The Clinton Email Affair

The fascinating thing about the Clinton Email Affair is that it illustrates a central truth of our time; someone is storing and reading your emails. That someone could be your employer, your government, your email provider, or all of the above. A very small percentage of email users choose to run their own email servers and avoid this fate. It turns out that the woman who wants to be our next President is one of those very few.

What does this choice say about her and how she would approach digital privacy? If Edward Snowden is the person who told us what we always suspected but were in denial about, then Hillary Clinton is the person who opted out of the system and lived to tell us how she did it.

The media wants her to tell us why she did it. As if there is any question about that. She did not want the witch hunters in Washington to have access to her emails. That’s it. She has been there and has the scars to show for it and did what any intelligent person with balls would do. She opted out. And she got away with it for four years.

Of course, this affair could get in the way of her desire to get back to the White House. We will see about that. In which case she will have not gotten away with it.

But even so, I would hope that this affair, along with the Snowden revelations, clarifies things for people. Your emails are not private messages. They aren’t much different than posting on Twitter and Facebook. If you do anything that a lot of people care about, your emails will be read and shared. Unless you run your own email server and encrypt your messages.

Sadly this email affair is playing out like all other Washington scandals when it could be anchoring a much larger national discussion about the privacy of personal communications and what are our rights are in that regard. Maybe if this email affair blows over and Hillary ends up in the White House, she can lead that discussion. She will be well suited to do so.


Comments (Archived):

  1. andyswan
    1. fredwilson

      that could be an advertisement for the Confide app!

      1. pointsnfigures

        Too bad she isn’t a stock, we’d know what Likefolio thought about her!

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      Funny, as an outsider I hadn’t noticed that “administration transparency” was a long standing traditional attribute of most US presidencies ?

  2. Tereza

    “She has been there and has the scars to show for it and did what any intelligent person with balls would do. She opted out.” <– +1000Question: Can legislators who do not participate in sending electronic communications (neither public, not private), intelligently and fully legislate on the matters of our day?They opted out altogether.And I think that’s worse.

    1. JimHirshfield

      I’m here. I hear you.

      1. Tereza

        {Sigh.}I feel better now.

    2. eepratesi

      Having access to email does not make you any more enlightened or more capable of providing leadership!

      1. Joe Cardillo

        It depends on the matter of the day – in the case of an issue like net neutrality, rural broadband, privacy, etc. I’d have a hard time trusting a legislator who hasn’t used the technology in question. It’d be like letting Ted Stevens vote on how to maintain the “pipes” that he thought the internet consisted of.

        1. eepratesi

          I understand your point but there are many instances where legislators rely on information to make decisions on technology related issues. My point is that in the context of email, not using the technology does not mean you are ignorant of its potential use or abuse. With respect to the other issues you mention, in some cases technology “use” may be important but obtaining knowledge comes in many forms.

    3. Aaron Klein

      Agreed. Senator Graham bragging that he doesn’t use email at all was a headslapper of a comment…he’s the chairman of the committee that regulates the Internet!

      1. Tereza

        Who knew Lindsey Graham was a disciple of the Four Hour Workweek.Hey I hate email as much as the next person. But if you don’t participate in technology, on what grounds do you legislate it. Oh, wait. #PACs.

  3. georgebc

    I get why she would want to run her own mail server; what I can’t understand is why the State Department would allow her (and others before her) to do it.No private or public company would allow employees to run their own mail servers for business communications. Yet somehow government departments and holders of public office are held to a lesser standard…

    1. JimHirshfield

      “No private or public company would allow employees to run their own mail servers for business communications.”I don’t think that’s true….Not in my experience.

    2. andyswan

      If you’re important enough, the rules don’t apply to you.”State Department allow her” is laughable. When our company was bought I refused to use anything but my personal email for corporate communications. They bluffed, I raised, and at the end of the day… nothing happened. I got what I wanted and the dude in IT covered his ass.

      1. georgebc

        So companies now have to deal with BYOMS as well as BYOD? Poor IT!

    3. Jake Baker

      The thing that surprises me more is that the people surrounding President Obama and protecting him in the White House weren’t more concerned this could blow up and hurt him as a scandal. I’m surprised they didn’t try to crack down on this to protect the President proactively. Not sure what to read into that, but I think it’s worth discussion. Did the “really not know”? Did they not care? Was Secretary Clinton powerful enough to tell them to sod off? Did they enable? Did others do this too and it was common enough to ignore?

  4. JimHirshfield

    Considering email was always written and forwardable, not sure anyone should have ever thought it was private no matter how or where the email server is hosted. If you think email is private, you might be that guy that farts with his earbuds in and thinks no one can hear it.

    1. Tereza

      It still stinks.

      1. JimHirshfield

        LOL, you’re a gas!

        1. Tereza

          I’m a mother. Fart jokes are unavoidable. So you gotta play, or, you gotta opt out.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Opt out and you may find yourself the butt of those jokes.

          2. Tereza

            Hehe. He said ‘butt’. #8yroldhumor

          3. JimHirshfield

            Not to make this thread long-winded, but I could pump them out all day long.

          4. Tereza

            I was hoping someone would glom on to my {I thought} more intelligent commentary on this thread. But alas, no takers.It remains a truism that farts fade….but fart jokes — AND EMAILS — live forever. {BAM! Tied it back to the topic. Upvote, please.}

          5. LE

            Four in a row. May be a personal best.

    2. Dirty Harry

      fart jokes again 🙂 . wonder what you are up to these days :-). we are talking about NSA, private emails and Hillary

    3. JamesHRH

      Simple math = the internet is open; email uses the internet.

  5. andyswan

    You know I say the same thing about illegal gun owners. It’s thought-leadership for political officials to ignore laws and get whatever weapon you want as long as you don’t get caught. It puts you in a prime position to be a leader on the 2nd amendment conversation.

    1. fredwilson

      it took Nixon to go to China

      1. andyswan

        Yep. But she won’t own it. She doesn’t have the balls to say “I don’t think everything should be recorded and transparent.” She’ll pretend to comply and hope it goes away… which it probably will.

        1. Jake Baker

          Another read is “everyone but me” should be recorded.

      2. laurie kalmanson

        and bring back hunan and szechuan food to a nation drowning in shrimp w lobster sauce and chop sueyi could go on and on

        1. laurie kalmanson

…A popular use of the expression came in the 1991 film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, where “only Nixon could go to China” is quoted by Spock as “an old Vulcan proverb”. In the context of the film, it is given as a reason why James T. Kirk, a character with a history of armed conflict with the Klingons and a personal enmity for them, should escort their chancellor to Earth for peace negotiations with the Federation.

          1. laurie kalmanson

            http://www.smithsonianmag.c…Furthermore, like visiting museums and attending the theater, Chinese restaurants were seen as a means of broadening one’s cultural horizons. “I felt about Chinese restaurants the same way I did about the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” one of the study’s unnamed interview subjects remarked. “They were the two most strange and fascinating places my parents took me to, and I loved them both.”

  6. Guesty McGuesterson

    I agree with your sentiment about email and privacy in general, and am in fact a huge proponent of the “run your own server” camp. But you can’t ignore the distinction between a person’s private affairs and their work, especially as a government official, and the records laws that may apply in the latter case.

  7. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Partial transparency is totally opaque if you don’t know which bits go where.The US and those other governments, organizations and individuals they spy upon need to make a decision.Totalitarianism or open honest accountability – You just cant have both.

    1. andyswan

      we’ve had both for 200 years.

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Ahh – but who told you that ? (I guess it depends who you ask and what they are selling / hiding)

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        I suppose with infinite power you could be openly and honestly totalitarian because – who cares ?

  8. Will

    She is a crook and so is her husband

  9. Tom Evslin

    Fred,I can’t agree with you on this. She had no right to try to hide her official email from FOIA requests and other legitimate investigation; in fact she had an obligation not to. Yes, some stuff should be classified for a while and protected; but it is by no means clear that a private server is the best way to protect that. Democracy requires accountability and she was trying to avoid that.It is not an excuse that your political enemies will have access to data if you don’t hide it; in fact they may be useful to the public in promoting transparency even when they do so for their own partisan reasons. Of course partisans are using the revelation about her private server to attack Hillary because they don’t want her as President; but that doesn’t mean that their criticism is incorrect.As nerds we know how absurd it is that she turned over printed rather than digital (and searchable) versions of her admittedly official email. This is hardly being transparent despite her current claims.

    1. fredwilson

      well you are right about that Tomand you are also pointing out why most people avoid public service these days

      1. Ronin_Jim

        It’s a lose lose situation. Hillary knows better than most that enemies will try and use FOIA requests as a political weapon and that the search for info itself is often just as much as a weapon as whatever it turns up.

      2. Jake Baker

        Very important comment at the end there. I’ve heard from a lot of people I would deem to be GREAT potential public servants that they just don’t want to deal with it. So you end up frequently with those whose ego or thirst for power is so great that they don’t care about the unpleasant elements, which is decidedly sub-optimal. Kind of a moment to remember the potentially apocryphal Winston: “Democracy is the worst form of government – except for all of the others.”That raises the question – how to make the system less awful and more attractive to the best quality people? Fred – what would it take to get you to run for office? Not an entirely serious question but an interesting one to consider.

        1. andyswan

          The most important thing we could do is STRICTLY LIMIT the scope of the Federal Government. We get power-thirsty people seeking these positions because they are powerful positions. When government is neutered, politics is more about civil service and steering the organization the direction of your platform than personal gain.In addition, the more powerful the government, the more likely that voters are voting in their own self interest rather than the interest of the community at large.Example: Many really good people will run for the local school board. They get nothing but headaches, but believe they can make it better.tldr; It’s power-hungry people who want to be in charge of distributing the treasury to greedy voters.

          1. Jake Baker

            One of the things I was amazed about reading Robert Caro’s books on LBJ was how LBJ could almost supernaturally create political power out of unused systems. I think your answer (whether accurate or not) just shunts the problem to a deeper more diffuse level – e.g. scattering the cockroaches as opposed to eliminating the problem. I was thinking along the lines of campaign finance reform and term limits, but those don’t really seem to systematically fix things either. One of the things I love about the tech space is that the visionaries can create coherent descriptions of the future (even if they are inaccurate) and work towards them, adjusting while en route. I don’t hear that as frequently in the political realm. It’s almost ALL tactics with very little longer term strategic vision.Also as an aside – school boards can certainly be used for power plays:

          2. JLM

            .One of the great blessings of living in Austin is to be able to hear the LBJ tapes at the LBJ library. What comes across is a pragmatic and powerful leader who got things done.As a master craftsman legislator, Johnson knew how to get things done in the Senate. The conversations between him and Republican Everett Dirksen about bringing legislation to the floor for a vote are monumental and towering examples of the power of personal persuasion.It was Johnson who persuaded northern Republicans to pass the Civil Rights Acts. The Acts were filibustered by Southern Democrats but it was Johnson, a Democrat, who gained the support of the Republicans.He had principles and he both stood for them but also acted upon them. I actually think it was Lady Bird who had the principles.The big lesson here — Johnson was not afraid of engaging with his seeming political opponents and asking — “What can we get passed?”He was a master of the possible and his word was good. He was trusted and approachable.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Jake Baker

            I’m deeply flattered to get a JLM post replying to one of my comments. Thank you and appreciate the great detail and thoughtfulness you bring to the discussion.LBJ is intriguing and inspiring and disturbing and scary and just plain whoa on so many levels. I STRONGLY recommend to anyone who will listen that they read the biographies by Caro.I agree that Johnson had very deep seated principles, or at least maybe a guiding sense of what he wanted to achieve, but it seems quite hard to make the next jump and say he had ethics. I struggle deeply with the question of whether you can even begin to approach his level of effectiveness in an arena like DC politics without also having to embody some of the significantly baser and more treacherous aspects of his personality. His effectiveness came in large part because he was wiling to deeply and viciously manipulate almost everyone around him.There’s a bit of a resurgent hagiography in terms of focusing on LBJ’s effectiveness, that while accurate in capturing a part of him, seems to massively miss out on the more complete and telling portrait necessary to begin understanding him and his legacy. Still, he managed to masterfully spend a life gathering political power and when he finally had the opportunity to use it, it’s clear that decisively took that opportunity and exploited it to maximum potential to further his seemingly deeply underlying altruistic impulse.Again – thanks for the feedback and comment, JLM. It would be great to hear those tapes in great detail. They must be fascinating.

          4. JLM

            .I think you may be looking for evidence of something that does not happen in reality — nobody is either all good or all bad.It is the mix of these things which makes up every person. It is the timing of when they feed their passions that is important.LBJ — and the Caro books capture this — was a guy who wanted to get certain things done. If you’ve ever been to Johnson City, Texas — a wide spot in the road in the Texas Hill Country — it is difficult to find evidence of this being from whence the Civil Rights Act came but when you study his life you can find the influences that drove him in that direction.LBJ’s biggest talent was to get stuff done.When you hear his voice discussing legislation with Everett Dirksen and realize these two men are going to allow matters to come up for a vote and let the vote determine the outcome you can see the pragmatism of their better angels illuminated in a single flash of lightning.And then it is gone.Many things in life are based solely on timing. It can get done now and it can’t get done in a month. Johnson had that sense of timing.Johnson had that sense of his own fallibility. His voice on Viet Nam was that of a torture victim.None of us can ever live up to the man our dogs think we are. We are very hard on Presidents and they can never really live up to our expectations.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. Anne Libby

            My tldr is that only extreme narcissists have the emotional armor to put up with anything beyond school board level.My thoughts some years ago, during and after a headachey experience with a local community board: at least in my (then) corporate life, I get paid money to be called nasty names. There is a better use for my volunteer hours.

          6. Jake Baker

            It’s a sad/scary thought that this is very well true. What have you found in recent years to be your “better use” on the volunteer side? I’m always curious how people are maximizing their impact.

          7. Anne Libby

            I have a few irons in the fire — one of them is mentoring a NYC public high school student.The not-for-profit that runs the mentoring program is always looking for men to mentor young men.Other mentors are from corporations, startups, and span all ages and many walks of life.

          8. Salt Shaker

            Term limits. That’s the answer. All these good ole boy relationships are built over time, where ego, self interest, and personal grandstanding trump what’s in the best interest of the country. Put them on the clock like they do at the NFL Draft. I’m as tired of looking at and hearing from Mitch McConnell as I am Harry Reid. All these old guard politicians continue to lose sight of what’s important and bask in their own ineptitude and incompetence. Having a lot experience is good, until it ain’t. Term limits insures fresh blood and ideally fresh thinking.

          9. Joe Cardillo

            I think that’s part of it, though both short and long term lengths can also contribute to the problem. Overall what you and Andy both point at is, the thing is incentivized incorrectly. The fact that lobbying is basically running policymaking, that’s a bad incentive.

          10. Nick Ambrose

            I could be down for something like:2 terms of say 4 yearsAfter 3 years, the people get to re-vote you in or out . >50% and you get the second 4 years, <50% and there is a new election and the incumbent has to sit out (maybe go get a “real job”)I agree with comments above, complacency definitely seems to set in but I think it’s mostly that congress is generally exempt/not affected that much by their own actions.- They can cut benefits for federal workers but never cut their own- They can cut pay, pension and healthcare for veterans but never cut their own- They enact laws that deeply impact the less well off, but they themeslelves are not less well off.I think things would be a lot different if poliiticians- Had to send their kids to public school- If they cut someone else’s pension they had to cut their own by the same % first (or preferrably they had a 401K like the rest of us)- Had the VA system for their own and family healthcare (see how quickly it would get fixed then)- Had to use public transport to get to their meetings and were fired if they were late >3 timesI think they also generally assume that once they are elected, the “will of the people” was whatever their own personal agenda is, and stop looking out for the people who didn’t agree with their policies but still need protection.They are supposed to be for *all* the people in their voting areas, NOT just for the people that they convinced to agree with them.SIck of the whole thing honestly.And don’t even start on how laws are written, approved and (never?) re-evaluated to see how effective they are or even if they are having the right effects

          11. Matt Zagaja

            Do you honestly believe you will attract the most talented people into these positions through reduced job security, and that the most talented people lack experience? I think nearly any private sector HR department would think you landed from Mars if you suggested they follow this practice.

          12. Salt Shaker

            The gov’t hardly functions like the private sector, and frankly that’s part of the prob, there’s no real on-going accountability, while politicians over time are increasingly beholden to lobbyists and special interest groups (namely K Street). Many of these guys would (and should) be fired mid-term for incompetence and obstructionism. Not sure how much time you’ve spent in the Corporate world, and I certainly don’t want to indict an entire industry, but in my experience HR is far, far more effective w/ admin than setting policy (and that’s not intended to be an insult.)

