IG report adds a whopper to James Comey's history of technology misery
by Caitlin Yilek
| June 17, 2018 03:00 PM
Print this article
Former FBI director James Comey speaking to an audience.
Weeks before President Trump fired James Comey, the former FBI director let slip that he had secret Instagram and Twitter accounts during a dinner event.
This week the world learned of yet another technology bungle by former FBI Director James Comey in what is becoming a substantial catalog of faux paus and struggles when a highly anticipated report from the Department of Justice’s inspector general revealed he sometimes used a private email account to conduct official business while leading the bureau.
According to the watchdog’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation unveiled Thursday, Comey used his personal Gmail account on “numerous” occasions to conduct his work as head of the FBI, despite the Justice Department implementing a policy in 2016 that forbade such a practice. The report listed five examples between 2016 and 2017 of Comey using the Gmail account for FBI business, including to draft documents and public statements. One of the emails had an attachment with a list of titles, contact information, and duty hours for FBI employees.
Comey defended his use of the personal account, saying he did not use it for classified or sensitive information. When he was asked by Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s team about whether his use of a private email was consistent with FBI regulations, Comey said, “I don’t know. I think so.”
Winning the war against opioids: A military family's personal struggle
Watch Full Screen to Skip Ads
The verdict? The IG report concluded Comey's multiple uses of personal email to conduct bureau business was "inconsistent" with DOJ policy.
This particular revelation was coupled with a twist of irony as it came nearly two years after Comey publicly chided Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign for her use of an unauthorized private email server while she was secretary of state.
Clinton didn't miss a beat when news of Comey's Gmail use went viral.
“But my emails,” Clinton responded to the news Thursday, a snarky nod to how the FBI's repeated opening and closing of the emails case dogged her campaign until the day she lost.
But the story doesn't stop there.
Comey’s laid-back approach toward using his personal Gmail account followed his testimony to Congress on the Clinton email investigation in which he was lectured on Gmail’s security pitfalls after a comment the FBI director made bemoaning that Clinton's server lacked a "full-time security staff" like what could be found with commercial email services like Gmail. A week after Comey made the remark in his statement recommending that no charges be brought against Clinton in the email investigation -- the first time, in July 2016 -- Republican Rep. Rod Blum told the FBI director at the hearing that Gmail was “not secure enough.”
"Director Comey," Blum said, "my small Iowa business doesn't even use Gmail for our email because it's not secure enough. I know some security experts in the industry. I check with them. The going rate to hack into somebody's Gmail account, $129. For corporate emails, they can be hacked for $500 or less. If you want to hack into an IP address, it's around $100. I'm sure the FBI can probably do it cheaper. This is the going rate."
Comey pushed back, saying Gmail’s security “is actually pretty good.” He instead faulted individual users for security mishaps.
Comey served as FBI director from 2013 to the spring of 2017, when he was fired by President Trump. During that tenure, the bureau struggled in bypassing advanced encryption technology. Comey said in March 2017 that law enforcement’s capacity to gather evidence in the cyberworld was diminishing as tech companies moved to better shield user privacy.
In his memoir, A Higher Loyalty, Comey wrote that Apple and Google’s decision in 2014 to encrypt their mobile devices frustrated him. He said the decision “drove me crazy” because tech CEOs “don’t see the darkness the FBI sees.”
On one side of the debate, tech CEOs argued that bowing to government demands for a so-called “backdoor” in their products would infringe on users’ rights. Law enforcement countered, claiming tech companies refusing to allow “backdoor” access would put innocent people in harm’s way and hinder its work.
In one example of that push-and-pull dynamic, the FBI fought Apple in court over access to a smartphone used by one of the attackers in the December 2015 terrorist shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. The FBI was eventually able to unlock the phone after paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to an unnamed person who was able to bypass the mobile device’s security features.
After the FBI dropped its court case against Apple, Comey was mocked for saying he put tape over his laptop’s webcam in an effort to prevent spying. “I saw something in the news, so I copied it,” he
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news ... ws%20Brief
Political debate. Welcome Yahoo Message Board exiles and everybody else !!
1 post • Page 1 of 1