I wish I could say I am shocked and bewildered that the recent data theft out of the State of Ohio was more than 15 times worse than Ted Strickland & Co. made it out to be when the physical drive (?) was stolen out of an employee’s car, but alas I cannot. I wish I had a more sarcastic way to put it too, but Carlo over at Techdirt did a pretty good job of that. Meanwhile, I’ve recently heard that sarcasm is symptomatic of passive-aggressive behaviour, and since an old girlfriend once told me I was the only man she ever dated that wasn’t “PA,” I’m going to respect her opinion and refrain from sarcasm from this day forward.
Ok, maybe not…
It’s not as though Ohio didn’t see this coming – it’s been going on in the Buckeye state for some time. Then again, does anyone in bureaucracies ever know what is actually going on? If they did, would they even care? Or are they just so attuned to stretching the truth that they just don’t know how to shut up, even in the face of stone cold evidence waiting to rear it’s ugly head?
No matter. When the “powers that be” come out with statements like this:
“He’s actually in line with our conclusions that it would be very difficult for someone without special knowledge and understanding to actually access that piece of information.”
…you know someone is speaking for someone else right before they get handed their pink slip. “Very difficult?” “Special knowledge?” The spokesperson is either completely insane or oblivious to the fact that there are third world countries full of brilliant mathemeticians, since cast into the shadows of unemployment and looking feverishly for work on internet message boards.
And that’s for a few hundred bucks, based on some handwritten notes a moron like me scratches on the back of an envelope over three Blue Moon drafts, and faxes over to him at his office at the local community college. I use such strokes of amatuerism to create graphs on a very stupid, highly unsuccessful website I built for a few thousand bucks more.
If I can rally such idiots to produce algorithms at a price equal to a steak dinner in New York proper, for something I will never see a return on my investment for, you can be assured that there is someone out there that can crack the encryption on a device left in the back of a government clerk’s car that contains social security and bank account numbers on a million people, just for throwing in a bottle of 1999 Chateau Pichon Lalande.
UPDATE: None of this matters anymore – a scapegoat has been caught, tried, and hung. That’s how it works.