          13. Matt Zagaja

            I think there is an accountability mechanism through a built-in biennial performance review by the American electorate (at least for the House of Representatives). Our elected officials work “at will” for us and we can choose to fire them for any reason. I certainly understand there are people that are disappointed by their elected officials, but it is not merely sufficient for you to dislike their performance, you have to get your peers to agree with you. If you do not, then you’re just in the minority.The other issue is this: a term-limit necessarily presumes that either whoever is being termed out is uniquely incompetent and will be replaced by a better candidate or that the competence of individuals to perform at their job declines as a function of experience. In the case of the former, I do not think that the evidence bears out the idea that there is an avalanche of better qualified people waiting to run for Congress if only their existing member termed out. Rather the system as it is configured today is churning out the quality and type of people we see in Congress now and until there are some cultural and structural changes we will not see better candidates. In the case of the latter, I do not see how the skill of negotiating legislation and making policy choices would decline with experience. I suppose I can see why there might be an inherent value to adding fresh perspectives and new blood, but is it not more sensible to let the voters decide where that would happen then to force the most skilled legislators out of office with a bright line rule?

          14. Salt Shaker

            “I do not see how the skill of negotiating legislation and making policy choices would decline with experience.”That’s not my point, Matt. It’s not a question of declining skills, it’s more a question of complacency and increasingly being influenced by special interest groups. You don’t see 1st term legislators getting caught up in scandals. It’s the long term guys who seem to get fat and happy. They’re more prone to unethical behavior, creating partisan strongholds and know how to (and do) game the system, while over time the power of the office increasingly makes them believe they’re beyond reproach. Yes, maybe term limits would force out some skilled legislators, but the potential trade off is a system that actually works and gets things done.With respect to the House policing its own, all you have to do is look at Charlie Rangel, who fundamentally received a slap on the wrist for his transgressions vs. outright removal. It’s an old boys network, if ever there was one, and ripe w/ conflict of interest.

          15. Matt Zagaja

            Well let’s think about things this way, because I believe your point is valid, but not because there is some kind of intrinsic property of serving in elected office that causes your ethicalness to decline over time. If that were true then John McCain most certainly would have been indicted already.What I do think makes sense is that being an incumbent provides opportunities for influence peddling that do not necessarily exist for first-time candidates. Suddenly if you’re looking at politicians like investments, you’re not acting like Berkshire Hathaway or Goldman Sachs who can just bet on the sure thing, but rather Andreessen Horowitz trying to find that home run. Maybe it makes the jobs of the influence buyers much more difficult!So I guess the ultimate question is how do we weigh the value of experience to the legislative chamber and right of the voters to select their candidates against this interest in tripping up the influence peddlers. Maybe it’s a good way to blow up the system.But here is the kicker: how many decisions do the elected officials themselves really make? If we term limit the people, are we sure we’re not just setting up a system where the parties who control the nominating process suddenly have a series of rotating sock puppets that just implement their agenda? When a candidate is an incumbent and certain to be re-elected in two years it makes it a lot easier for them to tell their backers “no” on that important thing they believe in. Same thing when they have their own fundraising base. Put someone in Congress and limit them to two years and who must they make happy to make sure they land safely after their stint is up?

          16. Salt Shaker

            Well, term limits certainly in the past has created lame duck status w/ our Presidency, but I’m hopeful congressional term limits would speed up the entire legislative process, with less debating and endless pontificating, and far more constructive and timely results. All I know is that our current system is very broken….and continues to defy incredulity.

          17. Brian McL

            I have to agree. Tom Cotton and the 46 Republicans who just published an open letter to the leaders of Iran are case and point – rank amateurs who have no sense of history or respect for the office of the President.

          18. JLM

            .I agree more with you than you do with yourself. This is a perfect example of two wrongs making ten wrongs.The Republicans were completely wrong to intrude on the right of the Executive Branch to conduct foreign policy. It is their exclusive right subject only to the Constitutional safeguards regarding Senate approval of all treaties.The Senate was well within their right to advise the President of their views on the matter — one would wish this to be done privately — but completely wrong to have contacted a foreign power with whom the Executive Branch was conducting negotiations.The President was equally amateurish to suggest that the most important treaty of his administration would not be submitted for ratification by the Senate.What the Senate said — that a treaty not ratified by the Senate does not bind the next President or the country — did not need to be said. Everybody knew that. There was no reason to say it publicly.This balance of power between the Executive Branch’s right to negotiate a proposed treaty and the Senate’s obligation to ratify it should have been enough for them to consult and to ensure that the administration was negotiating a treaty that would, in fact, pass muster with the Senate.This is what an old Senate hand like Biden should be doing on a regular basis.On matters of foreign policy, the co-equal branches of the government must find a way to work together. This is our common interest.In this instance, we have two amateurs confounding each other.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          19. pointsnfigures

            Term limits work with two things-less gerrymandering and a smaller bureaucracy. Then the people can have their say.

          20. SubstrateUndertow

            Your model seem to be missing many of the required moving parts :-)When government is neuteredwhat players do you nominate to step into that power vacuum to represent the at-large public interest ?

        2. Matt Zagaja

          Leaders of both parties have expressed to me (on the record!) that public financing systems like we have for Connecticut legislative elections make candidate recruitment easier. It has removed the fundraising barrier that previously existed.I think a big problem is that running for local office is the gateway to higher tiers. The trend toward longer working hours, especially in more learned professions, has shrunk the potential candidate pool enormously. The time of smart and talented people is in many ways, and especially this way, a public good. So setting the norm of a 40 hour work week, flexible schedules, and more guaranteed days off through corporate policies and compensation is a huge driver. Alternatively communities could consider migrating from volunteer boards, councils, commissions, etc. to full-time positions that pay sufficiently attractive salaries and benefits.A lot of public minded people choose to go into the civil service. They are prohibited from running because of the Hatch Act. If a talented individual that works for government would be a good candidate for office it would be helpful if private sector CEOs were willing to put and keep them on payroll so that they can run. Alternatively the campaign laws might be amended to allow candidates to take a salary while they run for office from their campaign fund, and a provision setup so they can take leave of their public position but have it waiting for them if they lose when they return. Though for volunteer positions they’d still need that private sector job during the day.The nastiness of individuals towards politicians and the attack ads of campaigns are also a huge deterrent. A federal law banning attacks on politicians would most certainly make running for office more appealing. This would likely involve repealing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. I didn’t say that all these solutions would be palatable or easy ;).A more engaged electorate would reduce the effort needed to campaign so that could help too.

        3. Bob7

          Jake and Fred: If you’re suggesting Hillary is in public service purely for the benefit of humanity and doesn’t have a big ego, I have some volcano land I’d like to sell you….

          1. Jake Baker

            No – that’s my main point – that the act of being in public service has become so unpleasant that primarily only those with very large egos or other drives beyond “public service” have become the ones that go into it.

          2. Bob7

            OK. But you do know that Hillary has been in public service since 1973 so you’re saying this has been the case for a long time…

          3. Jake Baker

            I think JLM’s most recent comment is valid here – people are usually a complex blend of a lot of components, including ego and genuine desire to effect change.

      3. Rudolph Gathard

        If I were Hillary suspecting ‘others’ reading my emails, I would have used it for my political advantage rather than going private 🙂

        1. pointsnfigures

          I can see why Bill doesn’t use emails. Must use CyberDust text.

      4. kurtisfechtmeyer

        I don’t think there is any reason to avoid public service if your goal is promoting the best use of public resources for publicly enjoyed benefits. If your goal is self-enrichment – ahem – or the benefit or your partisans – ahem – then I think you should stay away from the field until you’ve enriched yourself and your friends enough elsewhere and no longer have that as your prime objective.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      Not withstanding the obvious truth of what you say, it should be noted that the controversy is yet another typical case of political misdirection via level mixing.Level-mixing – meaning the assignment of a causal factor to an inappropriate level within a systemic stack of organizational processes.If such information handling within the governmental process is so crucial to the public interest then clearly fundamental-organizational-competence should dictate that it be properly detailed/codified as law/policy.The fact that that is not the case begs the question, why is the controversy centred on an individual who has used the incompetence embodied in poorly defined/implemented government law/policy to their own political benefit rather than around the obvious causal fact of faulty governmental implementation of such important and basic law/policy.Yes we all know why !extreme political-partisans are always misdirecting the political debate outside the political-literacy boxandthe mass-culture media-ecology competency required to put those dysfunctionally extreme partisan players back in the box seems vanishingly absent.

    3. Tony Salazar

      I think it is frivolous to think this email scandal will come in way of her becoming a president-aspirant. Considering the vulnerabilities, hacks and security we have with software these days, I can say it is an individual right to choose how you want your information delivered.How is this different from President Obama citing his using BB as the most secured way of exchanging information.

