RealNews

Computer Hackers in the Senate

A scandal is brewing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it appears Republican staff members tapped into the computers of Democratic staff members, stealing confidential strategy memorandums concerning judicial nominees. An investigation is under way, and one top Senate staff member has already resigned. These charges go to the integrity of Congress, and should be vigorously pursued. Democrats were tipped off to the possible break-in when their strategy memos began appearing in conservative media, starting with The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. When Democrats complained, the Senate sergeant-at-arms began an investigation, interviewing staff members and seizing computers. One former Republican staff member at the center of the controversy, who went on to a senior position with the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, has announced that he is leaving Mr. Frist’s staff. Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, at one point said he was “mortified.” More recently, however, some Republicans have blamed Democrats for not doing more to secure their computers. It is the high-tech equivalent of a burglar saying a homeowner should have had better locks. Republicans are also trying to change the subject to whether the memos show improper contacts between civil rights groups and committee Democrats. Full Story

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