Friday, February 02, 2007


Keeping the Lid on Securely ... Or ELSE ! -LANS

Hello, Pat and Friends:

I've heard this story from many reliable sources over the past few days, but I haven't seen anything about it on the blog.

Sometime this week (I'm told it was Wednesday) someone in the management chain of the deployed security people held a meeting; I'm told that a fairly large group was addressed.

The deployed people were told somethng along the lines of the following:

If there is a security incident in the area for which you are responsible, and it rises to a level that it causes the company embarrassment (i.e., makes LANS look bad in the eyes of the government or the media), then you are liable for disciplinary action, up to and including termination. You will be disciplined even if you were unaware of the action; even if there was nothing that you could have done to prevent it.

You need to go home tonight and think long and hard about whether you want to accept these conditions; we will help you find a new job if you cannot.

I figure most of these deployed people are our first line of defense for any security incident. They are also, in all likelihood, the lowest-paid members of the security chain. And also the ones with the least authority.

They certainly aren't Bodman's "arrogant scientists".

People should certainly be disciplined for actions that they take that lead to problems, but I don't see why you should penalize someone for actions they could not have prevented. And terminating someone simply because they were tangentially involved with an "optics" problem is just plain wrong.

Way to go, LANS. You have threatened the first line of defense against security incidents. Will good people want these jobs now?

Post it if you like.




And this just in from an anonymous contributor:

A meeting of laboratory fellows this week discussed Mitchell's removal of classified information, according to the anecdote, perhaps unknowingly.

His admin, while doing property, realized a laptop was at his house, that it contained classified information, and bravely (and correctly) notified SIT.

Mitchell is described as a computer idiot, who did not even do his own email. Why did he bring a laptop home? To look like he was working? Who knows.

Or so the story goes.


And the beat goes on ...

--Pat, the Dog

I have no idea why anyone would ever want to take on a GL, DGL, or Team Leader position at LANL these days. If any serious security event happens that involves one of the staff members working under you, you're going to be be toast. It's getting very dangerous to work in the lower levels of LANL management. Of course, at the top...
Hmmm. You know that safety incidents are going to equally fall into this new bin. As such, it would seem to me that the ADs (and what do they do again?) and PADs (never hear from them either) and well Mike (and he said enough this week) all fall into the category of being accountable and getting fired the next time anyone does anything embarassing to the institution - such as accidentally having a safety incident or security infraction.

Wow, it is nice to know that if I hurt myself while at work I can be expected to get fired. Self-reporting is going to go way up! Nice going LANS!
If Mitchell had a classified laptop at home, it would have to have markings on it clearly identifying it for processing classified material. It would be inconcievable for him to take such a laptop home as a "mistake".

Also, if it had SRD (which would be likely) it would also have to be in the 24-hour ACREM reporting system.

If he did have such a laptop at his home, then it would seem he must have knowingly committed a very serious security violation.
'The NNSA V&V was completed yesterday at close of business. LANL received a "100% satisfactory" and "100% compliant". A letter to this effect is on the way to the Secretary of Energy from LASO.'

Only after LANL fixed all the problems the audit team found.

Back in early November, the NY Times reported that the Bush Whitehouse put Secret RD data out on the web. Of course, no one paid any attention to this little story.

Let me emphasize that point once again. The Bush Whitehouse apparently put SRD data on nuclear weapons out on the web where ANYONE could come and get it.

Why couldn't Bodman or D'Agostino point this out to Congress during the hearings? I mean, my God, Bush has his people put SRD data out on the web for all to read and no one seems to mind a bit. But at LANL, if a screw-up occurs, it's "Shut the place down!".

Mr. Barton, where you aware that your man did this? Do you care? Perhaps he should be removed from office. Perhaps all the USB ports on all the Whitehouse PCs should be filled with epoxy. I know, perhaps the Whitehouse should be shutdown for 6 months for remedial training. I'm sure this incident must be due to the "culture of arrogance" that fills the Bush Whitehouse.

You can read the full story here:


U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Primer - Nov 3, 2006 - NY Times

Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.

Last night, the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials. A spokesman for the director of national intelligence said access to the site had been suspended “pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing.”

...Peter D. Zimmerman, a physicist and former United States government arms scientist now at the war studies department of King’s College, London, called the posted material “very sensitive, much of it undoubtedly secret restricted data.”

Ray E. Kidder, a senior nuclear physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, an arms design center, said “some things in these documents would be helpful” to nations aspiring to develop nuclear weapons and should have remained secret.

Does it make any sense to have a "classified" laptop?

By definition, a laptop is fundamentally meant to be removed from the office.
Of course it makes sense to have a classified laptop; that is how all the emergency response team operate.
In itself, critiquing existing web publications by people "who know" is a serious breach. Kidder at Livermore needs "retraining", and LLNL management should be hauled before the same congressional committee as LANL was.
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