June 15, 2009

DIGITAL SECURITY IN AN ANALOG BUREAUCRACY

BY THE time Barack Obama took office, he was convinced that the Internet was an extraordinary tool for communicating, organizing, and raising money, and that it also posed a critical vulnerability for national security.

During the campaign, Obama's computer systems were hacked, and the intruders made off with valuable information. As the president recounted in a speech in May, "Between August and October [2008], hackers gained access to e-mails and a range of campaign files, from policy position papers to travel plans. And we worked closely with the CIA, with the FBI and the Secret Service, and hired security consultants to restore the security of our systems." Republican nominee John McCain's campaign computers were also compromised.

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