Why Hillary Clinton’s Email Server Matters

Since I’m not a US citizen this is in large part “not my circus, not my monkeys” BUT, as someone who works in Internet security and has had dealing with people doing classified stuff, the email server IS A VERY VERY BIG DEAL. Whether it makes her worse than Trump is debatable, but personally I consider it disqualifies her from any public office at any level at all.

I find it hard to express my opinion of her actions politely. It was unbelievably stupid and incredibly risky. I flat out don’t believe she and/or her advisors weren’t explicitly told not to do this and if they didn’t realize how dangerous it was they are, ipso facto, unqualified for any position of responsibility because of their lack of intelligence and inability to take expert advice. They must have known it was risky and decided that they would rather attempt to conceal communications from FOIA and records retention laws than secure sensitive communications from foreign spies. The fact that they made this choice means they put their own narrow self interest ahead of the interests of their country. It is that selfishness that I consider disqualifying, though the acts themselves probably do from a strictly legal standpoint anyway.

The fact that she appears to be getting away with it by running the clock out and blatantly lying (along with Obama it would seem – his claim that he knew nothing of her arrangements appears to be undercut by his emailed her using a pseudonym) sets a terrible example for the future.

As a result of her getting away with it, and possibly becoming president, it is going to be almost impossible to prosecute anyone else for CI violations and, as a result of that, there seems little doubt that people won’t take security seriously in the (near) future. The result of this is the US will lose the trust of people who might otherwise be willing to work with it on confidential matters – from foreign governments to dissidents in repressive regimes. These people will believe (correctly) that anything they tell the US government is likely to be leaked to the global public, including their own opponents/persecutors. That’s a disaster.

If it goes further and other senior executive branch officials start doing the same sort of thing then the US will also have an unaccountable government where no one can be held responsible for what they do. Democrat voters may feel that this isn’t a problem so long as the president is a progressive/liberal Democrat but that seems to be remarkably shortsighted. Eventually someone of a different political viewpoint is going to be elected and they too can take advantage of the Clinton playbook to avoid being held to account.

Clinton supporters who ignore this are sowing the wind, they can expect to reap the whirlwind. The fact that the rest of the world will suffer in the meantime is why I’m not sitting back and waiting for the schadenfreude moment, but I guarantee that this is going to come back and bite them hard.

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Free the People publishes opinion-based articles from contributing writers. The opinions and ideas expressed do not always reflect the opinions and ideas that Free the People endorses. We believe in free speech, and in providing a platform for open dialog. Feel free to leave a comment!

Francis Turner

Francis Turner has blogged intermittently at various places as "The Shadow of the Olive Tree" or "L'Ombre d'Olivier" for most of the last two decades. As an expat Englishman, he has lived and worked in numerous countries before finally (perhaps) coming to settle down in rural Western Japan.

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  • Wrong place to be promoting the boogeyman of the sanctity of classified information. While no one here likely has any sympathy for Hillary Clinton, you can stick your national security state fear mongering up your ass…I have no respect the laws she supposedly violated. If the actual consequence of her hypocrisy was the inability to prosecute CI violations, then hell freakin yeah! Of course that won’t actually be the case.


    • The breaking of laws is a side effect of her being astoundingly irresponsible. To me it would seem basic common sense that if you are a person who is likely to send and receive confidential data, specifically data that other countries would value if they learned of it, then you make sure that this is done securely.

      This server was set up insecurely. In fact as far as I can tell it was set up in ways that any competent sysadmin would have advised against even if it was for Joes Dental Services, let alone a senior administration official in the government of the most powerful nation on earth.

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