Sunday, August 28, 2005

More on the LANL Macintosh

From: Anonymous:

Sources inside KOB TV are not happy with the Albuquerque Journal's version of the story about the LANL Macintosh computer. According to the Journal article, KOB reporters "jumped the gun" with their story about the computer having classified material on its disk.

According to these sources, LANL refused to grant a phone interview to KOB reporters last Thursday. Instead, this email was sent at 7:00pm from James Rickman [LANL spokesperson] to KOB:

Los Alamos National Laboratory Statement Regarding Salvaged Computer with Los Alamos Documents

August 25, 2005

* Los Alamos National Laboratory does not recycle computers used to process classified information.

* LANL's property accountability system did identify the Apple computer referenced by KOB-TV as a computer formerly used at the Laboratory in a training organization that neither produces classified information nor is housed in a classified area.

* The Laboratory will investigate to determine why the hard drive had not been removed from the machine, which is standard procedure when recycling unclassified computers.

KOB staff indicate that indeed, they did find dozens of documents on the hard drive....including memos, emails, timesheets....some with the word classified on them. The FBI asked staff if the documents were really classified and were told that KOB staff would be in no position to verify that. They did indicate that one email was entitled 'Transmitting Classified Material'.

Prior to the story, a KOB reporter spent all day Thursday on the phone with the auction site, Sandia Labs and Los Alamos. For most of the day, Los Alamos denied the computer was even theirs.

Sandia ran a check and found it did not belong to them and told the reporter it was likely Los Alamos', but a Los Alamos spokesperson said it wasn't theirs and that it likely belonged to Sandia Labs.

Initially, the reporter wrote an entire story around that angle---that this mysterious computer was not being claimed and yet it had Los Alamos material on it.

Then at 7 pm on Thursday, the memo from LANL spokesperson Rickman was received at KOB.

That's why the story was reported the way it was. It calls into question WHAT are these documents....and could they be classified? KOB feels that LANL's side of the story was included in the report as well (LANL's claim that the computer did not contain classified material and that it was used for training purposes). Therefore KOB staff believe the report was quite the opposite of a 'disservice to the community' LANL accused the report as being. The story calls into question 2 things: HOW could a computer with LANL material be sold to a KOB photographer....and should the community be concerned that classified material may have been leaked.

* The Laboratory will investigate to determine why the hard drive had not been removed from the machine, which is standard procedure when recycling unclassified computers.

makes the IM memo all the more interesting
This blog is not a shill to anyone. (Reference to another deleted post).

Say it with civility, or don't say it at all.

Clearly LANL's right hand does not know from the left hand and vice versa. All the misstatements from the last few days will really muddy the waters when it comes to salvaging computers. There are two relevant points.

1. It is not standard procedure to remove the disks from unclassified systems before salvaging them. The disks are supposed to be wiped.

2. Computers which have processed classified information may be recycled as long as they have NO disks.

Do you suppose this is too complicated?
"Do you suppose this is too complicated?"

Apparently, judging by the inconsistancies between IM division's and Director Kuckuck's memos on the subject.
If it's too complicated for S division to explain to Kuckuck, then I'll be happy to volunteer to translate for them - at a price, of course!
It sounds like LANL was trying to do a rerun of the Americium-241 PA ploy: stonewalling. Not talking to the reporters didn't help matters any. Again.
When will the FBI report on this be released?
Its scheduled to come out 2 weeks after the final report on the Tommy Hook/Cheeks incident, and 3 weeks after you finally get that check from Publisher's Clearinghouse. "You may already be a winner!"
Well, it does begin to sound as if KOB did actually jump the gun on this one. Yippee, chalk one up for UC. Why is it, though, that UC & LANL can't even win one without sounding like the Keystone Kops?

Best of wishes to the contestants in this week's oral exams, while we're at it.
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