Corruption: It’s been known for some time that Hillary Clinton’s personal email contained top-secret government material. We’re also learning just how vulnerable her system was. She might as well have posted documents on an open blog.
While secretary of state, Clinton conducted State Department business through a personal email account handled by a private server that did not meet the government’s security standards. The homebrew system was probably the most susceptible to hackers during its first two months of existence when emails passed through it without encryption.
The domain name clintonemail.com was registered on Jan. 13, 2009, eight days before Clinton became secretary of state, Computer World reported last month, “but it wasn’t until March 29 that the first (security) certificate was issued for the domain.” The certificate is necessary to encrypt connections from cell phones and computers accessing the server and email account, said the report.
“Without that security, data would be flowing across the Internet in plain text,” the trade magazine reported.
Computer World also noted that Clinton traveled extensively “during her first months in office until the certification was obtained.” She visited Japan, South Korea, Israel, Mexico and Switzerland, but also went to Indonesia, China, Egypt, “Palestine” and Turkey. Some of these countries could be considered cold — maybe even openly hostile — toward the U.S. One nation is even one of the world’s largest providers of Islamic State fighters and has a large radical Muslim community, while the region of Palestine gave birth to modern-day Islamic terrorism. Was her email breached by enemies while she was visiting these spots? Given how open it was, even the most bungling hacker could have gotten in.
The security risks posed by Clinton’s email arrangement went beyond just the first months of her tenure, though. Remember, it was never a secure government system and it was used by someone who has a “frighteningly outdated view of email security,” Computer World said last year, and who tried to argue that it was secure because the server was on property guarded by the Secret Service.
But all can’t be blamed on naivete, or an antiquated understanding of technology security. Clinton’s choice to use a nonsecure personal email account rather than a secure government account was made consciously and deliberately. She wanted to conduct government business outside of the sterilizing effects of sunlight. That she might endanger national security didn’t matter to her. The public would do well to remember this as she gets closer to the Democratic nomination.