    4. JLM

      .I agree more with you more than you do with yourself.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    5. Walt French

      Whatever her intent, isn’t it a fact that she complied with the FOIA requirements?Methinks the greater sin is that people desiring to blow up an isolated comment have more support for doing so. But that’s pretty marginal and rests on the ill will of her opponents.

      1. Tatil_S

        Not exactly. It was her aides or lawyers that sorted through the emails and decided which ones are relevant to the request and which are not, rather than the more neutral arbiters working for State Dept. They may claim to be following the same procedure, but they have a substantial conflict of interest in protecting the reputation of their employer, Hillary, versus the public’s right to know. Agency staff may not be really neutral arbiters, but their conflict of interest is “different” if not “less”. Besides, we are getting two gatekeepers, Hillary’s staff and agency staff, doubling reasons for not releasing documents.

        1. Walt French

          FOIA’s are only addressable to official documents, and can only be addressed to USGovt institutions. Either current State Dept is remiss in not performing the searches for docs that are legitimately seen but went around policy, or else they have legitimately farmed the search out to “deputized” agents.I recognize the potential for claiming sub-contractors here have a conflict of interest, but Congress has insisted on increasing levels of private enterprise involvement in official functions, e.g., the Army. Let Congress demand a special investigator if there’s evidence of any cover-up.Which reminds me… what specifically is being sought that prevented the request from being tossed out as a fishing expedition?

          1. Tatil_S

            The problem is not the existence of a private subcontractor, but who is making the payment, which determines the entity whose “real” needs to be satisfied by the work performed. A subcontractor sifting through emails and paid by the State Dept is a different animal than one paid by a politician with sizable aspirations. Incentives matter, monetary incentives matter even more…

  10. WA

    Going to be a lot of mom and daughter conversations I would gather. A bit of a dice roll for the opposition to drag that out, and not lose a lot of popular votes…

  11. christopolis…Can’t stand up to the sunlight or something like that. It was illegal, it was hypocritical but they are above the law, they are the chosen ones.

  12. takingpitches

    Was this really opting out?I would think her server running in Chapaqua hooked up to Cablevision connectivity was even more easily hackable by the NSA and like foreign intelligence agencies.My guess is that this will come out one day.

    1. Jake Baker

      Two reads on this could be either a) political considerations were deemed to matter more or b) NSA and others were assumed to already have access no matter what you do so better to protect/delay other groups. (A) is potentially scary for her character (even if I think it is probably normal for high level politicians) and (B) is potentially scary for what it would indicate about intelligence agency reach. (A) and (B) could also both be true.

      1. Joe Cardillo

        Might as well add, she could simply have been setting up example of privacy problems / point to be made. She’s a pretty shrewd politician and policymaker, as you said in your comment above there’s no way to hide email completely… and I can’t imagine she would take the action of running her own email server and not think that it would come out eventually.

        1. Nick Grossman

          political chess — thinking 5 moves ahead

        2. Jake Baker

          If that’s true, that’s probably more of a potential escape from the situation if found out rather than an intended goal. My gut would say it’s about delaying the reveal, making it as difficult as possible, and potentially hiding some percent of the total. It also gives certain kinds of plausible deniability, e.g. “I’m allowed to do personal business with the Foundation’s donors and I was on my private personal email” while at the same time saying nothing was at odds with the letter of the law for the professional official requirements.

      2. takingpitches

        My guess is both are true.Using your own server helps you in response to Congressional and litigation subpoenas, since your lawyers are making relevancy determination and not State Department lawyers…

        1. Jake Baker

          Your comment made me think about how different “adaptations” become the norm quite quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised if this revelation caused even more pols to do something similar. It sort of reminds me of how the out-of-power party criticizes the in-power part for overreach on executive powers but then delights in using and expanding those powers once back in office.Either that or the tactic becomes so taboo/verboten that no one touches it again. My money is probably on the former.

    2. Nick Grossman

      great questioninteresting to think that she knew / assumed that this would come up one day and understood that and had a plan for it. or maybe a reason for it

  13. JimHirshfield

    She knew then what we all know now, as a result of the Snowden affair. I think most of us would have done the same thing she did, although I don’t think her mail server was any more secure or unknown than any of our email (self-hosted or otherwise). NSA has it all. So there’s no hiding the ball here.

    1. Jake Baker

      Let’s say there are several “groups” reading her email. State Department internal, Political Enemies, the Press, and the Intelligence Community. This probably made it hard for the first three to get easy/timely access. That was likely the goal. The Intelligence Community is likely going to see it anyways if/when they so desire.

    2. Anne Libby

      Someone I know well, and trust, has told me of government employees using personal laptops because government-issued equipment was suboptimal or not available. Last year, I had some communication with my state senator’s office (as a constituent asking for help resolving an issue). His aides insisted on communicating with me using Gmail accounts.In addition to the politics, this all came to my mind as this story came to light. I question the utility and security of the technology our government employees use every day.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Well, states have different laws and concerns. No offense, by I doubt your communications with your state rep related to state or national security. ;-)Gmail in this case, should be compared with postal mail in terms of security. Anyone can grab your mail out of your mailbox with little effort.

        1. Anne Libby

          None taken.I’m not sure what the NY law is. My question is, why wouldn’t aides use the .gov email addresses?I’m not the compliance police, my concern at the time was selfish: I thought about the aide quitting and getting another job, his gmail account going with him, and me stuck explaining the story over again to someone else.

          1. Kathy Pappas

            it is no secret hubby clinton runs all the govt. affairs from the bakdoors with hillary in the forefront. hence the private email server

  14. Jon Michael Miles

    Having lived and worked in DC, right now no more than a mile from the Capitol, I’ve come to understand politics in a very inside the beltway way. It is about erosion. Chinese water torture. Drip. Drip. Drip. By printing her email she is making them pay the price for their hypocrisy. She knows it. They know it. They attacked her over Whitewater. The Dems responded by handing Delay his walking papers. Everyone here knows the deal. They understand if you want to find out something just keep hammering, something will come out.There are whole teams of people, consultants who do this. There is no one immune, it’s is simply whether anyone cares. That is the central issue about privacy – does anyone care about your information? If they do, they will get it somehow and your only defense is to make it as hard as possible. Drip, drip.drip.

      1. Jon Michael Miles


      2. Girish Mehta

        Talking about TV shows… a different time, a different show, also about the White House -“Its about the next twenty years. The 20’s and 30’s it was the role of govt; the 50’s and 60’s were civil rights; the next two decades are going to be about privacy. I am talking about the Internet”.Way back in 1999.

    1. Jake Baker

      What amazes me [read: not really, but still] is that it really is a sort of “state of nature.” The attacks are not just from the opposition, but seem to me much more tribal in nature. You have almost as much risk from the competing faction within your own political party during primary season as you do from another party later on.

    2. Nick Grossman

      great interpretation

  15. Michael Ferrari

    As Jim Rome would say, if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying. And cheaters get caught. They always do. I wouldn’t profess this act has anything to do with intelligence though, until we can confirm that we can get access to 100% of the historical information. Are emails from our elected officials public? I think they are. And should be managed as such.

    1. Jake Baker

      But how to play the game if everyone is cheating? It’s a tough problem, and I don’t know the answer to it. Think about how EVERYONE in the professional cycling circuit was using drugs – not just Lance. For a community of people who think about how to hack systems, I think it is worth considering this issue as it relates to improving politics.

      1. LE

        As I often say “you can only be as honest as the competition”. (And eventually someone will draw first blood.)

        1. Jake Baker

          Agreed. And suddenly honesty is just a tactic anyways rather than a required pre-requisite to play the game. Seems a race to the bottom likely ensues without other outside forces.

          1. LE

            In order to get things done you actually have to be a little on the edge and cut various deals. And if people heard about those deals they would no doubt be shocked. That’s because they don’t have the aptitude to understand how the game is played. That’s also probably one of the reasons we have the gridlock that we had (and now also might have) in congress.What’s not surprising is that even with house majority we are not out of the woods. People are still not falling immediately in line they are still trying to get their pound of flesh and their way out of their own party. (Just like I predicted..)

  16. Zach Stevens

    Right or wrong, it’s not just Hillary. Jeb Bush issued a statement that he also used a private domain for official emails while governor. Apparently this is a fairly pervasive practice in Washington:

    1. Jake Baker

      THIS. “The walls have ears in King’s Landing.”

  17. William Mougayar

    I wonder how this would have played out in the pre-email era, when communications happened in faxes, letters and phone conversations.

