There’s a Hole in my Bucket

Conversing with a friend today, we were speculating about  how ‘leakage’ actually happens, Is it brute force – battering a firewall down by repeated attacks like medieval siege works, hoping to punch holes in the bulwarks and gain entrance by force of arms? Probably not. The likelihood is that leakage takes place by a much more obvious mechanism. Military and diplomatic Internet isn’t the same as the civilian one. ARPANet runs home to mama in the form of the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) which is “a system of interconnected computer networks used by the United States Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of State to transmit classified information (up to and including information classified SECRET) by packet switching over the TCP/IP protocols in a ‘completely secure’ environment”. Thanks, Wiki. It also provides services such as hypertext document access and electronic mail. As such, SIPRNet is the DoD’s classified version of the civilian Internet. Accidental leakage is impossible since there’s no electronic connection between civilian and classified systems and as such it ought to be bomb proof. But it isn’t because people with classified clearance can just plug in a flash drive in a fit of pique and download all they want. PFC Bradley Manning’s motivation for leaking military information from SIPRNET to Wikileaks seems to be down to little more than disillusionment with American foreign policy. On the motivation scale, Manning’s motivation doesn’t seem urgent compared to, say, someone being blackmailed or being motivated by having a gun held to a family member’s head, or tempted by a hot tub full of jewellery and hookers. That’s real motivation. I’m not going to speculate on how much information has leaked from SIPRNET by people being “properly” motivated. But, I suspect that it’s rather a lot…
Bradley Manning was held for a time here in Kuwait, pending further legal proceedings and he faces up to 52 years in jail. The hole in the bucket here is simply giving military personnel with axes to grind a way of grinding them so as to cause a good deal of damage. Manning may pay yet more dearly than he imagined. At least one senator and a congressman have called for the death penalty.

One thought on “There’s a Hole in my Bucket

  1. Yikes. I didn't know the source of the leak had been identified. While I can understand disgruntlement leading to quitting one's job, this is a bit weird. How does Mr. Manning get around the confidentiality and non-disclosure forms he signed? In triplicate? Somebody mentioned 'treason' which does of course, carry the death penalty. At least in Texas.
    Mr. Assange looks rather smarmy for peddling stolen goods.
    What a mess.


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