Sunday, April 13, 2008

Procrastination

I suppose it is a sign of our times that the "Most Requested Forms" sidebar at the IRS homepage is topped not by the ubiquitous 1040, but by the 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Of course, I would never be filing such a form myself. Certainly not desperately trying to figure out how to e-file it after finding out I have no access to a non-military-networked printer. Information security being maintained by the "air gap" principle (I prefer to think of it as the "cooties" principle), there's no responsible way to get something from the civilian internet to a military printer. People do it all the time, of course, with thumbdrives and such. But this practice is officially forbidden, and for good reason, as those things get lost or stolen all the time.

3 comments:

Shane said...

I've long wondered why the military doesn't just set up their computers to reject thumb drives without strong encryption on it - PGP, GPG, truecrypt and others could alleviate the whole "lost thumb drive with sensitive military information" problem almost overnight. Then they could allow the use of thumb drives and everyone wins.

elephantschild said...

Duh, that would be waaaaayyyy too simple.

Evan said...

Yeah, we're in the Army, dude. "Everyone wins" is generally not on the table.