Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Just how stupid is the IRS?

It's pretty stupid to target the enemies of the current Administration, to be sure, but that's not what I'm getting at.  It's stupider - so, so stupider - to get caught:
You'll remember that Californians who donated to help pass Proposition 8 were boycotted.

The IRS gave NOM's chief political rival its donor list. I believe so that a similar boycott could be had.

This was, of course, illegal. And making it worse is proof of consciousness of guilt -- whoever leaked the document took pains to redact the internal stamps and markings that would show it was leaked from the IRS.

But NOM was able to go to an expert to "see under" the black bars of redaction.
What do we know from this? We know that the IRS doesn't have anyone who knows the first thing about computer security, because there's a long, long history of people recovering "redacted" information from PDF documents.  The reason is that people who don't know what they're doing simply put black boxes over the text to be redacted.  If you have two brain cells to rub together, you simply remove the black boxes and voila! - there's the incriminating text in all its glory.

Everyone who's been to a computer security rodeo or two knows this.  The Justice Department knows thisEl Wik goes rather on and on about it.  Heck, Adobe (the creators of PDF, hello) blogs about it.

I guess that the IRS is too busy grilling non-profit organizations about what's in the prayers at their meetings or something.  But don't feel bad, IRS - the TSA doesn't get it, either.  That should make you feel better, that you're as smart as the Totally Stupid Agency.



ASM826 said...

These are the same cats that put out a PDF of a "birth certificate" and didn't expect any one to notice the hacked together edits.

JD Rush said...

Hey, now. That free speech isn't free. You didn't build than and all. And who better to be the judge of that than the IRS. The agency every man, woman and child must report to every year. Now, with the bonus of healthcare added to the mix!

Goober said...

It also proves that they know that what they did was wrong, because they tried to hide it.