Yikes. My first though was - oh this should be no big deal chances are there are good policies in place for laptops that go home with people.
Then I realized it is a shared/central machine which means it probably has the most effed up and relaxed security in the fleet, post-it notes with passwords taped to the palm rests, and god knows what else. IT departments are notorious for over-granting privileges to these shared machines due to the mixed use they typically recieve. After X help desk complaints you get fed up and check all the boxes in the permissions manager.
Hopefully, though, it is locked up and the data is inaccessible.
Lucky for the spouse they thought it was the personal laptop (it was not marked) so they weren't prosecuted.
This laptop could be much worse, or just fine.
Apparently it was deemed a random theft .
This was also years ago, and for obvious reasons I don't want to be more exact.
Information could be Secret and NOFORN or Secret and Five-Eyes, for instance.
And yes, "no-forn"
The classification scheme is broadly cut up into Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, and Codeword. There are many modifiers to that such as Five-Eyes, Cosmic (NATO), and Restricted-Data (Nuclear Weapon Design).
There are a menagerie of controls that don't rise to classification, like NOFORN, Law Enforcement Sensitive, For official use only, etc.
Below Confidential exist other “unclassified” states, like “For Official Use Only” and “No Foreign” (a.k.a., NOFORN). Then, regardless of the classification, you should also have to prove “Need to Know”.
To me, the most interesting aspects of classification were that the title, content, and classification level itself don't necessarily share levels.
As others have pointed out, Confidential is classified, the lowest classification level.
"How can we remove this compromised system from the building without letting on that we know"
"just have a 'theft' remove it!"
If they missed the opportunity at the Capitol the other day to plant listening devices though, they must be kicking themselves now.
Also, it seems entirely possible to me that they would do that not for the purposes of spying, but to sow chaos.
How undercover does he need to be if American citizens are openly planning online to storm the Capitol? He just needs to wear a MAGA hat and walk in with them.
Ok, probably not a spy, but who knows?
Clearly they never tried calling those phones to test...
Space. Space. Space. Backspace. Space.
US is an open society, and most US politicians speak what they think, or at least you can guess, or even ask them yourself! Those people are like open books.
Unlike of your usual cabal totalitarians, who either don't speak at all, or purposefully try to hide their real aims by engaging in double speak, triple, quadruple speak.
US diplomatic talks with sketchy regimes? I bet China, and Russia would've not needed any spies there really.
US sales of weapons? US sells them everywhere, and they don't need spies to know the bottom price, when most of weapon buyers would just tell them that themselves. You don't have too much alternatives in a duopoly market.
US spies on Russian, or Chinese soil? You don't need to tell regimes like that of them being penetrated. Xi, and Pu realize perfectly well that they are surrounded by thousands of sketchy, and unreliable officers.
At worst, the laptop had FOUO/CUI (for official use only/controlled unclassified information) data. Not great for that to get leaked; but not that scary from a national security perspective (we're pretty aggressive about classifying stuff).
If anything damaging comes out of this, I would expect it to be of a political nature; where something that Pelosi and friends would prefer to keep secret gets leaked, but doesn't have much influence on national security.
Even prima fascie top military secrets like battle plans (those must be updated and shuffled regularly to prevent a situation exactly like that) have very little immediate usefulness.
It's 21st century, it's beyond anybody's ability to hide things like size, dislocation, and basic capabilities of your force
Intel reports? Again, most real deal intel sources would be either kept real deal secret, or really not being such.
In practice, it wouldn't suprise me if that computer was locally storing passwords that were not specific to that machine, which might mean needing to revoke a bunch of passwords
I think that's wrong if you consider disk encryption.
reminds me of this xkcd:
If IT wanted to wipe the drive, then they would need the laptop to phone home in some way.
That doesn't help much because many people use patterns to their passwords and use the same passwords elsewhere. Seeing the expired passwords of many important people would have a very high chance of having a few which would be of use in breaking into accounts even if they were already expired.
Anything of importance, I have broad directories under Documents, and then sub folders. Or sometimes I'll put them on my fileserver with similar directory structure. The Documents folder is backed up with Spideroak.
But I struggle to follow a consistent structure, so it could be in Documents or Notes, or a random folder somewhere else because I ignored my hierarchy in a hurry.
Honestly, now if I need to make sure I keep something, I upload it to Google Drive. It sucks for privacy, but their search is good enough that I rarely need to use the hierarchy. The hierarchy is now mostly to group things I want to perform actions on together.
And if not, then they should hire me and I'll set it up for them. :D
But after the number of big hacks in the last few years I'd hope the guys in charge of general security laid down some ground rules.
-- someone accidentally stored something
-- that thing is no big deal, perhaps technically a secret
-- people who get ahold of it and read it will make up conspiracy theories about it
They WON in 2016 House Senate and Presidential and claimed MILLIONS of votes were fraud and the commission setup by Republicans found nothing and went away.
2018 They kept the Senate and lost the house by a smaller number then anticipated
2020 Republicans WON seats though it was expected to lose seats. They "Kept the Senate" just had a run off in Georgia. November 2020 was a good night for Republicans minus President Trump who is a love him or hate him person. Republicans didn't vote for Trump and is why he is out.
We just don't know.
caterpillar french fry funny.bmp
and so on...
Literally laughed out loud, as my grandma had actually sent me that comic just a month ago. It's the quintessential Forward From Grandma.
