Monday, March 29, 2004
Clarke on Russert: Bestselling liar Richard Clarke appeared Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." Most of host Tim Russert's questioning wasn't much different than what Clarke faced before the 9/11 commission. Russert's questioning was largely disappointing. He was much tougher on former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean when he appeared on the program.
Setting that aside, when Clarke left government, he was the special advisor to the president for cybersecurity. He was the government's top man on issues regarding computers, the Internet and the nation's information infrastructure. Yet, with that background, he made the following comment:
MR. RUSSERT: But to be clear, Mr. Clarke, you would urge Congress, the intelligence committees, to declassify your sworn testimony before the congressional inquiry two years ago as well as your testimony before the September 11th Commission?
MR. CLARKE: Yes, and those documents I just referred to and Dr. Rice's testimony before the 9-11 Commission because the victims' families have no idea what Dr. Rice has said. There weren't in those closed hearings where she testified before the 9-11 Commission. They want to know. So let's take her testimony before the 9-11 Commission and make it part of the package of what gets declassified along with the national security decision directive of September 4 and along with my memo of January 25.
In fact, Tim, let's go further. The White House is selectively now finding my e-mails, which I would have assumed were covered by some privacy regulations, and selectively leaking them to the press. Let's take all of my e-mails and all of the memos that I've sent to the national security adviser and her deputy from January 20 to September 11 and let's declassify all of it. [emphasis added]
Let's get this right. Clarke believes e-mails that he wrote, on government computers, at government facilities, while on the government payroll are somehow private?
For those of you who used to be in charge of cybersecurity for the federal government, the current state of case law can be found here.
Is electronic mail private? What about voice mail?
In most cases, no. If an electronic mail (e-mail) system is used at a company, the employer owns it and is allowed to review its contents. Messages sent within the company as well as those that are sent from your terminal to another company or from another company to you can be subject to monitoring by your employer. This includes web-based email accounts such as Yahoo and Hotmail as well as instant messages. The same holds true for voice mail systems. In general, employees should not assume that these activities are not being monitored and are private. Several workplace privacy court cases have been decided in the employer’s favor.
Welcome to the 21st Century Mr. Clarke.