Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 5, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

GLITCH WATCH....The Republican aide who surreptitiously accessed the computer files of Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee is apparently going to be hung out to dry. Bye bye, Manuel Miranda.

Now, I realize that this is one of the least important aspects of this story, but I'm just enough of a geek that what I really want to know is how Miranda got access to the files. Here's the relevant paragraph:

Miranda admitted to the sergeant at arms that he had read Democratic memos that a Republican staffer on the Judiciary Committee accessed through a glitch on the panel server. But it is unclear what rules if any Miranda broke. His defenders say that the files were openly available to Republicans through their desktop computers and that there is no such thing as a property right to a federal document.

(Yeah, yeah, no such thing as a property right to a federal document. How lame can you get?)

But the real geek tease here is that Miranda got hold of the files via a "glitch on the panel server." What's a "glitch"? And for that matter, what's a "panel server"? Did the reporter just misunderstand a reference to a rack mounted server? Or does this refer to something else entirely?

I actually called the Judiciary Committee a few days ago to see if anyone knew what the "glitch" was, but they wouldn't comment. Bummer. Anybody have any ideas?

Kevin Drum 2:47 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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