Pretty sure that one's been floating around the Internet since the 90s at least, and likely existed way before then.
Damn alternative data streams.
Speaking of which, I always wondered why windows didn't make better use of those. Seems like it would cut down on the FS bloat.
Compare it to a random person suddenly standing in front of an unprotected laptop from those "bad politicians" ...
So yeah, pardon if I'm not full of confidence in the levels of discretion these guys exercise.
It's a machine probably on the same LAN as a lot of the meeting attendees in the conference room, probably has Bluetooth radio as well, may have wifi radios, probably has access to a calendar of meetings and attendees (as a defined room resource). Depending on how the PC is used (a room system vs the ol' conference room PC) it may also a key logger would be valuable.
Reminds me of the scene in Firefly: "let me get this straight, you put multiple high-ranking intelligence officials in the same room as a psychic??" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC9SF7TOyHQ
I think that's a good solution to avoiding over-granting privileges.
- (W10) Assigned Access - microsoft's solution to kiosk computers. You can make the app run on top of the lock screen, so users can use their one app without actually needing privileges on the computer.
- Software Restriction Policies - You can whitelist select applications or publishers and every other executable will fail to launch. requires enterprise licensing.
- Mandatory Profile - You log in to a temporary profile. All changes are lost when you log out.
- Deep Freeze - 3rd party variant of Mandatory Profile. Can be made to roll back the whole operating system to a given snapshot.
- Non-persistent VDI - You actually log in to a Virtual Machine. When you log out, that VM is deleted and recreated automatically.
Additionally, many antivirus solutions have some capability.
When our company used conference room PCs (instead of room systems) we had a program that would reboot them nightly to reload the known good image. I suppose some risk of file recovery was present, but this was also a half-way decent approach as long as the machine wasn't deeply compromised (bios level or something).
I've seen it done badly a number of times, and I've seen it done correctly, and work really well.
A stolen laptop is usually not considered "no big deal" basically everywhere I worked.
Leaving it on, the machine would detect loss of home network fairly quickly and lock itself.
The FDE key would depend on a key server on the home network, so it could not be rebooted and unlocked just with the physical on-board devices.
If some parts of the FDE were handled on the storage itself and required a periodic end-to-end refresh with the home network key server, then even freezing main RAM (literally) to extract keys later would not work.
More generally, the FDE key could be split over a number of components on the machine, all of them requiring end-to-end periodic refresh from the home network key server, making it extremely difficult to freeze all on-board devices effectively enough to extract the whole key and decrypt the storage contents. Add RAM encryption to complete the job.
The videos I saw don't inspire much dread, there, but they may give the laptop to someone that can do digital forensics. Lots of LEOs in that lot. They would be smart enough to stay out of the building, but might have been waiting for someone to come out with something like that.
But, as someone pointed out, a lot of the folks wouldn't bother trying to read anything. They'd probably try to plant their own fantasies onto it, and send it to Rudy The Hair Dye Man.
Most of the rioters seem like herpa-derpers, but some came there on a mission, like this guy: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13690389/us-capitol-rioters-zi...
(those are not regular zipties, but the "taking hostages" kind)
They have a photo of a guy on his hands and knees, cleaning the place. He's a congressman.
There were definitely some folks there with mayhem in mind.
For example, the lady who was shot trying to enter the VP bunker has a social media profile with extensive Qanon related postings.
Another was a Republican member of the House of Representatives. He was caught because he livestreamed himself breaking the law, as all genius criminals do.
The story about Antifa being in the riots was made up out of whole cloth by the Washington Times. The company they cited put out a press release saying that they had done no such thing and the whole story was a fabrication.
Not to mention cold boot attacks if the laptop was still running.
I think this is the direct link: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2021/jan/08/donald-...
The "story" is also really just a link to this tweet: https://twitter.com/Drew_Hammill/status/1347598063620206592?...
edit: it's confusing as to what the actual, documented source other than "he said she said" is after looking at all three
edit edit: a previous HN submission which didn't gain comment traction pointed at Reuters: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25688418
- Disabled USB Ports (except whitelisted peripherals)
- User accounts don't have permission to install anything at all
- If you plug a deceive with a different mac address than expected into an ethernet port the port locks down until a sysadmin verifies it and manually unlocks it
- Remote imaging of systems, including remote system verification
- No wifi on actual network
While its all a pain in the ass to deal with. Hopefully at least some of that is in place and reduces the likelihood of many of those issues.
Reckon they'd immediately block this laptop's MAC address after it gets reported stolen? If not, that's reason enough to steal it - clone the MAC address and plug in your own device which is now whitelisted. Of course this isn't enough on its own and you likely need some compromised credentials too.
Question though... Don't hardware-based keyloggers present as a "keyboard", and isn't that a generic device which would probably be whitelisted?
Was curious, looks like there are a lot of pass through USB keyloggers that probably show up like the original whitelisted device. So definitely a risk there. I know I would want every single device there manually looked over, but I don't know how long that would take with a likely pretty limited staff.
Regarding your point, it is also done to a smaller degree here too. I agree, is not good or good example.
From a security perspective, I think they will need to assume everything is potentially compromised and go from there. Remote wipe, scan for microphones and cameras, etc.
Looks can be deceiving.
The kettling and taking of details of (even peaceful) protesters in the UK is pretty standard now (I don't like it, but it is what seems to happen) - so why did they just let these people leave unchecked?
