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Author Topic: I just took DOD's confidential DADT survey of the troops - three times!  (Read 634 times)

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Offline red_Dragon888

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I just took DOD's confidential DADT survey of the troops - three times!

 Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I just took DOD's confidential DADT survey of the troops - three times!
Posted by John Aravosis (DC) at 7/20/2010 04:09:00 PM
UPDATE: Show DOD you mean business, donate to AMERICAblog. If you like our hard-hitting activist journalism on behalf of the LGBT community and our allies, then please donate and help us continue our work. Thanks so much.

UPDATE: A Pentagon spokeswoman called me to clarify that the online chat we reference below is not officially part of what they are calling the "survey" of the troops. It is, rather, a "confidential dialogue" - "a tool developed so they could have a confidential communication between servicemembers and Westat," the group hired to run the query of the service members. She particularly wanted to note, as I already mentioned below, that this online chat dialogue was intended to help reach out to gay and lesbian service members who might not be comfortable using their DOD computers to do the actual survey (this online chat can be done any computer, including non-DOD computers).

The problem, I explained to her, is that it's particularly disturbing if the tool created to help reach out to gay and lesbian service members is potentially so corrupted that its results are rendered meaningless. We can't have a dialogue based on the honor system. They have to have a system set up that grants confidentiality but also guarantees that the same person doesn't give feedback multiple times (or just as bad, that people outside of the services (namely, the anti-gay bigots) somehow are permitted to participate in the dialogue, as I show below).

Finally, the spokeswoman said repeatedly that "this is not a referendum." Well, you decided to survey the troops, so don't try to convince us that their opinion now won't matter. This is a tool that DOD will be using to gauge how to proceed with repeal, it's results may very well influence Congress' legislation on repeal. If the tool is corrupted, if the responses can't be trusted, then it may influence DOD in a way that doesn't benefit any of us.

So much for the Defense Department's super secret $4.5 million survey of the troops to ask them how they feel about repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." I, an avowed gay activist, just took the online chat part of the survey - three times in fact. Perhaps DOD should reconsider just how good and informative, and accurate, this survey is. (They also might want to get their money back.)

In a nutshell, I was able to get three different PIN numbers to gain access to the online chat part of the survey three times, as three different people. Two of those times I was on the same computer, meaning there are no adequate safeguards to stop people from taking the survey multiple times - hell, I was logged in to the two surveys at the same time. And one of the three times, I was able to have a kid, who isn't military, participate in the survey, answering questions from a real human being (apparently) in a chat room of sorts. My intent - to find out whether or not the survey is secure, whether or not it can be hacked (well, this isn't even hacking). It's not, and it can.

As you know, DOD is surveying the troops about how they feel about the commander in chief's desire to repeal DADT. As a part of that survey, they are letting service members participate in an online chat survey, where a real person interviews them about the policy. That's the part of the survey I was just permitted to take, repeatedly.

Below are the screen shots of the two different surveys I personally was given access to (the third is at the top of this post) - these are the first screens AFTER you're accepted into the survey.

Page that asks you your PIN number:

Actually survey page, once you've entered your PIN and you're in the survey.

Survey 1:

Survey 2:

I have the full screen captures, that show my unique PIN numbers, but am not showing them publicly in order to protect my sources. I can show them to any journalists who would like proof that this story is real.

Another interesting point: I got my multiple PIN numbers from the same person, who was able to themselves get multiple PIN numbers. Meaning, military people can log in multiple times to get the PIN numbers they need to take the survey, so they, or their non-military friends - or even gay (or anti-gay) activists, can take the survey. I'm also told that DOD civilians can take the survey - with all due respect, who cares what they think? I thought this was about active duty military?

This is really ridiculous. The survey has now been totally corrupted. Just as our groups and advocates predicted.

Off Crystal Meth since May 13, 2013.  In recovery with 20 months clean time.


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