Since 2010 the Department of Homeland Security has had responsibility for monitoring the cyber-security of government agencies, but it appears DHS may not have been aware of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
According to a report by Fox News, government agencies are required to submit monthly reports on potential cyber security vulnerabilities to the DHS, which was given responsibility for cyber security of government systems in 2010. DHS uses these reports to initiate “cyber scope” audits of listed systems. The goal is to close system vulnerabilities before hackers can take advantage of them.
Fox News filed Freedom of Information Act requests for reports mentioning Hillary Clinton’s private server with both DHS and the State Department. DHS’ responded to Fox News saying, “We were unable to locate or identify any responsive records.” If Clinton’s private server was never listed in cyber security reports to DHS, then the agency would never have audited her system’s security.
The State Department has not replied to Fox News’ FOIA request, which was filed more than two months ago. Fox News contacted the State Department directly with the results of the same request at DHS, but a State Department spokesman cited ongoing investigations by the IG and told Fox News, “It would not be appropriate to comment on these matters at this time.”
Hillary Clinton has issued a series of evolving explanations about the material on her server over the past five months. Initially, at a press conference in March, she claimed there was no classified information on the server. Later she clarified that none of the material was classified at the time it was sent or received. More recently she claimed none of the material was marked classified.
But each new fallback position Clinton has taken has run into additional problems. Last week Reuters examined redacted sections of emails which have already been released and found many instances of so-called “foreign government information,” essentially any confidential information relayed by a foreign government official. A former director of the U.S. government’s Information Security Oversight Office told Reuters this type of information is “born classified.” Reuters even identified one instance in which a foreign secretary said the letter that followed was for Hillary’s eyes only. The letter itself was redacted for release and would have been classified from the moment it was sent.