They would be murdered if they tried to take on the crowd. They needed to wait for reinforcements to arrive, and meanwhile do their best to keep the crowd from going fully insane.
They managed the situation with very few people getting hurt, and protected the politicians. Which is pretty good considering how few police there were.
The main issue is why were there so few police there to begin with, so this could’ve been prevented in the first place.
But I think we should all be in favor of the police response being more restrained and minimizing force, like we saw this week. We should be advocating for more of this in general.
I am also in favor of protecting our legislative process with absurd levels of security when there is a known risk and tensions are so high. The police really screwed this up royally. I would like to know why. And not conspiracy theories, but actual root cause.
While the Congressmen were hiding in the bunker for an hour, they sent out many phone calls pleading for help.
* Pentagon / DoD didn't want to get involved.
* Maryland's Governor didn't want to get involved without DoD approval.
* Eventually, they got to Mike Pence who authorized the DoD to help out. Once the DoD deployed the National Guard, Maryland / Virginia was willing to help out too.
* The Mayor didn't have power to deploy the Guard. Only the President had that power.
God help us all.
If the building is empty, then I think deadly force is unwarranted.
Also, these insurrectionists were armed with bombs and had planned on taking hostages as pictures show.
So I think the individual police officers (mostly) acted appropriately for the situation. The police organization’s planning was beyond negligent though.
You make a good point about some people’s response — the insanity caused by polarization clearly goes both ways, if there’s people saying everyone should’ve been shot. I’m kind of surprised more people weren’t shot though tbh. I always thought there were snipers and armed guards ready 24/7 around that whole area
They declined the help, and that of the FBI
EDIT: The other comment has a better source
The same reason they weren't searched on the way in. It was a security failure.
Way beyond their organizational readiness at the time.
Imagine something like 'The Thing' but with ~75 years of technological advancement.
The Capitol is going to need to be cleaned for such devices and equipment for a long time before it can be considered secure again.
On the flip side, any devices that may be found are likely to be close to the latest models, and like with project SATYR, the US may have a potential goldmine of new tech in the coming years.
EDIT: Combined with the recent hacking of the US, the synergy of having physical access creates a load of headaches and nightmares. If I were in the federal information security space I would be very interested in visa and flight logs in and out of the US right now.
> I've also heard that the congressional paging system locks devices when an emergency is announced
If computers locked automatically when an emergency is announced, it doesn't matter if the staffers evacuated quickly.
I much prefer the approach taken in the USA, where our offices of government are accessible to the people that the government serves. It's very good that I can protest out front without worrying about that unfriendly man with his finger by the trigger to the Browning M2.
I think it should be kind of like a non-Newtonian fluid. Walk in slowly and peacefully and it's ok. Try and punch it, it solidifies quickly.
I suspect the main reason that this hasn't happened before is that very large protests/gatherings are often met with a large show of police force to ensure the protestors know this isn't an option. Why that didn't happen today will be interesting to investigate. We all probably have a theory, but what comes out of the inevitable hearings on this will be interesting to see.
There are hundreds of thousands of people behind the camera, going all the way to the Lincoln Memorial. You can see some security milling around, but no large show of police force.
Clearly, he didn't think I was a threat, or if I was, that I would have been smart enough to do it long ago, and slowly :-)
A few years(?) ago, Mitch McConnell's dinner at a restaurant was interrupted by protestors yelling at him. And that was after what happened to Gabby Giffords.
Targets with higher ROI are available to people willing to take, ahem, kinetic actions.
And they would have, had the Trump Administration not denied the D.C
Mayor's request the day before for the D.C. National Guard to be deployed.
The Administration also delayed approval of requests by Virginia and Maryland to send Guard units to the Capitol in response to urgent calls for aid from Congressional leaders when it became clear the MPD and Capitol Police were overwhelmed.
Of course, it's a problem when the person inciting the insurrection has authority over important components of the security against it.
> A new report Thursday revealed that Sund turned down an offer from the FBI and the National Guard to help cops in the event of unrest.
I love that so much.
That’s the price we pay for living in an open and transparent society. While I don’t condone or support what happened this week, the building belongs to the People and not the government and the People have every right to enter the building and demand accountability.
The way the US Capitol is right now feels very police-state to me compared to how it used to be. I have memories of running around the Capitol building with my Cub Scout pack including ending up in private areas. There were no assault weapons and we weren’t met with police. We were politely shooed away.
Today you cannot walk up the steps of the Capitol building. It’s fenced off and manned by armed guard. Last time I was there I stepped aside to let some people pass in a crowded area and crossed some arbitrary unmarked do not cross line but about 12 inches. I was physically grabbed by Police.
To quote Donald Rumsfeld “freedom is untidy.”
the "People" can't just do whatever they want just because they feel like it. Can they go and bang hammers on nuclear warheads because the warheads "belong to the People"? Storm the doors of JPL and play horsey on the Mars Rovers?
When some subset of the "People" attempt to overthrow the duly elected government of the other 99% of the People, they are traitors, and should be erased from society.
Which is why the stream of "fraudulent election" lies is so dangerous. A person in a position that confers trust is telling people the government is openly defying them. For people who believe that, violence is the only logical way to affect politics.
Might as well argue that you should be able to just walk into the white house and speak to the top public representative.
> Might as well argue that you should be able to just walk into the white house and speak to the top public representative.
Entirely different situation. The reason that people need to talk with the legislature is because those are the people’s representatives.
