Saturday, July 7, 2007

Condoleezza Rice, Linkin Park and Technology

Yesterday CNBC ran a series of interviews of interviews with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In the interviews CNBC's Maria Bartiromo asks Rice a number of really good questions and I found Rice's answers fascinating. You can watch the 5 part interview series by searching on Rice's last name here.

At one point Rice was asked about the use of a Blackberry by
Bartiromo. Rice's response was she is not allowed to touch technology any more - she has people that do those kinds of things for her! This got me thinking what if:

- What if she had a Blackberry and someone else got their hands on it?
- What if someone could intercept her emails?
- Could someone assume her identity online?
- If there was a compromise, how long would it take before someone realized?

This comes after reading an excellent article in the June 2007 issue of
WIRED Magazine titled Linkin Park's Mysterious Cyberstalker. In the article report David Kushner describes how the online identity of Chester Charlie Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, was assumed by a Sandia National Labs computer technician. Sandia is a a top secret nuclear lab!

It took Chester a year to get his (and ultimately his wife's) identity back after he hired digital evidence, forensics and investigation expert Konstantinos "Gus" Dimitrelos. David Kushner was also interviewed by NPR on the Linkin Park WIRED article - that interview is linked here.

Fascinating stuff - I can understand why high level government officials are kept away from communications technologies.

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