Clinton’s Digital Dilemma

by Stephen Bloshuk

via Wikipedia

Technology has provided us with another political controversy. In this case, however, the microscope’s lens is firmly fixed on the recent actions of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The former First Lady and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate is now mired in controversy after 6,300 pages of emails from her private email address and server were recently seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The heart of the scandal, which has been dubbed “emailgate,” focuses on the contents of Clinton’s account- that is, the information that she received and sent to her superiors and employees between the creation of the account in 2009 and the present.

In a recent statement about the specifics of her emails, Clinton denied the presence of matters of national security, saying that “There is no classified material on this private server.”

Further investigation, however, has proven Clinton’s statement to be false; it has been confirmed by an inside source from the FBI that over 400 of the 6,300 seized emails contain information that was or should have been marked classified. The topics of these emails include information about spy satellites, plans for overseas drone strikes, and discussions about the current state of nuclear research in Iran.

An ancillary issue to these matters of content is the allegation that Clinton, as well as members of her staff, attempted to delete information from the account and server before surrendering it to authorities.

If this alteration has, in fact, occurred, the individual(s) responsible for manipulating this data has broken the law. Federal regulation 18 USC§2071, which was ratified in 1948, clearly states that a felony is committed by anyone who “…willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys public records, or attempts to do so.”

Another important consideration in this situation is the lack of security measures used to guard these e-mails. Clinton’s server was nearly hacked five times by Russian data thieves; Clinton also left thumb drive copies of her e-mails in various locations, and allowed those without a proper security clearance to access her personal server.

The receipt of these emails is equally disconcerting- Clinton’s aides frequently received messages from this server, which means that copies of these emails are sitting in the servers of email service providers including Google and AOL. The classified information given to these aides are at a high risk of unlawful possession should a successful attack on the databases of an email service provider ever be carried out.

Most reports, if not all, say that it is very unlikely that Clinton and her staff will face serious legal consequences for their actions. Clinton will, however, face the loss of a considerable amount of her public support as a result of this scandal. The public can also be assured that from this point on, Hillary Clinton will think before she hits “send.”