Totally different, were it not for the fact the president is also the Chief of State: The chief public representative of a country.
Besides, even if this wasn't the case, humor me and suppose it was (which it actually is), would you then conclude that the president should simply be accessible at will by 300 million Americans? It makes absolutely no sense.
Just because something is publicly accessible doesn't mean you throw all reason out the window. Plenty of national parks are simultaneously open to everyone, as well as require registration and some basic ground rules to entrance. Similarly, it's entirely uncontroversial to argue that accessing the capitol is freely available to all, but there will be some minimum security checks, and some areas (e.g. private offices or places holding confidential data) are off-limits. Virtually all democracies have no problem separating visitor's areas from private working offices, and implementing appropriate controls in both.
The notion that the speaker of the house's laptop could be casually stolen by people without heavy equipment walking in is a joke, pure and simple. Claiming it has something to do with the fact she's a representative thereby implying her laptop should just be freely accessible instead of secured by some basic measures, as some (not you) have done in this thread, makes no sense if you ask me.
It’s kind of a stretch to frame it that way. The president quite literally represents the states, not the people. The US does not require that states assign electors by popular vote, states have chosen to do that. And in the past, they have chosen to do it other ways. Before the civil war, there were states that selected electors without conducting a popular vote.
The way the US government is architected, the legislature is the extent of federal representative government.
6 of the 13 original states held a popular vote for president Washington.
But to respond to the bulk of your statement: it was like airport security back when I was a kid, and I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t also be appropriate on any other typical (i.e. not a special event) day. Angry mobs should never make it to the building in the first place. Crowd control happens outside of the building.
Where did anyone say any of the things you are claiming?
The statement was simply that the People have a right to entry into the building and physical access to lawmakers and the law making process. Further, the statement is that access is a foundational principle to the US implementation of liberal democracy since our Nation’s founding.
It’s so foundational that it’s also quite literally built into the building as there are galleries for public viewing of Senate and House proceedings.
It is also an ideal that we strive for like equality and justice. We recognize our union as imperfect yet these ideals are what drive us as a Nation.
Your comment I feel confuses implementation with the discussion of ideals. The implementation should follow the ideals as guiding principles with access being the default.
Lastly, historically the building and lawmakers were much more accessible. This was during my lifetime. We had lots of people then too.
Indeed, access is the default. And in a village with a handful of visits and no armed psychopats plotting to kill your local representative, that default is all you need and may proceed as such.
But as you'll agree, the chief public representative (the president) lives in a different reality. Public unfettered access is a threat to his life. And while the public should have a form of access regardless, practically a 300 million to 1 communication relationship doesn't work, so you must implement it accordingly, differently. That's why most presidents had a habit of spending an hour a day reading letters from citizens, hosting debates, participating in public forums, holding press conferences, inviting people to the white house to discuss, speaking to various organisations representing people's causes etc. But walking into his office at 4PM to speak to the president? That's a joke. I'm fully aware that in a democracy a public servant works for the public, no need to discuss the ideal. I'm discussing the practical implementation, which is why I started with the village vs capitol example, which sees different outcomes on the basis of the same principles, which is exactly because the ideals are the same but the implementation cannot be. Similarly, you would organize access to certain parts of the capitol in a secure manner, e.g. those parts of the capitol holding a laptop of the speaker of the house.
In a post 9/11 world you cannot just say the capitol belongs to the people and access should be free (again, obviously talking about practice, not ideals, here), without concluding in the same breath that it should be freely accessible to any terrorist as well. And it's just an example. This week it were people thinking they were sent by Q or incited by Trump to de-facto participate in a coup (i.e. storming the capitol to prevent an elected official from being confirmed, while spreading propagandistic lies that the election was stolen, a direct attack on the democracy if you ask me). Next week it might be a psychopath thinking he is doing god's work. And yes, times have changed, if you're also interested in discussing how airport security used to be different back in the day, be my guest, I don't see the point.
Plenty of countries have well-functioning (and by many subjective and objective measures, better functioning) democracies, with high-level access to public representatives, while taking proper security and practicality measures.
> It’s so foundational that it’s also quite literally built into the building as there are galleries for public viewing of Senate and House proceedings.
You say some of these things as if access to public viewing of proceedings isn't the norm in countless democracies worldwide. But if I go to a viewing, I go through this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25690107
Not because I don't have access, but precisely because I do, as does everyone else, and that creates risks, which can be mitigated without reducing access. A basic measure which would've prevented the debacle at the Capitol altogether.
Just all stairs going upwards should be easy to defend if the police stands their ground. Add a few police dogs and the officers wouldn't even have to engage themselves.
There was a smaller crowd trying to enter the German parliament just a few weeks ago, politically pretty close to the rioters of Washington. A whole three policemen were able to stop them by just consequently standing their ground, not armend beyond batons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc-56opg-Xg
From the pictures I saw, she was still logged in and had the evacuation message onscreen. I'm guessing she didn't have 'require login after screensaver' option enabled. If the account is still logged in, this is a massive breach!
Congressional offices are frequent meeting spaces with people who do not work there. Their job, after all, is to represent the public. Locking the public out of their offices is kind of antithetical to the job description.
tl;dr: the government has appropriate computer security in place to prevent this sort of thing, and it's not clear what the deal was with that particular computer.
The simple fact of the matter is that a violent riot stormed the capitol building and nearly overwhelmed local forces. Congress asked for extra help and it wasn't provided. Governors asked if they could send in the guard to help and the man whom stoked the riot gave no permission.
