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First POST: Hotmail

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, March 5 2015


  • Security experts are not impressed by the news that Hillary Clinton ran all her emails through a private server while she was Secretary of State, Andy Greenberg reports for Wired. For example, the ACLU's chief technologist Chris Soghoian comments, “Although the American people didn’t know about this, it’s almost certain that foreign intelligence agencies did, just as the NSA knows which Indian and Spanish officials use Gmail and Yahoo accounts.” Greenberg also points out that Network Solutions, Clinton's domain registrar, had hundreds of its domains hacked in 2010.

  • Stanford computer science geek Jonathan Mayer, who is quoted in Greenberg's Wired story, caveats that "us outsiders can't say, with any certainty, whether this server was more or less secure than the State Department infrastructure." He also adds, referring back to the AP story about the Clinton's "home-brew" server, "there is some nontrivial technical evidence that the email server was at the Clinton residence. But it's hardly definitive. It's possible, for instance, that the registered address is merely for billing purposes." And he also corrects Greenberg's reference to Network Solutions being hacked: "It was a web hosting service offered by Network Solutions that was hacked in 2010, not their DNS service. That would've been a much bigger deal.

  • According to Bloomberg Business reporters Michael Riley, Jordan Robertson and Chris Strohm, Clinton's private email system gave her the ability to complete erase messages--unlike commercial services which retain copies--but its encryption system was not configured correctly, leaving it "vulnerable to hacking."

  • They also report that "Former Florida Governor and likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush used a personal e-mail while he was governor and has done so since, according to his spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell. He kept a server he owned in his state office and didn’t have a private server at home….Bush differed from Clinton in that it was known he was using a personal e-mail, his aides had regular access to the server and 'his office consistently throughout his term complied with Florida’s public records laws,' Campbell said."

  • Related: Democratic operative Carter Eskew speculates, without evidence, in The Washington Post that the source of the Clinton email story was the Bush campaign.

  • Getting a address was, of course, a "mark of status" among Clinton insiders, Amy Chozick and Steve Eder report for The New York Times.

  • Irony alert: In 2007, then-presidential candidate Clinton declared, at the Take Back America conference, that "Our Constitution is being shredded. We know about the secret wiretaps, the secret military tribunals, the secret White House email accounts," The Daily Caller's Blake Neff notes.

  • Clinton has called, via a Tweet, for the State Department to review her emails for release "as soon as possible."

  • The AP is threatening legal action over its unfulfilled FOIA requests for documents covering Clinton's time as Secretary of State, Ravi Somaiya reports for The New York Times.

  • Meanwhile, Clinton aide Philippe Reines sparred with several top political reporters in a serial email exchange reminiscent of a high-school cafeteria food fight reposted here by J.K. Trotter of Gawker.

  • In Politico, Josh Gerstein sums up the controversy: "all signs Tuesday pointed toward a protracted legal morass as advocacy groups, the courts and Congress try to determine whether Clinton’s practice denied them access to critical information during her four years in the Obama Cabinet and thereafter."

  • Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) says that if former CIA director and four-star general David Petraeus can get a lenient plea deal for sharing classified information with his mistress, Edward Snowden should get similar leniency.

  • This Tuesday at the Freedom to Connect conference here at Civic Hall, Gigi Sohn, head of outreach for the FCC, explained the Chairman Tom Wheeler's eventual embrace of Title II to protect net neutrality was rooted in a series of learning experiences, including his own frustration with the slowdown in his Netflix service, Jeff John Roberts reports for GigaOm. Videos of the talks of Freedom to Connect are now up online.

  • Democracy Works, the nonprofit behind Turbovote, has just announced $1 million in new support from the Knight Foundation plus $400,000 from the MacArthur Foundation. The money will go toward expanding Turbovote, which helps people register to vote; launch Ballot Scout, a new tool for tracking absentee ballots; and expand the organization's partnerships with other civic nonprofits. Congrats to Seth Flaxman, Kathryn Peters and the rest of the team!

  • Jason Tashea of offers "ten Code for America civic hacking projects you should be watching."