Sunday, February 14, 2016

Top Secret

University of California President Janet 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.

Napolitano had the Web scanners installed in the wake of a hacker attack at the UCLA medical center last summer. They are capable of monitoring all faculty and staff e-mail and Web traffic.

Faculty members at UC Berkeley sounded the alarm, saying the system conjured the prospect that university bosses could eavesdrop on all sorts of private communications.

Now, they’re also pointing out that the system doesn’t come cheap.

“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...

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