It's a fucking miracle that January 6th wasn't one of the worst days in the history of the US.
Here is a longer video of them at one of the entrances of the building: https://youtu.be/cJOgGsC0G9U?t=140
And yet your government offices abroad (embassies) are the most fortified I've ever seen.
I've been to several countries' embassies and the US one was like entering a secret nuclear bunker. There was airport-style security, and everyone I talked to was behind a massive sheet of bullet-proof glass; never mind the gates and moat around the building. This was in a small, US-friendly and highly developed country.
Then there's the excessive amount of security around any US governmental visit to a foreign country.
So I think it comes to a surprise to many outside the US that one of your main government buildings has less security than a museum even when all the most important politicians are inside.
But yes I agree, I think government buildings should be 'friendly'.
Oh, and cop organizations are run through with neo-nazis and white supremacists who have made a concerted effort to make inroads with police departments and military members.
As far as I can tell, this event seems to have had an extremely persuasive effect on the psyche and opinions of the average person. Who might benefit from this change in the mental state of the population, and in what ways?
Most people seem to find the very idea of thinking such thoughts to be extremely unpleasant, if not downright inappropriate. But to me, this is simple risk management. The lack of this sort of thinking in society seems downright dangerous to me.
I sometimes wonder what the origin of such norms is - is it organic (a common characteristic derived from evolution), or might it be synthetic?
Wouldn't it be convenient if a massive spectacle was to occur, whereby the US public could see in 4K HDR the danger that populist political candidates introduce to the system, how it "threatens our most sacred institution: Democracy.
And as luck would have it, along comes a massive throng of obviously angry and delusional Trump supporters, with well advertised (and well known to authorities) plans to descend on the US Capitol, to "rescue Democracy", or some such nonsense.
So, what do you do in a situation where you have hordes of angry (and possibly armed) political extremists heading towards a politically strategic location, on a particularly important day (in your democracy)?
a) Beef up security
b) Not beef up security
It seems like option (b) was chosen. Depending on what variable one is optimizing for, this was a terrible choice, or an excellent one.
Anyway, an angry mob of wacko rioters shouldn't violently force their way into the legislative's building. They should respect the outcome of the democratic vote and vote again in four years. Maybe if this was Iran I would say okay, people are fed up with the ayatollah and the revolutionary guards, but this is the US and the poor buggers are being manipulated, shot tear gas at and four of them got killed. For what? Absolutely nothing. The unfortunate officer died doing his job. This is very sad and scary, it looks like civil war brewing. A really bad thing to happen to a nation armed with nukes. Please do not let it happen, it is within your power to distance yourselves from these people and just say no to violence and vandalism.
Just a few months ago that is exactly what the steps of the US Capitol looked like .
Even when disabled people try to protest there they are removed by force 
They have no trouble keeping people out they really don't want inside, it seems.
But when people show up wearing body armour and carrying weapons, for some reason they are not stopped.
I agree with you but I think there ought to be a little more protection of that.
It is visited by plenty of non-NASA, non-government ordinary customers who could easily blend in with official foot traffic on a busy day and make just a dozen paces to the main elevator banks or stairwells looking for an opportunity.
There is a major opposition movement growing, and it pains me to say it but Trump was right in his last speech.
'This is just the beginning'
1. The person specified he has a wife that chats with members of Congress out of usual channels of communications.
2. The person specified place where it happens in the open.
They're configured one-way only, can be fully opened for high through-put or emergencies, but are otherwise single-person only. They can detect multiple people in various ways. The default for sensitive areas would be biometric (e.g. weight, some parlement members coming back from vacation a little overweight have had to get a manual override in the past). Of course bulletproof, and can be controlled at a distance by an operator.
It makes sense that not everything requires something like this, but the office of the speaker of the house of course should be in any situation. If she wishes to meet people in less-secure rooms it's entirely possible to create meeting rooms with fewer or even no significant entry or security controls if you wish, but your personal office, places where you store sensitive data etc... can't just have em behind a few wooden doors.
Of course some countries opted for the benefit of a modern building. The capitol is more than two centuries old, you can only retrofit it so much.
It makes no sense at all that the US Capitol doesn't have stronger barriers between the public areas and the private offices. Every bank or other large company has such a setup for information security reasons.
Dutch representatives are accessible by the people. They have a walk-in hour, you can call them, email them, write them, you can join hearings and meetings where they're present, they go out into the country to talk to citizens. But what you can't do is waltz into their office. This has obvious reasons in a post 9/11 world, and it has nothing to do with the fact the Netherlands has a king who has a purely symbolic function and does not participate in politics, no different from say France which is a republic, or Germany which saw a mob storm the Reichstag a few months ago and was easily held off by the police, which is also a republic.
I'm assuming a similar security plan is in place in e.g. European countries' parliaments; extracting the high value targets is P1. The building is just a building; if it's damaged it can be repaired. And killing a bunch of people defending a building is a political no-go.
None of this applies to an embassy.
If federal security at Court House shoots BLM protestors who are entering a federal court house, those security people would probably get charged with murder.
It's unreasonable to expect Capitol Police to make that sort of moral choice in the moment. And if you give cops the greenlight to shoot people to protect property, there will be a lot of unnecessarily death going forward.
That said, they may (probably?) screwed up containing the crowd contained in the first place. Though to play devils advocate, the President had just told a mob to go "wild." Not sure if Capitol Police could successfully manage that.
Why do people jump to the most extreme side of things in discussions now a days?
There are many many many ways to disperse of a crowd that doesn't involve firing live rounds at a crowd. In fact: they were able to do it later!
Tear gas, flash bangs, barricades, rubber bullets. None of these were used until well after they made it inside.
So its sort of irrelevant to what police who were suddenly asked to hold a door from a violent mob.
With hindsight they should have had teargas ready. But they probably didn't expect the President to direct a mob to capture the Capitol.
Probably? Says who? In fact, multiple people have been shot (fatally or otherwise) during BLM protests, and actions against those officers have been very much the exception.
At least in Minnesota and Portland they let looters burn/occupy the buildings without contest.
Certainly with the benefit of hindsight, there should have been a much stronger show of force/barricades/etc. Should that have been obvious even without hindsight? Don't know.
That said, once the Capitol Police were outnumbered and things were getting out of hand, I'm pretty sure the best outcome if they had used deadly force to stop a rush would have been headlines like "Dozens of Trump supporters dead after police open fire on crowd." Worse scenarios include the police getting overwhelmed anyway and many of them killed also leading to a firefight within the capitol.
The very idea that no-one could see this coming is ridiculous.
The actual level of violence done by the mob is relatively tame. Shooting a bunch of people in the halls of Congress isn't going to stop the damage to the rule of law. And it would have what? Prevented a few laptops from being stolen, a couple doors from being broken down, etc. It's not like they torched the place.
I personally don't think violence by a mob is acceptable. But it seems most people do--as long as they are sympathetic to the cause.
Which is contrast of the “mostly peaceful” protests that involved arson and beatings.
This is just as bad but everyone acknowledges it.
At my own workplace, all the areas that are not intended for public use - office blocks and most meeting rooms, for example - are locked at all times and have keycard access. Defense in depth, y'know? And we're not even a juicy target like the US Capitol, we're just some company.
But you could also grab enough of your friends to obtain a decisive numerical advantage – let's say, you and twenty of your closest friends, that probably gets close to what we saw yesterday. Be sure one or two of them are visibly armed.
Once you have your buddies, you can go break through the glass door leading to the receptionist's desk. We saw that yesterday too.
Once you're in, game over: I don't expect Nancy to tackle you at the door, or my friend Brian to kick you when you try to come into the conference room. I expect when you're inside you'll get a guest badge – or an employees – and proceed to go about doing whatever you were interested in doing.
My office's threat model – and yours – is not based on defending against a mob of people storming the building.
That's sort of exactly the point I'm making. My office's threat model isn't even in the same league, and yet it still seems to have more thought put into physical security than the Capitol building. It would appear that, unlike in the hypothetical you're constructing, in the real event, people didn't even need keycards in order to freely move about the building after getting past the exterior doors.
The Capitol is intended to allow most people most of the time.
I've honestly never tried to visit a congressperson in DC, so I suppose I wouldn't know, but it sounds unlikely. My public library is even more intended for public use than the US Capitol, but I still need a key to go back into the offices.
Generally, yes. Their offices are suites with a reception that'll be staffed for constituent services most of the day. Staff are also typically there all day taking calls from the public.
Found a quick tour of one (small office; leadership will have much larger ones) on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnIMUfF3U8I
And that goes double for mysterious flash drives randomly stuck in people's computers, or bugs hidden in planters etc. Just an absolute travesty.
If they weren't prepared for this: incompetence. But there are videos of people getting selfies with guards, and staying within the velvet ropes when coming in. Something isn't right here and no one is talking about it.
A police department with an intelligence unit couldn't guess that things might get a little out of hand when 3 weeks before, the President publicly used Twitter to ask his followers to attend a "wild" protest on January 6th? Not that an intelligence unit was required as the plans were in the open. I have great difficulty in putting this down to incompetence, all things considered.
Hmm, why turn down an offer of assistance from a military whose commander-in-chief wants to overturn the election? I can think of a few reasons...
There's also a fundamental democratic issue at stake: It's not by coincidence that the United States Capitol Police answers to the legislature and not to the executive -- indeed, this is seen around the world (e.g. Canada's Parliamentary Protective Service answers to the Speakers of the House and Senate) and arguably the principle that military forces should not be brought to the seat of legislative power dates back to the Roman Republic... which swiftly became the Roman Empire after Caesar crossed the Rubicon with an army at his back.
Let's do a thought experiment: let's say there are a few elements in the police who are active QAnon believers, sprinkled in at various levels. Let's also assume some more force members are not believers, per se, but sympathize with the cause, and are willing to look aside since they may dislike some legislators who they see as enabling BLM, Antifa and other un-American actors (in their eyes) and believe that something "weird" happened with the elections and/or the whole establishment is dirty. Would these individuals not listen to the orders of the commander in chief, even when not delivered via the official chain of command?
It's a matter of law that they answer to the legislature, this isn't an "assumption." Individually they have answered to a not very sharp police chief, and the Sergeants-At-Arms of the House and Senate, who are all in the process of resigning because of how badly they recently screwed up, if that's what you mean.
I could have expressed myself better there - I was distinguishing between them being answerable to the legislature (de jure) in the logical, org chat way, and them "answering" to a mercurial president they ideologically agree with (de facto), in the here and now.
