Convention security worries feds

A Web site that published two reports on problems with the physical security at the Democratic...

A Web site that published two reports on problems with the physical security at the Democratic National Convention apparently earned itself a call from the Department of Homeland Security, as did the author of the reports.

Cryptome, which publishes documents of public interest, has posted a review of security issues at Boston's Fleet Center, where the DNC will be held, as well as a potential threat from Medevac helicopters. The documents were created by James Atkinson, an expert in countersurveillance at the Granite Island Group.

The sensitivity of the subject earned the Web site a call from the Department of Homeland Security, according to a write-up penned by Cryptome owner John Young. The site documented the call, from a woman who would not identify herself.

The Homeland Security Department has also given the Granite Island Group's Web site the once-over, according to Atkinson. Not only have more than 30 individuals from Homeland Security accessed the site since his first post appeared on Cryptome, but the federal agency has also copied every page of the site and "fiddled around" with its scripts as well, said Atkinson, who also received a call from an unidentified woman.

The counterintelligence expert's caller ID traced the woman's call to a U.S. military base in Virginia, he said. Atkinson said the calls were a typical intimidation tactic. "They were not so much interested in information than getting me to shut up," he said.

As for the DNC's security arrangement, Atkinson stressed that none of the problems he found should be news--such flaws have been pointed out at other venues over the years.

 

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