'Lost' Laptops and American Security

FBI and US army headquarters computers are missing

Each day brings new problems, and the USA has become the major source of sensational news. However, there is the impression that the American government would not mind getting rid of this honor.

Yet another scandal has occured: 400 FBI and INS computers disappeared. What is worse, they contain confidential information.

American military men are searching for the missing computers. Two laptops disappeared from the headquarters of the Central Command of the US Armed Forces in Tampa, Florida. One of those computers contains secret information. General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was forced to acknowledge this fact on Wednesday. The general said that the computers vanished from an office, which was, however, under the strict control.

Richard Myers stressed that the reasons for the incident will be determined. He did not rule out that the computers could be simply taken out of the office for “technical service,” without adequate notice. Weird, isn’t it?

The Central Command with General Tommy R. Franks at its head, is conducting an investigation into the incident. It is hard to say if the generals will manage to find the truth or not, but such losses might bring very unpleasant surprises in the future, and not only to Americans. Dutch hackers stole hundreds of military documents from American Army computers in 1991, during the Gulf War. They were offering secret information for sale to Saddam Hussein afterwards. Nevertheless, computer technology has seen much progress since 1991, and now it will be rather hard to discover potential malefactors.

All the same, potential errorists will not have to bend over backwards to acheive their goals. If American officials keep "losing" their laptops, then al-Qaeda might not need the services of hacker. What’s the point of employing hackers if top-secret information finds its way into terrorists' hands by itself?

Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov