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Apparent cyberattacks force NASA to remove ALL its public data

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  • Thad Floryan
    Besides the Bruce Schneier Crypto-Gram newsletter and others I receive one is from the Federation of American Scientists (FAS):
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 21, 2013
      Besides the Bruce Schneier Crypto-Gram newsletter and others I receive
      one is from the Federation of American Scientists (FAS):

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_American_Scientists

      Today's FAS "Secrecy" newsletter was quite unnerving and my guess
      is the NASA databases were under massive cyberattack. This is why
      I download and save a LOT of material on my own systems as is being
      suggested at the last line of this article.

      Following is an except from today's FAS newsletter:

      SECRECY NEWS
      from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
      Volume 2013, Issue No. 31
      March 21, 2013

      Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

      NASA TECHNICAL REPORTS DATABASE GOES DARK

      This week NASA abruptly took the massive NASA Technical Reports Server
      (NTRS) offline. Though no explanation for the removal was offered, it
      appeared to be in response to concerns that export controlled information
      was contained in the collection.

      "Until further notice, the NTRS system will be unavailable for public
      access. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and
      anticipate that this site will return to service in the near future," the
      NTRS homepage now states.

      http://ntrs.nasa.gov/

      NASA Public Affairs did not respond yesterday to an inquiry about the
      status of the site, the reason for its suspension, or the timeline for its
      return.

      NASA Watch linked the move to a statement from Rep. Frank Wolf on Monday
      concerning alleged security violations at NASA Langley Research Center.

      http://nasawatch.com/archives/2013/03/nasa-technical.html

      "NASA should immediately take down all publicly available technical data
      sources until all documents that have not been subjected to export control
      review have received such a review and all controlled documents are removed
      from the system," Rep. Wolf said.

      http://spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=40365

      In other words, all NASA technical documents, no matter how voluminous and
      valuable they are, should cease to be publicly available in order to
      prevent the continued disclosure of any restricted documents, no matter how
      limited or insignificant they may be.

      "There is a HUGE amount of material on NTRS," said space policy analyst
      Dwayne Day. "If NASA is forced to review it all, it will never go back
      online."

      Essentially, the mindset represented by Rep. Wolf and embraced by NASA
      fears the consequences of unauthorized disclosure more than it values the
      benefits of openness. It is a familiar outlook that has wreaked havoc with
      the nation's historical declassification program, and has periodically
      disrupted routine access to record collections at the National Archives, as
      well as online collections at the CIA, the Los Alamos technical report
      library, and elsewhere.

      "I'd also note that a large amount of historical Mercury/Gemini/Apollo
      documents that were previously available at NARA Fort Worth is now
      apparently withdrawn due to ITAR [export controls]," said Dr. Day.

      The upshot is that the government is not an altogether reliable repository
      of official records. Members of the public who depend on access to such
      records should endeavor to make and preserve their own copies whenever
      possible.
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