    1. andyswan

      Me too. Have we ever considered that maybe not everything SHOULD be transparent?

      1. Nick Grossman

        Yeah, we don’t know where the boundaries are at the moment

      2. Joe Cardillo

        Absolutely – can vs. should is probably the defining embedded question about privacy. Everyone keeps saying it’s dead, yadda yadda, but just because we can access everything eventually (thanks Snowden for telling us and also freaking us out) doesn’t mean we should. The reason I personally think that a surveillance society won’t work is that it’s counter to human identity and human nature. We’re not built to operate that way.

        1. andyswan

          We’re also not built to operate in a Welfare State, but that “works” because of the government’s legal monopoly on the use of violence.It’s naive to think that just because something is counter to human nature it can’t or won’t be enforced upon us.

          1. Joe Cardillo

            Let me correct that then, to “won’t work in the long term.” I’m not saying that Big Brother isn’t possible or already happening, I’m saying it simply can’t be sustained over time. If you create the most extreme possible circumstances for a large swath of people that are counter to a central part of their humanity, I’d argue you can consider yourself the creative impetus for that structure you created being destroyed or circumvented.

          2. andyswan

            nice correction, agreed!

      3. LE

        Agree. Not everything should be transparent. Why?Well, like the line in the movie that Nicholson said to Cruise: “because you can’t handle the truth”.People not only take things out of context, are not educated on all of the details, but any and all disclosures of anything anyone says will be put in the maximum bad light by people who don’t have the knowledge to understand the nuance or all the surrounding facts.Not everyone understands why Daddy is doing what Daddy is doing. A child doesn’t understand why a parent does what a parent does and there is simply no explaining it to them either.I’ve considered telling this to some people that I do work for. I would say something like “I play all sorts of games and you will not always think on the face of it that I am working in your best interest if you saw what I do, but rest assured that I am working in your best interest at all times”.

          1. Matt Zagaja

            I like that, although I have seen two modes of grading. In one mode a correct answer gets full credit but you lose points if you got there the wrong way showing your work. Annoyingly that is how they graded at WPI and some of my high school courses. In the other mode you might get a wrong answer but get partial credit if you did work in a correct way. It saved you from typos and brain farts.Also had some that would both give partial credit for correct work with wrong answers, and take away credit for right answers with wrong work. Maybe the most fair.

          2. Chuck Barr

            What you told your daughter need not be on Twitter . You let the communication be with you and your daughter using maybe a private email server, quite like Hillary didJust my thought

      4. William Mougayar

        I wonder how many of these emails had “Let’s talk about this in person.” or “call me on that.”

        1. andyswan

          Never write what you can say, never say what you can whisper, never whisper what you can wink.

    2. LE

      Back in the early early days of faxes there was that roll of carbon (or whatever it was) that stayed in the machine and people would dumpster dive and be able to see everything that was inbound faxed. Then of course you could tap the analog line in some way and be able to grab the transmission as well.

    3. Lil Pong

      Dude, isn’t that very evident now that the Clinton spouses are running the office of SOS under one email account.In the pre-technology era, Hillary would just have been a housewife.

  18. Tal Lev

    “She… did what any intelligent person with balls would do.” Technically, a person with balls is not a she. Just saying that the PC “person” is not enough to eliminate the appearance of a sexist bias. I guess another topic Hilary, if elected, would be well suited to bring to a public discussion.

  19. RichardF

    She’s a publicly elected official and should be as transparent and accountable as possible when communicating in that capacity. It definitely calls into question her integrity in my opinion.You can’t choose to opt out, if she wanted to opt out then she should have opted out of the post.

    1. Jake Baker

      “Gambling? In Casablanca?! I’m shocked!” She’s playing the game at the highest level – you can’t actually be surprised that she or anyone else at her level is taking a Machiavellian approach with calculated risks. If she still gets elected president, she will have been justified in the risk under the context in which she and others at that level operate, independent of how distasteful that decision was. The problem is systematic but unique to humans. We’re all trying to get ahead, often using whatever means necessary.

      1. RichardF

        err who said I was surprised, of course it happens in all walks of life. Personally I’d have said that was unnecessary risk, given the job she is doing and the job, she always going to be found out.

        1. Jake Baker

          Fair point. I guess my cynical read was that “calling into question the integrity” of someone at that level was an indication of surprise. My model of people playing at that level is that they are all making aggressive Machiavellian plays which would not look good from an integrity standpoint if viewed openly and under normal definitions of integrity.As an aside, unnecessary risk also implies an understanding of what she was trying to hide, which we don’t have any data on. Some of the questions around the overlap with the Clinton Foundation could pose a direction to think about – e.g. mixing of personal and professional endeavors which would be quite a bit higher risk if actively using State Department email.Though I think people are never consistently successful at applying intentional thought, I do think those at her level are intentionally analyzing decisions and aware of the pitfalls/costs/benefits/etc. There’s a lot we don’t know about what went into that analysis.

    2. LE

      It definitely calls into question her integrity in my opinion.Everyone already knows that the Clinton’s are slippery. It’s an accepted side effect to the drug.

      1. Jake Baker

        Whoops – FTFY – Everyone already knows that POLITICIANS are slippery.

        1. LE

          Not really some politicians have a way of coming across as extremely white and it’s not (yet) a proven fact that they are slippery, just conjecture.

          1. Jake Baker

            True, I’m just saying a safer/possibly more accurate mental model is that the vast majority of them are slippery or however you define it. E.g. Lance Armstrong may have doped more than the next twenty guys, but the next twenty guys were still doping. But agreed strongly with you in terms of branding/persona differences across individual politicians.

      2. RichardF


  20. gorbachev

    To me the most revealing thing about this whole thing is the partisan hackery around the situation. It, once again, surfaces the ridiculous dysfunction of the entire political machine in this country.Democrats are defending her behavior, because she’s one of their own. She could most likely literally fuck a goat, and the partisan hacks would still defend her. “Oh, I thought the goat looked handsome!”Republicans are attacking her with all their might, because she’s one of “them” instead of “us”. “She’s a Clinton, she MUST be bringing communism to us! BURN HER!!!!”Reasonable people wonder why a public official chooses to conduct her public duties in private. Yes, there might’ve been reasons why she did that, but for accountability and transparency it’s absolutely the wrong thing to do. People do not trust politicians, it would be wise for politicians, especially those with presidential ambitions, to not fuel that mistrust.

    1. Druce

      Go read Othello and then come back to us.”If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.” – Cardinal RichelieuPolitics isn’t really conducive to trust. No one would ever buy a used car from someone who told them the truth, let alone vote for them for public office. And then you have propaganda pros who could make God himself sound shady if he came down to show us the way and it cost them a buck.And yet people seem to believe someone sort of randomly came across comms from a CIA chief that cost him his job and political career.

  21. DJL

    Our business is writing security policies for enterprises that must protect sensitive information. What she did would violate policy in any Fortune 100 company and she would be reprimaneded or fired. You cannot have privileged access to the most sensitive information (in the Country) and then go outside of the security perimeter (audit logs). The only reason anyone would do this is to hide from detection. You can argue about the motivation, the fact is that it is hugely irresponsible given her position.

    1. Jake Baker

      In my experience working for a large bank, this is true about the letter of the law, but I’ve noticed a lot of high level people are able to violate the policies and not suffer repercussions, while more junior people have the compliance team come after them very quickly and strongly. It doesn’t seem that dissimilar here (see the Ambassador to Kenya, for example).

      1. DJL

        Yes, this does exist. Senior execs feeling they are “above the law” is still common. But a real auditor would have a field day with this type of behavior. It is a major breach of security controls. You would hope that a person in charge of national security would not have such tendencies.

        1. LE

          “But a real auditor”Does your company do the actual auditing or do they only write the policies?

          1. DJL

            We write/publish the policies – others do the auditing. (Separation of duties.) There are over 1700 “controls” in our Library after 15+ years.

          2. LE

            The separation of duties is great but it’s also bad in some ways. You can design a perfect machine with all this CYA stuff that your company doesn’t have to be responsible for implementing, managing or auditing. So just throw everything and the kitchen sink in there.This reminds me a bit (and I’m commenting from my perspective I don’t mean to attack you or what you do just to be clear) of the ridiculous shit on the PCI compliance audit that the bank made us do. Total compliance theater. A bunch of questions which you self answer and some automated tests. Literally pages and pages and pages of CYA stuff so that one party can check off “did my job” without regard to practicality. No nuance at all. Bank required it “you have to do it” and then all the sudden they stopped even following up that we were even doing it at all. Just like that.Look let’s get on the table that if everyone had to do everything ritually correct [1] with no ability to deviate (in an intelligent way) the cost of compliance would be over the top and totally bog everyone down. Like it kind of is right now actually.[1] People take chances and sometimes they get caught or things go south. Like the clinic that treated Joan Rivers where a doctor who was there who was prominent but not certified by the particular center. Or not getting sign off on the actual procedure. Things like that happen all the time. Not everything in life is signed sealed by a contract.

