. If it was exactly the same article but with Republicans, than the slashdot headline would have the scare quotes you added. Remember, this is slashdot, until proven otherwise, all Democrats are good, and all Republicans are evil.

Re:No, no, no! That's not how you do it! (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140017)

Come to think of it, you have me dead to rights there.

I love your handle: a nice mix of the brutal and subtle, but all conveying power. I think it's one of the top three all-time scary names, along with "Dick Armey" and "Rod Johnson".
 

In other news... (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139961)

The White House fires the entire Justice Department.

Re:In other news... (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140197)

How? After the Justice Department investigates itself? Now there's a metaphor for bureaucratic masturbation.

on stupidity (1)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 6 years ago | (#21139965)

It's easy to understand infinity, just contemplate human stupidity

Variously attributed to Einstein, Pascal, and the suprevisor of stone cutting at the pyramids

Re:on stupidity (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140129)

Goes something like "Never underestimate human stupidity and ignorance."

Those that hate government do a bad job running it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21139995)

Democrats also suck at running it.

And thank God too! (3, Insightful)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140079)

When the Democrats came in in 2006, I was expecting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to be unleashed on us.

Instead we got Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, two of the most ineffectual politicians of all time. My God! Every time Reid opens his mouth, he makes a little man smaller. Pelosi, having failed to install a carer criminal as Whip, finds herself in an ongoing monkey knife fight with Hoyer. Meanwhile Charlie Rangel's prposing that tax rates be raised, as we try to shrug off the economic effects sub-prime lending fiasco. Oh, and troops out of Iraq? No. In fact, the numbers in-country are up.

End result? Completely stalled government, to the point where we don't even have a budget proposal. Better yet, Democrats are looking so imcompetent, they may just lose massively in 2008.

I like it.

Its not right or left, its the whole shebang... (0, Troll)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140161)

playing the right wing left wing crap is just that, crap.

Let me get you to demonstrate:

hold your arms straight out parallel to the ground, you left arm being the left wing and your right arm being the right wing.
Now since the right wing and the left wing are typically on opposite sides of any issue, move you right arm up while you move your left arm down.
And since the right wing and the left wing over a period of time actually reverse their position on issues, now move you left arm up and your right arm down. Now pretend you are passing thru time, moving your arms up and down opposite each other to represent the left wing and right wing.

Our national bird is the Eagle. Have you ever seen an eagle fly like that?

This whistle blower leak, it was intentional and expresses the whistle blower on whistle blowers. Nobody likes a tattletale.
  One more step closer towards dictatorship under the illusion of democracy.

We have already seen the bush admin desire for "rat on family and friends promo".... as they may be terrorist....

Proof of concept (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140191)

If brains were dynamite everyone on capitol hill would find it impossible to blow one nose!

Regardless of party they are just a thundering herd of dumbass!

Shift the blame (5, Informative)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140241)

"A technological error in a recent communication inadvertently disclosed certain email addresses."

I call bullshit on the source of the error. By implicating the technology as the source of the error, the Justice Department is failing to address the real cause -- human error and incompetence in the Justice Department. This single statement alone reinforces the point of the original investigation -- the politicizing of the Justice Department.

Re:Shift the blame (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140459)

"A technological error" - An error of misunderstanding the software.
It's not exactly obvious that when you use the "To" field instead of the "Bcc" field the e-mails of everyone on the "To" list is published to everyone else.

"inadvertently disclosed" - It wasn't deliberate.

I don't see where the bullshit is. Would you prefer "We fucked up, our bad. But in our defense what gives with all the e-mails being sent to everyone else if you don't use this "Bcc" field? Seriously what the hell is "Bcc" anyway? Doesn't cc mean carbon copy?"

It almost makes you sorry for the politicians (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140269)

Almost.

So imagine you're some legislator guy who graduated from law school back in the day when lawyers never touched a keyboard because people might think they were a lowly paralegal. You're a damn good lawyer, and at least try to be as good a politician as you can and still be a successful one. You actually know a great deal about things like the Internet, but in general, high level terms. You are well up on its legal, economic, sociological and even philosophical implications. You just don't know a damned thing about how it works, although unlike Sen. Stevens you are smart enough not to venture an opinion.

So, you hand this message to an aide, "get this to all the whistleblowers on our list." The aide has exactly the same background as you, although he has a bit more practical skill at things like making PowerPoint presentations. The order goes down the line through a sequence of people with similar backgrounds and aspirations but increasingly less experience and seniority, until it reaches somebody with so little experience and seniority he actually has to do the typing.

