I Wonder

I read this article about the Republican Infiltration of Demo Computers and this stuck out to me:

From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications without a password. Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able to read talking points and accounts of private meetings discussing which judicial nominees Democrats would fight — and with what tactics.

I think I have a good idea what the “glitch” probably was — I’m betting that all of the machines had the backup shares (like “C$”) open. I hate to break it to you, but that isn’t a glitch. That is a feature. Ask Microsoft.

As the extent to which Democratic communications were monitored came into sharper focus, Republicans yesterday offered a new defense. They said that in the summer of 2002, their computer technician informed his Democratic counterpart of the glitch, but Democrats did nothing to fix the problem.

In the legal world, that is called “waiver”.

“There appears to have been no hacking, no stealing, and no violation of any Senate rule,” Miranda said. “Stealing assumes a property right and there is no property right to a government document. . . . These documents are not covered under the Senate disclosure rule because they are not official business and, to the extent they were disclosed, they were disclosed inadvertently by negligent [Democratic] staff.”

This is the meat-and-potatoes of it. This was the equivilent of the Dems leaving the office door unlocked for the cleaning crew and the Repubs walking in at night and reading all the memos on the desk.

Is it unethical? You bet your ass, and someone needs to be on the deep shag over it (and not the underlings that were doing it.) But it isn’t criminal.

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