Tuesday, February 12, 2008

THIS CANNOT BE REAL! TSA - DHS Site has been hacked!

THIS CANNOT BE REAL. There's no way that a bureaucracy-laden government agency gets it . . .

I happened across a New York Times Article that covered what they purported to be a blog that was sponsored by the Transportation Safety Administration. The article claimed that the site has links to independent bloggers and real news reports, including negative ones. Allegedly, the site even allows anonymous posters and publicly-viewable comments.

"A whole lot of our employees are really anxious to engage with the public," Mr. Hawley, the Director of the TSA was "quoted" as saying. The NYT writer reported that after the blog went up on Jan. 30, many reader responses were angry and sarcastic. But later, a greater sense of civil discussion set in.

Here's a look at the alleged blog, in case you are inclined to assist me with my quest to root out the real owner. It's called Evolution of Security, and claims "This blog is sponsored by the Transportation Security Administration to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on innovations in security, technology and the checkpoint screening process."

P-Lease . . . do they expect us to believe this nonsense? Having spent several years working in one government position or another, I can tell you that the last thing any government agency wants is to hear what their "customers" think about their "service." It's not like they need to make anyone happy. What would we do if we didn't lke the "service" we got from the TSA -- go to another airport in another country?

OK, just for the sake of argument, let's pretend that a government employee did ask permission to run with a public blog. The process for approval is so archaic with the government that you literally would rather try to get God and Congress to agree on something. Form after form, approved by no less than five levels of leadership, would have to be completed, reviewed, returned, and resubmitted. The Internet hasn't been around long enough for this to have received approval -- especially in an election year!

And then we're talking the likelihood of accuracy for those posting -- the "meet our bloggers" section shows that none have more than 5 years with the organization. R-i-g-h-t!!!

The URL appears to be spoofed to http://www.tsa.dhs.gov/blog/index.shtm, but I have friendly hackers who are checking into the validity of this. It is also possible that the DHS site itself has been hacked, but I think there would be a little more craziness posted . . . and wouldn't the media have covered this by now? Slashdot covered an incident like this at LAX TSA about a month ago. I wonder why they haven't done a follow-up! Others in the blogosphere have hit on this, but they appear to be buying into the cover-up.

As a taxpayer, I hope that our federal law enforcement agencies swoop down on the perpetrator of this fraudulent site. As a periodic flier, I would love to believe that the crappy attitudes we find so often on the other end of the x-ray machine might somehow change for the good. As someone who believes in the power of The Relationship Economy, I hope that the corporate world takes a serious look at the hurdles they will need to overcome and uses this as an challenge!

This can't be real . . . can it?

What do you think?


Aaron Kinney said...

I think its a bunch of bullshit and they are trying to give some semblance of relevancy only so that they dont go the way of the dinosaur. They got their jobs to protect, after all.

Anonymous said...

It is real. They do get it. And are a model for other public agencies .. so support them!