That is the person who has to make the right information security decision.

Contrast this with the executive branch. The executive branch has something at its disposal called a bureaucracy. Bureaucracies are notoriously slow at getting things done, because their primary function is to preserve an institutional memory of every mistake that has ever been made and is worth remembering. They do make new mistakes of course, but provided you apply the appropriate feedback, they will remember that mistake and adapt to avoid it in the future. In minor cases they will adjust by simply engraving additions to the relevant procedures they follow. Given severe feedback, they respond by sprouting entirely new organs and body parts whose function is to stop the rest of its body from doing that thing again.

So, in the executive branch, the order goes down the chain of command, but with two differences. The least experienced person probably has a manual which contains a procedure to do these things, a procedure that has provisions for avoiding disclosure of distribution list recipients. Secondly, if the mistake contemplated is grave enough, the work flow is designed so that once a task is complete, it doesn't simply go out the door. It is passed up through multiple layers of review until it reaches somebody senior enough to authorize that. His job is not to check that the proper procedure has been followed; that has been taken care of at a level below him but above the person doing the work. This guy's job is to use his experience in determining whether the standard procedure has failed in its purpose.

When the next administration comes in, and all the people "at the top" of the organizational chart are changed, and all of the political philosophies have been duly stood on their head, the procedure, work flow, and personal memory have all been retained intact. Of course it makes it completely impossible for those politicians to implement the policies they've promised as quickly as they've promised.

It is entirely possible that the bureaucracy has neither a procedure nor a work flow nor a person to prevent any particular problem. But if the problem is sufficiently serious, it will immediately sprout all three features. If you lay aside your well earned dislike of the thing, bureaucracy is actually remarkably quick and effective at adapting to avoid routine mistakes, provided (and this is important) that it is actually ordered to do something about them.

About the only problem a bureaucracy can't quickly adjust to is not getting something fast done or cheaply enough. Fixing that problem requires paring down work flows and streamlining procedures and cutting staff (particularly middle management), which are the very things that embody the institutional memory that is their reason for existence. It is probable that some institutional memory is lost as minor changes are made, which is why bureaucracies hate to change for any consideration as mundane as cost and efficiency. But as rapid and dramatic changes are made, then lots of institutional memory is inevitably lost. A bureaucracy will cheerfully accept any constraint, because that's why they exist. The only exception is budget.

The upshot is that while it is easy to quickly institute cheaper government, that doesn't automatically make it more efficient, a quality that while obviously related is not at all the same thing. You can end up with big screw ups in important things like privacy or disaster relief because jettisoning those things looks like a cost savings until you decide that you really wanted them. A cheaper FEMA looks more efficient when you don't have a big disaster; the trick is to build a cheaper one that looks more efficient when you are having a major disaster. Of course if you don't think the government should be involved in something, cheaper is always more efficient, but that's a philosophical point.

In any case, its inevitable that these things happen in the legislative branch, whose bureaucracy is smaller and less robust than the executive branch. Any time leadership changes hands after a period of more than a few years, you expect a rash of apparently stupid mistakes, even if the people making them are otherwise quite intelligent.

Another victory (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140305)

Dick Cheney you clever rogue, is there anyone you can't outsmart?

I am not surprised (5, Interesting)

microcars (708223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140313)

I participate in a Product Testing group maybe once or twice a year and I had to sign a strict Non Disclosure Document and was assured in return that my Identity would also be kept private.

One day I get an email FROM: The President of the Company thanking me for my help in the past year.

The TO: field also had the emails of EVERYONE else who had apparently participated.

Some of the email addresses were work emails or similar with things like: john.smith@example.com
Not difficult to figure out who they were.

After replying and tearing the President a new one, I got a polite email back saying there had been an "error" and they apologized.
"They would never intentionally disclose my personal information."

So I replied again and said that if this was not intentional then it was incompetence and if it was incompetence what plans did they have for ensuring this would not happen again?
If I happened to "accidently" disclose what products I was testing would I be able to use the same excuse? Or would I get sued?

I got no answer to that one.

Double whistleblowers (1, Insightful)

barwasp (1116567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21140549)

Well, the war criminal's administration has been asking for highly efficient whistleblowers

Is Ron Paul on the List? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21140697)

Hopefully Ron Paul is on the whistleblower list for being one of the few in the gang of 535. If not, he will be come November 5th [thisnovember5th.com] !
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