          3. DJL

            I agree at some level. I am personally for less government regulation, but that is not the world we live in. PCI-DSS is a classic case of ‘checking the box’ for many folks. FISMA is the same for the US Government. But it is the complexity of these various regs that make them nearly impossible to follow. The key is to wade through the complexity and do what matters. (Hence our products.) There is no “perfect” security – but there are things everyone can do to reduce risk get back to business.

        2. Jake Baker

          I think in most cases “Chiefs” think they are above normal “Braves” and organize the power structure so that Braves can’t easily challenge the Chiefs. A “real auditor” is a powerful institution and I think most powerful people tend to take steps to diminish the risks from other powerful people. What’s your estimate of the number of organizations that TRULY practice what they preach and have real hard accountability? My sample set is small and only ties into places I have worked.

          1. DJL

            The phenomenon you descibed was very common 15 years ago (before Sarbox.) Now most corporations are taking governance very seriously. We work with about 100 companies a year. The problem is that many SMB’s have no idea WHAT they need to do. So there are many gaping holes – but not out of negligence, but lack of knowledge. That is our newest venture – make it easy and quick for a company to adopt and document information security controls. (Like Quickbooks for IT security.)

  22. BillMcNeely

    Fred when this story broke. I had flash backs to my time with the Saudi Ministry of Interior “classified Yahoo Accounts” I cringed.On the other hand, I don’t agree with her politics and some of her ethics but she is a skilled politician the best we have at the moment. The republicans should be embarrassed.

  23. LE

    If you do anything that a lot of people care about, your emails will be read and shared. Unless you run your own email server and encrypt your messages.(I’ve run my own email server(s) since 1996. And if you include the server back before the Internet that would be about 1985). By “I run” I mean a-z including ownership of the actual hardware.)Just to be clear there is encryption in transit and encryption on the server. The problem with encryption in transit is that it is difficult to implement (you need the cooperation of both parties).Unfortunately even if you encrypt the messages on the server you will have to trust the admins and the people that run that “iron” for you who would, in theory, be able to decrypt that message. And the fact is that most people aren’t technically savvy enough to even know if the right thing is happening security wise. And just because someone is telling you it is doesn’t mean it is and doesn’t mean that they don’t have a way to get at the information if they really wanted to. Are you able to both trust and verify if something important is at stake?The problem though with running your own email server is that if you don’t do it right you are actually less secure in a few ways than using a major provider.There is actually a tremendous business opportunity in all of this. I am sure there is a high end market for setting secure email for people who would like to have more control of what happens with their messaging.

    1. Matt Zagaja

      For better or worse I choose to trust Google with my stuff. I figure at the end of the day the Google security experts and sysadmins are much smarter than me at keeping my stuff secure.

      1. LE

        Well also quite frankly what in particular is in your email that would be a problem if it got out?

        1. Matt Zagaja

          I doubt a whole lot that’d be damaging to me personally, but I do have a pile of privileged material from working with clients on patents or business plans and research that I have to protect.

          1. LE

            You need to then setup a method for secure file transfer similar to what accounting firms do.

  24. LE

    One thing that Hillary’s people did incorrectly was choose the domain @clintonemail.comThe reason is that someone already has so just right there there is the potential for someone (who is not replying to a message) to address something that ends up at the server instead of @clintonemail.comNow in theory if the person running that server has not programmed in a catchall or the specific email address it should bounce. But that’s theory and in practice people can and do intercept emails for which they are not the intended recipient.While misdirects are possible and you can’t always cover all the potential typos this one is particularly obvious.

  25. Dave W Baldwin

    Speaking as Independent.1) Fred, are you really going to stick with this being nothing more than politics? She accepted the job as Secretary of State. Let’s go back to everything being mail and fax. You would say she should get away with hiding all of the pieces of paper?2) If she and her cohorts really had balls, they wouldn’t go around trying to accuse others of “well they did it” when either it isn’t relevant and/or plays off of misinformation that happens and gets trumpeted by morons regurgitating social media things: a) Bush was the Governor of Florida and that’s between Floridians and he. b) The AP got it wrong (of course the “wrong” becomes fact). The fact is Secretary Rice DID use the gov. address/server. Let’s see, is Secretary Rice a lower level person of intelligence because she didn’t hide those communications? c) I love the “isn’t 55,000 pages enough?”. What a laugh. d) “I told the State Department to hand it over!” Let’s see, even if that were true, the SD can only hand over what they have. e) This insinuation that Hillary/Obama supporters are smart and the rest are morons will eventually catch up with you.3) The bigger thing coming- Basically, we have that treasure trove of data gained by getting Bin Laden and the Administration is hiding it from everyone. That means everyone. This is connected by reason of we’re dealing with something bigger than making claims about privacy. Her boss claimed (while hiding everything) that Al Qaeda was beat, so reelect me. Her side claims she was posting fashion pictures while running the affairs of state. There are simply some people we’d be better off keeping out of foreign affairs.4) “Maybe if this email affair blows over and Hillary ends up in the White House, she can lead that discussion. She will be well suited to do so.” Do you really think she did her own server to hide and control what she did to make a point related to e-mail privacy for the nation at large? Once again, what a laugh.

  26. pointsnfigures

    I’ll ignore the politics since I am not a fan of Hillary (although I donated to her campaign and McCain’s campaign in 2008). I think what you say about email is highly interesting, since if we write a standard letter and mail it-we do construe that it is private information.Is there room for an encrypted email that won’t allow people to cut and paste and share? Then I think about financial markets and blockchain-and how it has the potential to blow up everything that is held sacred by dominant players in finance.Our world is going to change radically. Some processes like finance are going to become way more transparent and cheaper, and there will be a run to privacy by individuals.



      1. LE

        That’s kind of like the “locks don’t matter with a determined thief” argument.Both of us know that putting some friction in the process will greatly limit info being passed around. Not eliminate but reduce.

    2. LE

      Despite what Fake Grimlock replied below there is definitely room for a product like that and there is already and has been “secure file sharing” (our accountant uses that) to prevent interception between two endpoints.Not putting any effort into making things more difficult to get at is like not locking your door because people can break locks.There is a big difference between sending someone an email which they can easily forward and someone getting something to (as one example only) just view and deciding to do a screen capture or take a photograph and passing that along.Look, I can easily take any graphic that you give me and do all sorts of things with it (capture it, OCR it etc.) but walk into any starbucks and see how many people would know or even care to do that type of things.I say, there is a market for that get your Chicago guys on it.When you run an tech idea by a tech person they will tell you what is wrong with it as if everyone has their skills or can pick them up online in a minute. Not the case.

  27. Tom Labus

    How did this come to light? Does it have to be from someone close to her?It’s another sad diversion. She should send the “media: an email.

    1. Henry Abott

      This came from Kim Jong II 🙂



    1. ZekeV

      The Amish are not anti-tech. But their bishops make a decision about whether to allow any particular new technology, on the basis of whether it will bring the community closer together. This seems rather Orwellian to me, and I would not want to delegate such a decision to a bishop. But it’s an interesting approach to tech adoption!

    2. pointsnfigures

      Gossip, get burned at stake.



    3. Donald E. Foss

      Even some Amish have web stores. I don’t know how that works, but it’s digital.How about “BUY ISLAND IN SOUTH PACIFIC, LIVE LIKE CASTAWAY.”



  29. Luka Perčič

    “Unless you run your own email server and encrypt your messages.”Or use ProtonMail;

  30. Kathy Pappas

    Clinton breaks silence and all threads closed.In a 20-minute news conference, Clinton described her decision to rely on her private account as a matter of “convenience” and a way to avoid carrying two devices. She said she had never used her personal email to discuss any classified information.

