04.08.2015 2

They can’t even protect the President’s schedule

from russia

By Robert Romano

The federal government cannot even protect the President’s schedule.

That is the only conclusion one can reach after CNN revealed that the Russian government had managed to hack White House computer systems to get copies of the President’s schedule and even call information.

“Who puts sensitive security information about the President on a computer plugged into the Internet?” Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning asked, responding to the story. “The White House, that’s who.”

Technically how it was accomplished is probably less important. CNN reports the U.S. intelligence community believes the intrusion to be “among the most sophisticated attacks ever launched against U.S. government systems.”

The better question is why was it even possible for hackers to even be able to access so-called “unclassified” aspects of the White House computer system?

Maybe going digital is not such a good thing after all.

Leaving aside the seeming absurdity that the President’s non-public schedule is not classified, what this means is that the more digital the seat of government becomes, the more susceptible it is to hackers.

Now, the very storage of information itself on computer systems becomes a risk since it is capable of being shared over networks.

“We do not believe that our classified systems were compromised,” Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

Of course, then Rhodes went on to say on international television, “[I]f you’re going to do something classified, you have to do it on one email system, one phone system.”

So, wait. We’re keeping classified information on email systems, too? The whole thing’s digital?

This is not going to end well.

These networks can be hardened with all types of encryption and firewalls, as they undoubtedly are, but if Moscow can penetrate the White House’s systems — which should have been well protected — it should be assumed they can penetrate anything else.

Rhodes went on to add, “Frankly, you have to act as if information could be compromised if it’s not on the classified system.”

Frankly, perhaps the White House and the federal government generally should start acting like the information could be compromised if it’s stored digitally and networked. Maybe that’s the problem.

They can’t even protect the President’s schedule, for goodness’ sake.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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