Tuesday, February 2, 2016
San Francisco Chronicle, Cal Professors Fear UC Bosses Will Snoop on Them:
UC Berkeley faculty members are buzzing over news that University of California President Janet Napolitano ordered the installation of computer hardware capable of monitoring all e-mails going in and out of the UC system.
“The intrusive device is capable of capturing and analyzing all network traffic to and from the Berkeley campus and has enough local storage to save over 30 days of all this data,” Ethan Ligon, one of six members of the school’s Senate-Administration Joint Committee on Campus Information Technology, wrote in an e-mail Thursday to fellow faculty members.
Information that the hardware gathers, Ligon wrote, “can be presumed to include your e-mail, all the websites you visit, all the data you receive from off campus or data you send off campus.”
Napolitano’s office defends the action “by relying on secret legal determinations and painting lurid pictures of ‘advanced persistent threat actors’ from which we must be kept safe,” Ligon wrote. UC officials “further promise not to invade our privacy unnecessarily, while the same time implementing systems designed to do exactly that.
“This secret monitoring is ongoing.”
UC spokesman Steve Montiel confirmed that Napolitano, former head of the federal Department of Homeland Security, had a security system installed after a cyberattack on the UCLA Medical Center in July in which medical records of an estimated 4.5 million people were hacked into. Montiel said the system is capable of monitoring e-mails, but UC officials have no intention of peeking at professors’ correspondence or checking their website visits.