Page 11 - FSJ - 070812

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J U LY - A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
11
their SSNs and various other informa-
tion taken, but without names or other
identifying features.
The incident actually occurred last
July when a computer belonging to
Serco, a third-party service provider
that supports TSP operations, was
breached, but did not come to light
until April. As soon as the Federal Bu-
reau of Investigation notified the com-
pany and the agency, they shut down
the compromised computer and
beefed up security procedures. (There
has been no explanation of what trig-
gered the FBI inquiry, how it discov-
ered the breach or why the initial
notification took so long.)
TSP Executive Director Greg Long
has assured plan participants that all af-
fected individuals have received letters
telling them how to contact a call cen-
ter established to offer credit monitor-
ing and other services.
Though there is no evidence that
the data have been misused
,
Washing-
ton Post
blogger Edwin Yoder reports
in a May 26 article that information se-
curity is an ongoing concern for federal
agencies. He cites a disquieting Octo-
ber 2011 Government Accountability
Office study (GAO-12-137, “Informa-
tion Security: Weaknesses Continue
Amid New Federal Efforts to Imple-
ment Requirements”) which revealed
that the number of attacks on federal
agencies’ computer systems reported
to a central incident center soared
from 5,503 in Fiscal Year 2006 to
41,776 in Fiscal Year 2010
(
www.
gao.gov/assets/590/585570.pdf
).
— Steven Alan Honley, Editor
Voices Silenced, Tweets Heard
The spread of the Arab Spring not
only reflects the power of cyberac-
tivism — the use of social media plat-
forms for sociopolitical objectives —
but continues to be driven by it.
Earlier this year Courtney Radsch,
senior programmanager for the Global
Freedom of Expression Campaign
(
www.freedomhouse.org
) a
nd an
American University doctoral candi-
date in international relations investi-
gated this topic for Rice University’s
Baker Institute for Public Policy
(
www.bakerinstitute.org
). H
er re-
port,
“Unveiling the Revolutionaries:
Cyberactivism and Women’s Role in
the Arab Uprisings,
” examines the im-
C
Y B E R N O T E S
50 Years Ago...
This is the great period of the Foreign Service, much
greater than any period that has gone before. And it will
be so through this decade, and perhaps even more in the
years to come, if we are able to maintain ourselves with success.
But it places the heaviest burdens upon all of you. Instead of becom-
ing merely experts in diplomatic history, or in current clippings from the
New York Times
, now you have to involve yourselves in every element of
foreign life — labor, the class struggle, cultural affairs and all the rest —
attempting to predict in what direction the forces will move.
— Excerpted from “The Great Period of the Foreign Service,” a luncheon
address given by President John F. Kennedy at the American Foreign
Service Association on May 31, 1962;
FSJ
, July 1962.