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Xeni Jardin (btw, best URL EVER!):

Some employees with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who work in the Washington, D.C. area and in Philadelphia, PA were unable to access the DHS computer network on Tuesday, reports Reuters, citing “three sources familiar with the matter.”

No word on exactly how widespread the problem was, or how it impacted DHS. The agency has been a focus of Donald Trump’s recent speeches, and its domain includes immigration, border security, and “cyber defense.”

The cause? Expired security certificates.

U.S. Homeland Security employees locked out of computer networks: sources, Reuters

Is it really OK for these people to obtain and store your account credentials, or worse, copies of your devices’ data?

At least one U.S. Senator doesn’t think so:

In a February 20, 2017 letter to DHS Secretary John Kelly, Oregon democrat and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee Ron Wyden voiced alarm at media reports of Customs Border Patrol (CBP) agents demanding device and social media passwords of travelers at the border. Senator Wyden called the practice an “unacceptable” circumvention of Fourth Amendment protections, which typically require warrants for government access to phones, laptops, and private social media information. Demanding passwords and devices at the border, Wyden warns, threatens the US economy by making it a hostile place for business travel, and endangers US security by distracting CBP agents from “its core mission.”

Paul Ciano

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