The US Navy has a real battle on its hands in the form of a proxy server named Gestapo.
Last month, one Edward Campbell - an independent reporter - discovered a proxy server of dubious distinction lurking in the Commander Naval Reserve Recruiting Command (CNRRC) in New Orleans. It seems that the server named "gestapo.cnrrc.nola.navy.mil” has been pinging various websites, including one of a fellow reporter who had been looking into "cyber-stalking of Muslim journalists". And, in fact, there is evidence of the Gestapo server popping up in a number of places.
The Navy's name choice for the server was certainly not the best. It's uncomfortable enough for some to see the reference to Nazi Germany's police force and even more uncomfortable to think this is the monicker given to some kind of Muslim journalist snoop system.
"What happened was that the name was picked six years ago, and an IT guy plucked the name out of the air," said Lt. Bill Clinton of CNRRC. "It certainly wasn't the smartest choice."
As it turns out, the proxy server is actually working as a firewall, according to CNRRC. It's protecting a database of recruit information and is not snooping at all. The Navy plans to change the Gestapo name at the end of this month.
"We can't shut it down right now because the database is used to get recruiting leads," Clinton said.
The CNRRC has to meet a goal of pulling in new recruits before the database and its accompanying IT gear can be shut down. With that in mind, the Gestapo stop date has been set for 4 August.
"It's a poor choice of words, and we decided to shut it down as soon as we knew," Clinton said. Or, as it were, at a convenient time.
We're not quite sure why the CNRRC's entire IT system needs to be shut down to remove this firewall or why the firewall was actively pinging Web sites and coincidentally ones of Muslim journalists. Maybe some of our dear readers can explain this situation.
Regardless of the IT mechanics behind the Gestapo system, this incident has proved one thing. The Navy has an unmatched talent for naming.
Bill Clinton is actually one of the lower profile names for a Navy spokesman. We prefer the intriguing Lt. Mike Kafka, who, among other things, answers questions about Guantanamo Bay. In particular, Kafka was charged with answering our questions about the Navy's decision not to dub Guantanamo "the least worst place" anymore.
In related news, a few prisoners have managed to make their way out of Guantanamo, and this would no doubt make Joseph K. proud.
If, by chance, you are concerned about what happens to the remaining prisoners in the event of a hurricane, have no fear. We understand that a number of them are applying for official government mascot status. According to the Guantanamo Gazette, this strategy has worked wonders for Georgio the GTMO Goat.
"During a hurricane the Guantanamo Veterinary Treatment Facility (VTF), cannot possibly house the large number of GTMO pets due to their limited space," the Gazette says. "However, Georgio, the GTMO goat, just happens to be on orders and is exempt from this policy."
Lucky Georgio. ®