    1. JLM

      .Kathy, I am currently holding for sale a lovely bridge in Brooklyn that you may be interested in adding to your portfolio. Is this of interest to you?I can make you a very attractive deal on it. You may have to suspend your powers of reason and disbelief.Please let me know at your earliest opportunity as this bridge is going to move quickly.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Kathy Pappas

        There probably was some slick humor in this which didn’t quite crack me yet. With due respect to you, Sir, you may have to re-work on this and post it again so it titilates me with laughter

        1. JLM

          .A.ways remember that when you don’t get the joke, the joke is usually on you.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Kathy Pappas

            Perhaps this isn’t a joke either. Guess you didn’t get the joke that is within 🙂

  31. JLM

    .Today by way of explanation, Hillary indicated her motivation for installing a private server, configuring her own email system, creating a VPN and using it to conduct government business was “convenience” — no deep or detailed explanation, just convenience.It was “inconvenient” for the Sec of State to use the same email system as the balance of the government. Inconvenient.This is the intellectual equivalent of mooning the world and saying — kiss my ass. You have to give the woman credit for having balls. Big brass balls.The work product of every government official, at every level, is owned by the government and is required to be archived for history, documentation, legal issues and continuity.Remember that Hillary is a lawyer, a very shrewd and smart lawyer. She knew exactly what she was doing every step of the way.It is not a personal prerogative nor is it a voluntary system. Hillary contends that she did not violate the law but clearly she did not comply with the law. I believe it is not even a close call that she violated the law. Te sheer extent of her actions proves it. This was a huge undertaking.She, as Sec of State, has another problem — much of her correspondence is classified by virtue of her position alone but also the subject matter. She had communication with the President about foreign affairs at the highest level — Sec of Freakin’ State, y’all!Gen Petraeus will plead guilty to “failing to safeguard classified information” for having allowed his mistress to examine his desk notebooks (seven in number) while she was writing his biography.He is to receive 2 years probation and a $50K fine as well as being a convicted felon. For basically doing exactly what Sec Clinton is accused of doing — failing to safeguard confidential information. A 4-star general to a convicted felon for showing his desk notebooks to his lover. [Pres Obama should pardon Davie boy.]There are many troubling implications:1. Were FOIA requests correctly handled with no apparent access to the Clinton server? How could they be?2. Was legal discovery handled correctly with no apparent access to the Clinton server? How could they be?3. Were Congressional record requests and subpoenas handled correctly with no apparent access to the Clinton server? How could they be?Just to refresh your memory, the Clinton server came to light because a Judge ordered State to produce some emails in legal discovery which the plaintiff knew existed by sourcing them from others who had been copied.The only reason that Sec Clinton and State ever produced anything was because of this court order and the subsequent discovery production revealed her scheme. Others had known about it for years.The President says he never noticed that his Sec of State had a unique email address though this has been a subject of much speculation in his own administration. Would you notice if Fred Wilson was receiving mail at [email protected]?Where is the person from State who was responsible for archiving the Sec of State’s emails? What did that person think? How come there were no emails to be archived on a twice a year basis as required?This is a very well settled matter in corporate law and one only has to look at Delaware General Corporation Law (Title 8) and the Sec 220 implications which allow shareholders to compel corporations to produce books, records and files for inspection. Sec 220 as litigated has long since made the distinction that ESI (electronically stored information) has to be produced as books, records and files. This includes email.We end this sorry chapter with the notion that Hillary Clinton’s staff will arbitrate which records (emails) they will produce. She has announced that she has “destroyed” all personal records and has given hard copies (read paper, not digital and therefore not easily searchable) to State.Heck, I believe Hillary, don’t you? Why having been caught cheating would we trust a cheater?In fact, State owns those records and should employ a forensic computer auditor to obtain those records in their original form and should catalog and archive all of them.But, then tell me what about this affair surprises you anyway? This is the Clintons after all.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Kathy Pappas

      I understand she did not comply with the law but how is that a violation ? It probably is a violation hadn’t she turned over her emails to the government. But that is not the case.. she is submitting all the 55,000 page email now so she is fine.I wish this issue be suppressed now and take care of other things.

      1. JLM

        .When dealing with a family in which the meaning of the word “is” is critical to understanding their motivations and responsibilities it is important to deal with real facts.The pertinent law is the Federal Records Act which requires the preservation of the historical record of every department and government official.The very fact that Sec Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of emails while admitting that she had deleted all “personal” emails seems to indict her compliance with the law.Secondarily and perhaps more importantly is the substance of those emails including communication with the President which would routinely be classified by virtue of the addressees alone. Her failure to safeguard classified information alone is a felony.Further to the same point, those records were NOT produced subject to FOIA and legal discovery requests to the State Department and the Secretary personally.Remember, this came to light because a court ordered her to comply when a plaintiff was able to show there were missing emails because they had copies from other parties responding to the request for production.It is unlikely that she did not commit several felonies.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          The very fact that Sec Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of emails while admitting that she had deleted all “personal” emails seems to indict her compliance with the law.”Better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”.She learned from some of the mistakes that Nixon made. I give her credit for that.

          1. JLM

            .Crooks schooling crooks, nothing like it!Just playing by the rules, playing fair? Too “inconvenient”?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. LE

            What do you mean “playing by the rules”? Even in commercial real estate the rules and the game are different in different cities. And what works in the suburbs might not work in the city. And what works in one city might not work in another.In politics it’s rough and tumble, right? Just like in trying to police the streets. Not the same in NYC as it is in Mayberry RFD.

          3. JLM


          4. LE

            Once somebody draws first blood it’s everyman for himself. How can you fault someone for that?Look I consider myself extremely honorable in my dealings (despite the way I might come across occasionally in my comments).However that’s only up to the point where the other person also is acting honorably. Past that point there are no guarantees. (And I do have checks to verify I am not quick with the trigger in case you are wondering). With corporations (not people) I tend to be less honorable of course.To me, one thing I like about the Clinton’s that I mentioned before is that they are sleezy enough to get things done. I am not looking for Pope John to solve the problems of the country or John Lennon through “love love love”. I want someone who walks the fine line and gets results, even at their own personal risk.

          5. JLM

            .I do not understand the point of your comment.What you are suggesting is what I would call “situational ethics” which is not something I would endorse.Really — what great achievements would you attribute to Hillary Clinton as Sec of State?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. LE

            Clinton has “experience” regardless of whether she had any experience as Secty of State or not. As well as her other involvement in government and being married to a President where I”m sure she played a role in decision making. (I am not saying I would vote for her by the way just answering your question…)As far as “situational” ethics I stand behind that. You are making things out to be black and white and unfortunately they aren’t.My point is I don’t mind that Hillary breaks the rules here and there. At least we know that we have to keep that dog on a leash but we’ve always known that. I’m more worried about people who appear to be above the fray that we know nothing about and that people trust more than they should.Politically and/or legally it may be a problem that she did what she did (and got caught). I thought she gave a good defense of it. But I don’t have any issue that she did what she did.

    2. Kathy Pappas

      In these days of BYOD(Bring your own device to work), I don’t understand why “bring your own email” is an issue. After all, she communicated with everyone in the government’s .gov email address.If it was fine with the Federal IT department early on, why the fuss now. I am very sure everyone in the govt knew about this.

      1. JLM

        .Yes, I am sure that Edward Snowden was just bringing his own DEVICE to work with him also.The duty to safeguard classified information trumps all else. Not even a close call.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Kathy Pappas

          That is exactly what I am saying. Shouldn’t the government/federal IT responsible for creating the framework so the players(read the govt. officials here) will adhere within the limits of the framework.It probably looked like having a personal email was very much an optional way of communication. Hillary’s exchange of emails internally and externally is well within the scope and very much permissible.If I were an end user user of a software application, I am limited by what the application can allow me to do or I can create my own application to be able to meet my work demands.. ***** as long as my company allows me to do *****.Hillary is no exception in this case, within the boundaries. She did not break anything to make it work. Period.

    3. Salt Shaker

      Petraeus voluntarily shared confidential/classified info as part of a tryst. Pillow talk, if you will. Hardly the same as Hillary writing and disseminating unsecured emails, by gov’t standards, on a private server. Not condoning her actions by any stretch, which are pretty outrageous and hard to understand how it was even allowed to happen, but, with respect, it’s hardly a fair comparison to the Petraeus situation.

