FBI remains a cyber troglodyte, a blank screen

When the terrorist attacks first hit America on September 11, 2001, we learned that many if not most of our country’s security agencies were not prepared and did not heed warnings.  Government agencies had remained complacent for decades … especially the FBI.

fbi_webOne of the most striking revelations for me at that time was that the Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI was still using the antiquated computer operating system DOS 3.0 – a relic of the 1980s – even though the world had advanced to Windows.

Billions of dollars were spent to “make America safe.”  A tsunami of money flooded into government agencies. But the FBI apparently was not paying much attention to the cyber environment, especially its own flagship website.

Check out, for instance, the FBI’s relatively new main website – FBI.gov.  It was built using a Java code platform, one of the least secure applications for websites.  Cyber hackers love Java – as well as Flash code – because it’s so easy to corrupt and take control of.  Java and Flash are a hacker’s paradise.

Another big reason few people continue to use Java is because it is not compatible with iPhones, iPads and most mobile devices.  Java is a primitive website platform.  On an Apple mobile device, Java just shows a blank screen, as you can see in this example of screen captures.

Left: FBI as seen on an iPad. Right: FBI as seen on a desktop.

Left: FBI.gov as seen on an iPad. Right: Same page of FBI.gov as seen on a desktop.

The examples shown here are from the “Fun & Games” section of the FBI’s website. Fun and games?! I hardly think that sends a message that our nation’s top law enforcement agency is at the top of its game, is “on the ball.”  Far from it.  Much of the new FBI website strikes me as … trivial, an amateur attempt to be newsy, and sure does little to assure me that the FBI is doing its best to make America more safe and secure.