We learned this week that Soviet hacking of the Federal Bureau of Investigation which resulted in the expulsion of 36 Russian diplomats occurred in 2011, was identified in 2012, but it was not acted upon until 2016. No rush to judgement here, apparently.
According to Yahoo News, the breech of the FBI’s communications system was accomplished in part because the Bureau was using outdated radio systems to track agents operating on U.S. soil and because of apparent inside help. OK, these things sometimes do happen, but a six year response time is truly hard to fathom.
The spy-craft of the cold war has been eclipsed by technology, like everything else in modern life, but bureaucracies are especially vulnerable because they often move slowly in the best of times. Want proof?
A while back I was dealing with the Social Security administration to resolve a problem with our account. I was working with very cordial and well-informed Social Security employee who worked hard to solve our problem. It took numerous phone calls back and forth and a little education on my part about what I needed to do to clear things up.
Great! Problem almost solved. May I fax the needed missing document to you? Yes, but it may take time to sort it out, because the entire department where she was working shared one outdated cranky fax machine. Say what?
You heard me. The whole floor of agents had one fax machine that was often on the fritz.
I’d like to tell you this never happens in departments dealing with our national security. I really would like to.
I know…you’re still waiting.