As Britain prepares to launch its own National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a report from the Inspector General finds that aspiring President Hillary Clinton ‘clearly ignored’ guidance from the State Department putting herself and her country’s national security at risk through appalling email practices. Be afraid, be very afraid, says Steven George-Hilley.
This week The Chancellor helped announce a new prospectus for the forthcoming launch of the UK’s new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Officially opening this coming autumn, the new facility will serve as a dedicated hub for the protection of Britain’s national security and connect businesses with industry experts and government stakeholders in a collective battle against cyber crime.
Whilst on the face of it this announcement could be easily dismissed as another government gimmick carefully crafted by the overly ambitious George Osborne, but the facts tell a different story.
Recent research from the government shows that two-thirds of big UK businesses have been hit by a cyber attack in the past year. This includes viruses, spyware, malware and other forms of breach, with a larger companies experiencing some form of breach every month.
Indeed, the UK’s digital economy offers the opportunity towards greater prosperity and the ability to empower and grow businesses and create new jobs at a rate previously never thought possible. Yet this new online marketplace is also an oasis for international cyber criminals, hostile nation states and leftist-hacktivists who seek to harm organisations for dubious political purposes.
With these facts firmly in mind, the conduct of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during her stint of Secretary of State and her use of a private email server is both alarming and worrying.
After Wikileaks and the Edward Snowden scandal, one would think the US and its officials would have ensured mandatory requirements for email exchanges were not only rigorously enforced but were obeyed by the men and women privileged to find themselves in elected office.
Yet here we have Secretary of State using an unapproved email account to conduct government business, putting her personal security and more importantly the United States of America’s National security at risk.
Buried in the new report, is a crucial passage, it states:
On January 9, 2011, the non-Departmental advisor to President Clinton who provided technical support to the Clinton email system notified the Secretary’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations that he had to shut down the server because he believed ‘someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in I didn’t want to let them have a chance to.’
Later that day, the advisor again wrote to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, “We were attacked again so I shut [the server] down for a few mins.”
The report goes on to reference a series of incidents of receiving suspicious emails, but states, “However, OIG found no evidence that the Secretary or her staff reported these incidents to computer security personnel or anyone else within the Department.”
Team Clinton has been quick to dismiss such allegations, pointing to the fact that previous Secretaries of State have also opted for private servers to conduct government business.
But such classic misdirection tactics do little to distract the American people away from clear errors of judgement and arrogance that so typify the Clinton name.
It is such arrogance that have allowed Clinton to position herself as the champion of women despite her husband’s record as a serial sex pest and one who has repeatedly mistreated women throughout his time as President of the United States.
It is such a charge of arrogance around the Clinton clan that resonates with the American people, and one which assumed Republican contender Donald Trump is rightly seeking to deploy to derail her steady poll lead.
Whilst the American people may be able to able to brush over the moral misdeeds of a former President, they will not be so forgiving for a candidate that so recklessly puts their country’s security at risk.
Steven George-Hilley is a media commentator and the founder of Colloquium