Press Release

For Immediate Release
February 14, 2005

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Letter to the Editor

Newsweek's Feb. 14 periscope article, "You Don't Have Mail," provided an inaccurate characterization of the recent compromised commercial e-mail system used by the FBI. Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball omitted facts which would have properly characterized the extent of the compromise of the non-FBI server. The compromise affected only those fbi.gov Internet e-mail accounts hosted by a particular commercial service provider. All FBI Internet e-mail accounts have been migrated, or are in the process of being migrated, to a more secure e-mail capability. Isikoff and Hosenball also alluded to the possibility that sensitive information was compromised. The fbi.gov e-mail network was used for non-sensitive, non-secure communications and was not deployed as a secure e-mail system. Furthermore, the e-mail service that was compromised was provided by a commercial vendor; it is not an FBI system. By characterizing investigators as "baffled," the reporters are oversimplifying an investigation that takes time and marginalizes the investigative skills, hard work, and commitment of the women and men of the FBI. The article also mistakenly links fbi.gov e-mail to other FBI technology issues. This issue is isolated; it did not impact any other internal system and is unrelated to the FBI's development of an internal case management system, or Virtual Case File (VCF). Linking the fbi.gov email issue to VCF demonstrates a lack of understanding of technology issues in the FBI. The American people deserve a more informed and accurate portrayal of the facts.
CASSANDRA M. CHANDLER, Asst. Director Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of Public Affairs Washington, D.C.

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