Wednesday, March 22, 2006

You've got mail? Some FBI agents don't

You've got mail? Some FBI agents don't. Can you believe that the FBI can not afford to give some agents e-mail accounts?

Mark Mershon (the assistant director in charge of the FBI New York City office) said, "As ridiculous as this might sound, we have real money issues right now, and the government is reluctant to give all agents and analysts dot-gov accounts. We just don't have the money, and that is an endless stream of complaints that come from the field."

I am just a librarian. However, I own a dozen or so domain names. I can give out 2000+ e-mail addresses on each domain if I so desired. It only takes me a few minutes to set up a new e-mail account. My domain hosting plans which allow this are not that expensive either.

I realize my e-mail accounts are not a secure as the one used by the FBI. That would of course add to the cost. But still, if I can set up e-mail accounts so quickly and cheaply, why is this a problem for the FBI?

Could it be that this is a PR ploy to get the FBI more money from Congress? Many members of Congress are somewhat web illiterate and they may not realize that setting up e-mail is quick and cheap. I am not buying the story that the FBI can not afford to give all agents e-mail accounts but if a few Congressmen do...

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