      1. JLM

        .What happened was that Petraeus “mishandled classified information” by allowing the classified information to be in the presence of his biographer, Paula Broadwell.This clever charge did not require the government to prove she had actually used it or to prove what information she had, in fact, used.He was driven into a corner about the handling of the classified information alone not the content or use.The information was “person” classified information inasmuch as all information — including such things as the identities of agents — originating from a high enough source is classified by virtue of the originator alone.This would also be true of information derived from such high sources as the President and the Secretary of State.In this instance, had the right request been made and had the military approved it — which they have, in fact, done on rare occasions — there would have been no wrong doing.Sec Clinton has done exactly the same thing — she has mishandled classified information by allowing classified information to be transmitted by insecure and unauthorized channels and to be stored on an unauthorized server.The comparison is almost exact and is an apt comparison.BTW, when Petreaus was Dir of CI, he also exchanged messages with Paula Broadwell using a DropBox type arrangement in which he put messages in a file they could both access and which was password protected. The plea agreement did not include this transgression.He is not out of the woods yet because he is also subject to the UCMJ for other offenses.…JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    4. Tom Labus

      you will also address the use of personal email by Jeb Bush, your boy Rick Perry and Colin Powell I’m sure. Jeb said he turned over mails that were ” relevant”

      1. JLM

        .Tom —Why this faux moral equivalence?If any of them did the same thing then my views are identical. I care not a whit who anyone is — if they break the law, then they get treated the same.Those records belong to the government regardless of whose fingers are stroking the keys.I like to think of myself as a patriot and my patriotism has no party affiliation.There is probably nothing in my life that is less exciting than the prospect of a Jeb Bush candidacy. Rick Perry is a friend of mine, a good friend, and while admire and respect him greatly his chances of becoming President are unlikely. I knew Gen Colin Powell on active duty but I am not currently a huge fan of his.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  32. dotnetchris

    Her messages were still recorded by the NSA. I highly doubt her emails were actually encrypted with end to end encryption because the software is mindbogglingly bad at user experience. You just can’t send emails to people and expect them to be able to read them.So in theory her messages could be recovered from the same super net process that sweeps every single email that flows across US cables for permanent archival.

  33. Simone

    work emails should be sent/received using the work email account. unless she is above the rules. and byod refers to device, not to the email account.

  34. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable and rational that she tried to hide her email. Hillary Clinton is probably the #1 target of the conservative powers in the U.S. and the world. I’m sure she was paranoid as hell, and rightfully so, that the GOP (and probably enemies within her own party, too) were spying on her for all sorts of nefarious purposes.Not to mention, as a woman in power, I can’t begin to imagine the amount of violent threats she must receive on a daily basis, just from kooks (I guarantee, it’s a multiple of what any man gets). Who wouldn’t want to try and insulate themselves from that as much as possible?

    1. kev polonski

      Or perhaps conveniently she can dodge benghazi. Attack by the conservatives? Nothing compared to what the irs did to the conservatives, is it?Regardless of her motive she broke the law

    2. JLM

      .Wow, this is a breathtaking utterance. Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State. As such she conducts only one kind of business — implementing the foreign policy of the President of the United States.Her work product is owned by the government and is required to be archived for historic, documentation and legal purposes. They are work papers.As to legal documents they are both discoverable in any ordinary legal proceeding and they are subject to FOIA requests.By the action she took she circumvented the law and has, in essence, stolen the work papers of the Secretary of State thereby preventing them from being used for their legitimate purposes.Her transgression was discovered when, in an ordinary legal proceeding, the State Department was unable to produce emails that had already been produced by others. The plaintiff knew the emails existed because they had gotten them from other parties to the legal proceeding.Only then did it become publicly apparent that she had done something terribly wrong.Whether she has further ambitions beyond being Sec of State does not in any way obviate her responsibilities to comply with the provisions of 44 US Code Sec 31 which provides complete guidance as it relates to preserving the records of any government agency.ESI (electronically stored information) including emails must be transferred to the archives in accordance with these policies for future reference for the reasons in the Act.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Cindy Galgano

        JLMyou seem to regaling the fact that Hillary made a mistake and may end up up in a scandal but the fact of the matter is that this issue does not carry enough weight to precipitate a controversy at the least.This just brings your undemocratic attitude to the fore. Too bad

  35. kev polonski

    Change your medication. You first advocate for the government takeover of the Internet under the guise of net neutrality and now think Clinton while being paid by the people, while working for the people, while firing an ambassador for using private email, while ignoring a terrorist attack on our ambassador is justified?

  36. fedupwithnobels

    It’s really not that difficult — you keep all email communications to business, and then there is no problem with turning over your emails. What she dis was against the law.

  37. R3N

    Boy Fred,You seem to move right to the privacy issue, and not just gloss over but want to totally ignore the fact that in her official capacity she was operating on behalf of the U.S. Government and all American citizens. If she was concerned about privacy, then she should have and could have opted to carry 2 (or more) devices–just like the tens of thousands of others in this country and elsewhere who separate their public and private lives. And if you want validation that this was not only an accepted but expected approach to public service in the Obama White House years, go no further than the NY Times cover article on his staff that ran about 2 years ago. The pictures (and going from memory I believe there were >10-12) showed virtually EVERY staff member with more than one mobile device–including the President. My issue with the Clinton’s is that they never seem to believe the rules apply to them. This example with Hillary is just the latest in a series of examples…Bill Clinton had an affair with a staffer and then REPEATEDLY lied under oath when he was questioned about it. My issue was NOT that he had the affair, because it involved two consenting adults. My issue was and remains that when he has sworn in as President, he promised to uphold the laws of this land. When he lied under Oath, he not only broke that promised–he broke the law and was rightfully called up on it resulting with the articles of Impeachment.Hillary’s latest e-mail explanation reminds me of a friend who bought a radar detector for his many Interstate trips. He openly admitted that the only reason he wanted/needed a radar detector is because he had every intention of breaking the law (speed limits), and it seems to me the only reason Hillary Clinton knowingly chose to continue to use her own private server years into her stint as Secretary of State while virtually all of her contemporaries and most of her own Staff were using separate devices is because she was doing, saying, or promoting positions or ideas that A) she wanted to hideB) were contradictory to other positions promulgated or C) were downright illicit or illegal!

  38. Bob7

    I totally disagree with your powder puff viewpoint. Combining the e-mails of aPUBLIC servant with your PERSONAL e-mail account is beyond ludicrous. Ms.Clinton’s error in judgment was egregious on TWO fronts:1. She was paid by the American Taxpayer and (just like my worke-mails), those e-mails are ONE HUNDRED PERCENT viewable by the employer.PERIOD. She broke this key rule to HIDE information. Rhetorical Question: If shewasn’t hiding information, why would she care who sees the e-mails?2. Even worse, she has security clearance equal to the Presidentand was exchanging information with critical NATIONAL SECURITY content in it.How many troops or FBI/CIA operatives did she put at risk? We’ll never knowbecause she surely deleted those e-mails.P.S. Your irreverent use of male anatomy parts to show she has “courage” is lame.

  39. Dennis Mykytyn

    I just read through all the comments, and nobody has addressed the multiple phone issue she raised as a justification for using her own email. First, let’s ignore the fact that as Sec of State she always had aides at her side or outside her bedroom, 24/7, any one of whom could carry any number of phones on her behalf.WHY would she need to carry 2 phones at all? I can use my phone to access multiple email accounts, I don’t carry a different phone for each email account.Now, if your answer is, government issued Blackberries (or whatever they use these days) are locked down, specially encrypted and cannot access outside email for security reasons, well then, that raises a whole breach of security issue by using a personal phone, doesn’t it?So the multiple phone excuse sounds dubious to me, at best.

  40. LissIsMore

    This isn’t about the privacy of personal communications, Fred. This is (and always was) about control. Hillary wanted (and got) control over all of her communications as Secretary of State. This flies in the face of security concerns (is her IT team capable of securing the server) and transparency (all of her communications are supposed to be part of the government archive).

  41. ed

    If she would have done her job as Sec. of State, she would not have to have another phone to solicite moneyt from foreign countries for Bill , and Dear Hillary. Amazing how rich she became using the Gonv,t travel agency to visit her benefactors. Rich,sick untrustworthy person.

  42. Dave W Baldwin

    if you were to actually read it, you would see the Administration has locked up vital intelligence so no possible inconvenient truths could come to the radar screen. I don’t think anything in what I wrote mentions Benghazi.

  43. JLM

    .How do you think she got outed in the first place?I love my country.I don’t trust my government.I fear the NSA.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  44. pointsnfigures

    Chicago. Masters of the smoke filled room.

  45. BillMcNeely

    She is a rare Democrat who understands/ is interested foreign policy. Her connections are crazy.She takes human rights very seriously.There was an incident at the State Department ran Forward Operating Base in Kunduz, Afghanistan the month before my arrival . The Afghan forces along with most of the State Department personnel/contractors thought it would be amusing to pay for underage ( like say 9-13 yrs old) dancing boys to perform at a going away party for one of the staff. Word got out and eventually word filtered up to her and she arrived as soon as her schedule allowed. It was not one of the most cordial visits to say the least. A lot of folks lost their jobs over that one