Lois Lerner's lost letters, Wikileaks leak, and nullifying NullCrew [Government IT Week]

Lois Lerner's lost letters, Wikileaks leak, and nullifying NullCrew [Government IT Week]

Summary: We've heard the 'dog ate my email' story before, but the claims coming from the IRS are hard to swallow (especially when they're so impatient with us if we can't find something). There's more (and less) to that story, and we'll be following it as it unfolds and unravels.


ZDNet's worldwide team provides global 24/7 technology news and analysis. In addition to my own coverage analysis here in the ZDNet Government column and on ZDNet's DIY-IT, every week I'll bring you a selection of the best government-related articles posted by our intrepid reporters and analysts. Here are some of the most interesting from the last week.

Top stories this week

$18 million to recover lost emails?
The Congressional inquiry into lost IRS emails shines a bright light on misguided IT investment priorities. Is your organization making the same mistake?

Is the IRS lost email story plausible?
The initial news that the IRS had lost two years of Lois Lerner's email seemed preposterous. It had to be a lie. But it's worse than that: It could be true.

FBI arrests alleged NullCrew hacktivist
The FBI has arrested an alleged member of the NullCrew hacktivist group following cyberattacks on businesses and universities.

Wikileaks leak shows data sovereignty threat
A leak of documents from the Trade in Services Agreement negotiations show Australia and other negotiating parties would be prevented from ensuring sensitive customer data remains in the country of origin.

Other government coverage around ZDNet

Google takes OpenSSL and turns it into BoringSSL
The search giant has announced that it has created a fork of OpenSSL to service its needs for Chrome, Android and its other products.

Scale back NBN to save budget: Palmer
Key minority party leader, Clive Palmer, has said that the National Broadband Network could be scaled back to AU$7 billion in cost to reduce government spending.

Technology made in France: The ambitious plan to rejuvenate French industry with cloud and IoT
A 34-point initiative, launched under the banner 'Nouvelle France Industrielle', is setting its sights on emerging tech to help stimulate French production.

Australian Government CTO on finding the right fit for cloud
Australian Government Chief Technology Officer John Sheridan speaks to ZDNet about the implementation of cloud within government agencies, and the cloud provider panel.

Google poised to act on 'right to be forgotten' requests, after 50,000 are filed
Google is expected to remove the first links from search results following Europe's landmark privacy ruling in May.

Europe's highest court to rule on Facebook NSA data-sharing case
The NSA's mass surveillance program could change Europe and the US's 2000 Safe Harbour agreement.

Data privacy ambiguity may hamper Singapore's smart nation ambition
Smart nation plan means massive amounts of data will be collected and analyzed, prompting questions about data privacy and security. With Singapore's public sector excluded from the country's data protection act, how will data management be properly governed?

Data quality a 'key risk' for IRD's $1.5b transformation
New Zealand's Inland Revenue Department is getting its data in order ahead of a complete systems revamp.

Topics: Government, Government Asia, Government AU, Government US, Government UK, Privacy, Security


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • IRS - Too Convenient

    Tapes are cheap, why would you write over your tapes to save a few hundred dollars for a agency that blows millions on all kinds of things. Then they are suppose to actually print out emails that are business related and covered by law. Then the hard drive conveniently was bad, replaced, the old one destroyed. Not only her's but 6 other people that are involved. And it took a year for the IRS to report back to congress this?

    Go with your gut, if it stinks then there is something rotten. Why would you believe anything that came out of this administration? Lerner was at the White House three times during the period in question. Why would she need to visit the WH that often for a job that suppose to be non-political?

    It all stinks.
    Rann Xeroxx
    • You might be right...

      ...but I've long been reluctant to attribute anything to venality or malice that which can be plausibly attributed to incompetence. The tape recycling thing strikes as exactly the sort of penny-wise/pound-foolish thing that politicians might do to make it look like they're saving the taxpayer's money (and federal IT doesn't have much of a lobby apart from contractors who have a financial interest in outsourcing as much of it as possible). But yes, it could be that not saving old e-mails is a deliberate policy formulated on the advice of counsel (private firms sometimes do that as a liability minimization measure). It is rather ironic that the feds insist on data retention for private firms, but not for themselves, but hopefully, some Republican member of Congress will write a proposal to remedy that (every once in a while, cynical opportunism actually serves the public interest).
      John L. Ries
    • Try a different brand of oatmeal

      To drool.