The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2012

J U LY- A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 11 their SSNs and various other informa- tion taken, but without names or other identifying features. The incident actually occurred last July when a computer belonging to Serco, a third-party service provider that supports TSP operations, was breached, but did not come to light until April. As soon as the Federal Bu- reau of Investigation notified the com- pany and the agency, they shut down the compromised computer and beefed up security procedures. (There has been no explanation of what trig- gered the FBI inquiry, how it discov- ered the breach or why the initial notification took so long.) TSP Executive Director Greg Long has assured plan participants that all af- fected individuals have received letters telling them how to contact a call cen- ter established to offer credit monitor- ing and other services. Though there is no evidence that the data have been misused , Washing- ton Post blogger Edwin Yoder reports in a May 26 article that information se- curity is an ongoing concern for federal agencies. He cites a disquieting Octo- ber 2011 Government Accountability Office study (GAO-12-137, “Informa- tion Security: Weaknesses Continue Amid New Federal Efforts to Imple- ment Requirements”) which revealed that the number of attacks on federal agencies’ computer systems reported to a central incident center soared from 5,503 in Fiscal Year 2006 to 41,776 in Fiscal Year 2010 ( www. ). — Steven Alan Honley, Editor Voices Silenced, Tweets Heard The spread of the Arab Spring not only reflects the power of cyberac- tivism — the use of social media plat- forms for sociopolitical objectives — but continues to be driven by it. Earlier this year Courtney Radsch, senior programmanager for the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign ( ) a nd an American University doctoral candi- date in international relations investi- gated this topic for Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy ( ). H er re- port, “Unveiling the Revolutionaries: Cyberactivism and Women’s Role in the Arab Uprisings, ” examines the im- C Y B E R N O T E S 50 Years Ago... This is the great period of the Foreign Service, much greater than any period that has gone before. And it will be so through this decade, and perhaps even more in the years to come, if we are able to maintain ourselves with success. But it places the heaviest burdens upon all of you. Instead of becom- ing merely experts in diplomatic history, or in current clippings from the New York Times , now you have to involve yourselves in every element of foreign life — labor, the class struggle, cultural affairs and all the rest — attempting to predict in what direction the forces will move. — Excerpted from “The Great Period of the Foreign Service,” a luncheon address given by President John F. Kennedy at the American Foreign Service Association on May 31, 1962; FSJ , July 1962.