The footage of police opening barriers and stuff, and taking selfies is however a bit more worrying. I think it's pretty well known that individuals within the police could identify or sympathise with Q or the far right - so if it turns out that this footage was exactly what it's seems to be (and we know how easily things can be misrepresented and shown out of context) then I imagine some cops are gonna be in big trouble.
I don't know what kinds of contingency planning may have taken place, but ultimately this event seems to have been ended and cleaned up pretty quickly compared to some other demonstrations we've seen recently.
This is worrying in its own terms. Policemen are adult, and shouldn't believe in fairy tales.
Being able to use deductive reasoning, understand basic principles of science (like the difference between cheratine and DNA), double-check the facts, and find the truth between the lies is THE work of the police.
Somebody unable to see a hole for years in theories that most 5 Yo curious children could dismantle in a hour is unfit for this kind of work. They simply shouldn't be policemen. Period.
Will end distroying the lifes of innocent people.
There is not enough information to come to either conclusion, but I would like to think the DC police leadership didn't/doesn't plumb those depths of incompetence. The public (and congress) deserves answers on what happened and why.
Unless something more sinister emerges the simplest explanation is probably the best - there some cops who are far-right sympathisers and there are incompetently managed and organized Police forces. Both of those things are already demonstrably true and explain how the response quite well without introducing a grand conspiracy.
However, it is no secret that the FBI has long-reported (2006!) on white-supremecist infiltration of police forces - this is not crazy talk. If someone joined the police as a rookie in 2006 to enforce their personal agenda, how far up the leadership hierarchy would they be now?
* higher level leadership judged the threat of the protestors to be insignificant (incompetence)
* higher level leadership wanted the potential for a mob to enter the building (complicity)
However they found themselves in the position, they did, and once there I think they had an unenviable task. And the fact that the occupants of the building were safely sheltered until a larger force came to clear the building shows that they made a good decision.
She was part of an armed mob trying in the process of breaking into the speakers lobby that posed an imminent threat to members of Congress, whom members of the mob had moments before loudly expressed concern were trying to leave.
“Trespassing” wasn't at all the issue.
The dude who fired the shot, are you really defending him? A man with no real reasonable threat to his life? None of the people in that shot were shown to be armed.
Honest question, what are your views on Jacob Blake? Do you defend him? Because he sexually assaulted a women who had a restraining order against him, ignored police orders to stop, got up after being tazed twice and reached into a car with children. The DA found the police were completely justified in shooting him 7 times in the back.
This is the double standard. If you say she had no excuse for getting shot, than neither did Jacob Blake, or Breyanna Taylor.
There's multiple camera angles which captured the minutes leading up to her death, posted on major news sites like The Washington Post, so no assumption needed.
I still don't feel the shoot to kill was justified (especially as a shot in an area that would immobilize a person, like the chest or the gut, would've been safer of collateral damage vs a shot to the head, similar to the one taken, which unequivocally is a shot intended to kill), but trying to argue she was not completely and totally in the wrong is just absurd to me.
Someone knowledgeable of the subject, which you imply I am not, would know that shooting someone in the middle of their body is the standard operating procedure (and is potentially less fatal, but yes legally still intended to kill) rather than taking an (essentially) headshot as this officer did.
Also notice I did not say what the officer did was "against policy" or illegal, I simply said I didn't feel it was justified (especially with where the shot hit). It's for the department and the courts to decide if the officer violated his duty.
Shooting a center of mass is not at all about being "less fatal" it is about it being the biggest target with the biggest chance of stopping your adversary.
Did I say it was? I believe I used the word "potentially" in the reply you are commenting to. The officer was shooting from ~6ft away and had a firm grip and was well composed, if they can't hit the chest of a target that was mostly still at the moment of the shot then they need to be spending a lot more time in the gun range (at the absolute minimum).
Not at all unlikely.
I think it's pretty clear at this point that they would have been overstaffed if the protestors had a different skin color.
In the 1970s, armed Black Panther members took the California State Capitol and no one died.
At least one officer is dead (this changes daily so who knows) and one protestor (she was unarmed, that's a protestor, trespasser at best) was shot by sorry excuse of a Capitol Officer who shot wildly into a crowd (almost hitting the other Federal Officer behind her!)
Please stop making this about race.
Having seen multiple videos of the event it's clear the shooter was not firing wildly into the crowd. They were aiming specifically at the person trying to break into the area. She's dead because of her own actions.
This is all true but might be crediting the Capitol Police leadership with a little more coordination and planning than they truly exhibited. There were clearly some law enforcement officers who did not simply step aside and let the rioters have their way once lawmakers had been evacuated.
Based on some of the comments here I get the feeling it's not common knowledge yet that at least one involved law enforcement officer has died  and a couple of dozen were injured. Possibly they could have done better for themselves if they'd all been as easygoing about things as the officers photographed in the rotunda.
So you are saying that the Capitol police succeeded in creating a honeypot that was meant to embarrass Trump?
Just because we work in tech does not mean we know everything, and not having been there means we don't know the circumstances anyway. It is disgustingly arrogant of any of us to proclaim that these people must be incompetent or complicit like some armchair quarterback.
Christ, I mean, this is roughly the same mentality as the people who think the election was stolen based on some anecdotes and bullshit despite what election officials, courts, and other experts are saying.
"@womensmarch just took the Capitol. Women, survivors, and allies walked straight past the police, climbed over barricades, and sat down on the Capitol steps."
In other words, they may have been set up to fail.
