Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Waterboarding in San Francisco?

This morning’s SF Gate (SF Chronicle) carried this item.

A disgruntled city computer engineer has virtually commandeered San Francisco's new multimillion-dollar computer network, altering it to deny access to top administrators even as he sits in jail on $5 million bail, authorities said Monday… Childs created a password that granted him exclusive access to the system, authorities said. He initially gave pass codes to police, but they didn't work. When pressed, Childs refused to divulge the real code even when threatened with arrest, they said… Officials also said they feared that although Childs is in jail, he may have enabled a third party to access the system by telephone or other electronic device and order the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents…

 This is a non-lethal version of the ticking time bomb conundrum. Couldn’t have happened in a better place, ultra liberal San Francisco. They are faced with some tough decisions, how can they make Mr. Childs cough up the right password?

We know how the Bush administration would handle it, waterboarding. Will touchy-feely San Francisco follow the same example? Nah, good old rubber hoses will probably do the job.

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