Let’s see…given the security of the online survey of service members was crap, would you use this new Pentagon offering? One hopes taxpayer-pickpocketing well-paid contractor Westat wasn’t in the mix. (Army.Mil):

The Army launches today a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell online inbox specifically available to Soldiers worldwide to share comments and opinions.

The inbox is accessible via the Army Knowledge Online homepage. The intent of the inbox is to help the Army assess and consider the impacts, if any, a change in Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law would have on operations, readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention, and family readiness. Complete instructions can be found on the inbox entry page on AKO. The inbox will remain open until Sept. 30, 2010, or until leadership decides the inbox has fulfilled its purpose.

The Army Chief of Staff wants all Soldiers to have the opportunity to share comments and opinions. What is learned from inbox comments will be shared with the DoD Comprehensive Review Working Group to assist in the development of an action plan to support effective implementation, if repeal of current law occurs. The more comments and opinions provided, the better the Army can gage Soldier opinion and perception of the potential impact of a repeal.

Additionally, inbox comments could provide insight on how to best manage such impacts during implementation.

To safeguard identity of respondents, the Army will employ control measures. Inbox users are reminded that current Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law remains in effect.

So let’s see. Absent more details, I have a few questions:

  1. What constitutes “control measures” in this case? We just have to take their word for it that it’s secure? I have zero confidence in this inbox system after what occurred with the DADT survey, when a PIN could be used to take it multiple times.
  2. What is to stop “ballot stuffing? If it’s completely anonymous and untraceable for security, wtf?
  3. If each response is tied to an IP or other identifying information of the workstation, then a service member could be outed. Adding the time stamp of the inbox receipt could narrow ID further.
  4. Now that the survey’s data has been compromised, is this the fallback way to receive feedback? Why is this needed to supplement the survey when there’s already one for service members and spouses? How is this going to be a more accurate representation of matters?