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Obama Advisor's Firm Spies on McCain, Clinton

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The CEO of a company whose employee is accused of improperly looking at the passport files of presidential candidates is a consultant to the Barack Obama campaign. The State Department, thru its private contractor, breached the passport records of Obama, Clinton and McCain, CNN reports. Condi Rice apologizes at this video link.

After the Washington Post broke the story on Thursday, the State Dept. held a press conference on Friday. The International Herald Tribune reports that spokesman, Sean McCormack, was offended at the suggestion that the privacy breach may have been politically motivated:

"One reporter, asking a question, noted in passing that 'the whole story looks like a new Watergate scandal.'

"McCormack interrupted. 'You know what? You know what? That is so outrageous,' he said. 'You just lost your privilege.' McCormack refused to acknowledge the reporter for the remainder of the news conference."

In the Land of the Three-Letter Agencies, it's apparently not allowed to ask government officials tough questions. Heaven forbid the Fourth Estate should not be "for the state" as Amy Goodman is known to say.

California Democrat Howard Berman, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, noted that the Bush Administration previously spied on Clinton. But then, it was Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton involved.

The circumstances in this case may be different from the George H.W. Bush Administration's snooping into Bill Clinton's passport records during the 1992 presidential campaign. But it is worth noting that that earlier situation also was characterized as isolated and non-political when the news initially emerged.

This time, as then, Congress will pay close attention to the depth of Executive Branch involvement in the rifling of presidential candidates' passport files.

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The IHT reports:

A Republican political appointee was demoted after the State Department's inspector general said the official had been trying to find politically damaging information about Clinton, who had been rumored to have considered renouncing his citizenship to avoid the Vietnam War draft.

While a person's travel history is reportedly not maintained in these records, it is a curiosity that candidates' files would be improperly accessed during campaign season.

Given the Bush family passion for spying, we should not be surprised at the rampant rise in data security breaches this millennium.

For links to other DATA SECURITY BREACHES, see:

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Several websites track this, including http://snipurl.com/22eup and http://breachalerts.trustedid.com/?cat=167

Friedman, Brad. "Worm attacked voter database in notorious Florida district: Machine in hotly contested 13th Congressional District lain low by Slammer on first day of election." May 16, 2007.

Allan Holmes, FEMA Puts Sensitive Info at Risk, July 3, 2007. http://blogs.govexec.com/techinsider/archives/2007/07/post_10.php

Jonathan Krim, Net Aids Theft of Sensitive ID Data: Critical Social Security numbers widely available. April 4, 2005. http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/printer_040405Z.shtml

 

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In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

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