It’s true! The Bureau of Indian Affairs Web site and mail servers have been “made temporarily unavailable due to the Cobell Litigation. Please continue to check from time to time. We have no estimate on when authorization will be given to reactivate these sites.” According to “Interior Monologue,” by Meghann Farnsworth in the September/October 2005 Issue of Mother Jones, the employees of BIA have had no web access and no email. A Judge revoked the agency’s internet privileges in response to the agency’s gross mismanagement of Indian land trust records and funds.
The BIA has been stuck in this techno-logical time warp since 2001, when the federal judge overseeing Cobell v. Norton punished the bureau for failing to safeguard its Indian land trust records. Court-appointed experts had hacked into the bureau’s files, concluding that “protecting trust funds is not now, and has never been, a ‘priority.'” In response, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth revoked the BIA’s Internet privileges until it cleaned up its act.
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