(There's still the issue of that video of protesters being let in, which would imply that capital police do have some explaining to do.)
Were the BLM people who stormed city hall in Seattle insurrectionists? Where the Black Panthers who took the California State Capitol in the 1970s insurrectionists?
Stop with the bullshit name games. These were not rioters. They didn't set anything on fire. They should not have stolen or broken anything. That's wrong and bad and should be condemned. Those people should get federal time
But man...you have to admit...there is something beautiful about the peasants entering the royal court, and the town idiot putting his feet up on the table that belongs to the Hand of the King.
The villagers entered the royal court and the senators clutched their pearls.
America has had a long history of occupying federal buildings. This is certainly not unprecedented.
These people were not a coup or insurrection. They had no plan. There was no person with a new founding document they were going to read. They didn't bring in an armed force and take and occupy the capital.
The overreaction to what happened is fucking insane, especially compared to what actual Rioters where allowed to get away with for the past year. In May, DC was literally on fire from the BLM riots, and we didn't see this type of DoubleSpeak.
They had zip ties meant for the purpose of taking hostages: https://twitter.com/Adiscen/status/1347189171362918400
IEDs were found at the DNC and RNC: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/06/us/politics/pipe-bomb-rnc... https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/abc-news-exclusive-photo-sus...
Speaking of overreactions ...
> They didn't set anything on fire. They should not have stolen or broken anything. That's wrong and bad and should be condemned.
Okay, so to be clear, there's a difference between breaking things with your hands and setting it on fire. One is "bad", and one is "rioting". Huh, interesting.
No, because their goal wasn't to overturn a legally held election.
> They had no plan.
You got that part right.
When BLM stormed and occupied the city hall in Seattle, their primary demand was to remove the mayor.
“Hey hey. Ho ho. Jenny Durkan’s got to go!”
Not really when you consider that the protests in may were for the correct side with the media and elites fully on board. They were for all intents and purposes sanctioned events. The 6th mob was absolutely terrifying for the media and elite since they had zero control over it. What looks like just another mob riot to a common peasant appears to be an actual threat to those which never see threats.
I agree. Although I’m definitely anti-Trump and condemn his garbage about the election being stolen, and while I don’t condone the behavior of the protestors, I don’t really see how this so much worse than business owners who had their livelihoods destroyed during the BLM riots over the summer. I don’t remember CNN or Democrats tripping over themselves to see who could use the harshest language for what had happened.
Again I’m not condoning this, but honestly, given what happened, the only real tragedy was a woman was shot because a jumpy police officer shot blindly into a crowd. Our pride was embarrassed but that’s ok. Let’s learn from this and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The real problem with what happened is Trump incited it. But that’s another story.
Look at how different the MSM response was. Destroyed businesses and disruption to innocent people's lives was a necessary sacrifice for BLM riots. And best of all, covid is only dangerous depending on what you're protesting for. But some people going into a building?! No! Stop that!
How many is that? I can't even count. More than 50, less than 100? Versus 10, possibly way less, depending on what kind of comparisons one wants to draw? 
Doesn't this point exactly to the significance of what happened on the 6th? Race riots have been happening in the United States for a hundred some years. They are obviously not significant in achieving the goals of the rioters. Meanwhile the storming of seats of power by an ousted leaders' supporters has the potential to change history. The former is a passing event, the latter is a rare event with some potential to change global history.
I saw a video yesterday of tear gas being used inside the capitol building but today I was only able to find videos of when it was used outside.
Trump’s “show of force” during the BLM protests (where he brought in the national guard) was an aberration for that reason.
Five Congressmen were shot by Puerto Rican nationalists on the floor of the house in the 50s.
Protestors interrupt things fairly often. Happened during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings and again during the vote.
This is probably the most overwhelmed the Capitol has been since the British captured it.
It would be interesting to see exactly how often the capitol police have been overwhelmed and civilians have entered the building or chosen not to.
You have a very very low bar for what you think an attempted coup was.
Your definition of a low bar different than mine.
But the riot was a riot. There was no organization and no attempt to take the government and rule it. It was vandalism.
Police letting terrorists in: https://twitter.com/joshuapotash/status/1346931235176783873
I have to stress though that I agree with "danaris" one level up from from this comment - it seems perfectly believable that individual police sympathised and aided these people. However it's not "The Police" as an entity as some others are suggesting, that's venturing into Q territory and is a bit Conspiracy Theory for me.
Not sure what happened, I hope we find out, but this video is especially damning.
If you're falling back because you're overwhelmed by a surge, the last thing you do is _remove obstacles between you and the surge_!
The bigger concern for me is the understaffing and declining of offers of assistance made by other police departments.
"The Capitol Police" is not a single, monolithic entity; it's made up of individual people, with their own political views.
"Multiple"? Do you have proof of this? There was one woman who was shot by police.
As far as I know, it is not yet clear how the others (excluding the Capitol officer) died. I've seen reports that one man got a heart attack after tasing himself and another fell off some scaffolding.
Edit: Pelosi is 80 years old.
My dad was born in ‘39, he did a degree in electrical engineering, and it took until something like his second job after graduation for his employer to send him on a two-day training course for the new-fangled  invention of something called “software”. He then worked in software from that course until retirement.
However, he never understood RSA despite working on UK military IFF systems.
 “new-fangled” was his description; the closest he came to acknowledging Ada Lovelace before I learned of her was to complain about the language Ada.