Saturday, February 13, 2016

"Napolitano’s office is refusing to disclose the price of those controversial Internet snooping scanners installed recently at the 10 UC campuses — or reveal whether the taxpayer-financed security system went through competitive bidding."



"It looks as though the cost, just for the hardware installed on the Berkeley campus, is in the ballpark of $4 million to $6 million,” said Ethan Ligon, an associate professor of agriculture and resource economics and one of six members of a joint faculty-administration committee on information technology.“Add numbers like that up over all 10 campuses and medical centers,” and you’ve got one pricey security system, Ligon said.UC spokesman Steve Montiel insists there are no plans to read anyone’s e-mails, and that the entire process of planning and installing the new security system was discussed in open meetings with faculty participation.However, when we asked for the cost of the system and whether there had been an open bidding process for what looks like a multimillion-dollar operation, Montiel responded in an e-mail: “Our cyber security efforts after the attack at UCLA Health were conducted at the direction of legal counsel in anticipation of lawsuits.“We wound up with 17 lawsuits altogether,” Montiel said. “Because of the litigation and legal issues, we are unfortunately limited in what we can share broadly at this point.”Ligon’s take: “Not only faculty, but also administration here at Berkeley are being kept completely in the dark on this and other issues.”He and other Berkeley faculty members on the technology committee have asked Napolitano’s office to remove the devices — and if that doesn’t happen, for no communications to be monitored without a subpoena.“On the basis of the meetings we’ve had,” Ligon said, UC “seems unwilling to give on any of these points.”"

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