Put Steve Jobs in Charge of National Security

John Negroponte, it's nothing personal, but you don't seem terribly concerned about the fact that certain individuals in your employ, who are supposed to be protecting us against a determined army of blood—thirsty fanatics, are instead blabbling to the New York Times and other media types at every opportunity about how we're going about it.

I know that you said that the intelligence community takes these disclosures very seriously, but in the last 8 months we've seen stories about the secret prisons where we hold and interrogate dangerous terrorists, the NSA terrorist surveillance program, and the latest revelation, explaining how we try to track terrorist finances with the assistance of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT).

So, I think you should resign, and President Bush should give your gig to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. To understand why, check out the article in this morning's Wall Street Journal 'At Apple, Secrecy Complicates Life, But Maintains Buzz.' (Unfortunately, this article is available only to subscribers, but here's an article based on the original.)

As the WSJ piece explains, Mr. Jobs understands the importance of keeping confidential information secret; to wit:

'While many tech companies assign internal code names to products, Apple goes a step further. It often gives different departments dissimilar code names for the same product, current and former employees say. If a code name leaks, Apple can more easily track down the department from which the leak originated.

Apple managers carefully track who knows what about secret projects, maintaining 'disclosure lists' of those who have been briefed, according to the former and current employees. When employees receive documents containing sensitive information about unannounced products, the documents are often watermarked with the recipient's name, a practice meant to discourage carelessness.'

That the features of the latest incarnation of the iPod are a more closely—held secret that the sources of methods our government uses to fight terrorists would be hilarious if it weren't be so potentially dangerous. If Mr. Negroponte can't stop the leaks, perhaps he should enlist the help of someone who can.

Teri O'Brien   6 28 06

John Negroponte, it's nothing personal, but you don't seem terribly concerned about the fact that certain individuals in your employ, who are supposed to be protecting us against a determined army of blood—thirsty fanatics, are instead blabbling to the New York Times and other media types at every opportunity about how we're going about it.

I know that you said that the intelligence community takes these disclosures very seriously, but in the last 8 months we've seen stories about the secret prisons where we hold and interrogate dangerous terrorists, the NSA terrorist surveillance program, and the latest revelation, explaining how we try to track terrorist finances with the assistance of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT).

So, I think you should resign, and President Bush should give your gig to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. To understand why, check out the article in this morning's Wall Street Journal 'At Apple, Secrecy Complicates Life, But Maintains Buzz.' (Unfortunately, this article is available only to subscribers, but here's an article based on the original.)

As the WSJ piece explains, Mr. Jobs understands the importance of keeping confidential information secret; to wit:

'While many tech companies assign internal code names to products, Apple goes a step further. It often gives different departments dissimilar code names for the same product, current and former employees say. If a code name leaks, Apple can more easily track down the department from which the leak originated.

Apple managers carefully track who knows what about secret projects, maintaining 'disclosure lists' of those who have been briefed, according to the former and current employees. When employees receive documents containing sensitive information about unannounced products, the documents are often watermarked with the recipient's name, a practice meant to discourage carelessness.'

That the features of the latest incarnation of the iPod are a more closely—held secret that the sources of methods our government uses to fight terrorists would be hilarious if it weren't be so potentially dangerous. If Mr. Negroponte can't stop the leaks, perhaps he should enlist the help of someone who can.

Teri O'Brien   6 28 06