Security software

Sorting Facts from Fiction in the Terry Childs Case

No Clear Winner, but a Clear Loser: San Francisco

Despite all the uncertainties and questionable claims one thing has become apparent: There was obviously a tremendous lack of oversight in San Francisco's IT department. There was also a lack of support for DTIS employees, and with staffing reductions, it seems that they were operating with less staff than they needed, and less skilled staff as well. This is the likely cause of Childs' position as the sole administrator to the FiberWAN network.

Only Childs knows for sure, but those who claim to know him indicate that Childs put up with political games, staff reductions, incompetent coworkers, and a hostile work environment for as long as he could, and then tried to get away from it as best he could. He very well may have been insubordinate in doing so, but based on the public evidence so far, it is hard to believe that he actually intended to orchestrate the destruction of the city network.

A former county supervisor and the current systems manager for San Francisco's human resources department provided affidavits in Childs' bail hearing, supporting Childs. "All he wanted to do is protect the system," wrote former supervisor Ben Hom. "I do not believe he would do anything to compromise the safety and performance of the network to which he has dedicated his life," wrote HR systems manager Peter Stokes.

What's happened since indicates that Childs' apparent concerns about the city damaging the network if it had access may not have been so far off base.

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