Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Yes In Fact, It Is Your Grandfather's Database

Center for Public Integrity:

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2004 — Justice Department officials say a huge database that serves as the public's lone window on lobbying activities by foreign governments has been allowed to decay to a point they cannot even make a copy of its contents.
 
Responding to a recent Freedom of Information request from the Center for Public Integrity, the Justice Department's Foreign Agent Registration Unit said it was unable to copy its records electronically because their computer system was "so fragile." In a letter, the head of the unit's Freedom of Information office said that simply attempting to make an electronic copy of the database "could result in a major loss of data, which would be devastating."

The database details millions of dollars spent on lobbying activities by foreign governments, companies, and foundations.

Those activities include everything from wining and dining lawmakers to broadcasting issue ads on American television and radio stations.

[edit]

The ancient computers the public and staff use often break down, however, and the printers malfunction. The system's document handling software, itself an antique, operates on Microsoft Windows 95.

Windows 95. Windows 95! Windowsfucking95!!!?!?!?!? It runs in fucking DOS, man! '’ve got a calculator in my office more advanced than Windows 95. You know why? Because that OS came out almost ten years ago. Ten years out of date! AAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And we wonder why terrorists can do things like 9/11. Its because we have Government agents using a frickin abacus and slide rule to do their god damn math! Wait, let me see if that terror suspect is in our database, let me just flip through the ledger filled with degeritypes... I'll get back to you on that... Hang on...

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