Clinton Email question from Josh

Forgive me if this should be somewhere else and mods feel free to move it.

Josh asked about Hillary's email server. First of all, I would totally expect the Clintons to have their own email server under their physical control in their own home and administered by a trusted member of staff. This is very common for High Net Worth Individuals as it is the best way to ensure privacy and maintain a record of their business and other dealings.

I know this because I used to own a company that provided IT systems to this group of people. Not weird at all but perfectly sensible and normal, for the 1%.

Each email server has an MX record that is bound to a gateway router. This means that, without too much trouble, a techie could find out what physical building or complex an email server sits in. I've done this many times myself.

There are ways to try to disguise the location of the MX record, but it requires setting up a private WAN (preferably Laser or other hard to hack medium distance wireless method) to another nearby building not traceable to the HNWI. In most cases this is not worth the extra complexity.


Sorry, but there's no evidence to suggest that the Clinton's are physically running hardware out of their house. The media's original "evidence" of this was that a domain registration had the Clinton's Chappaqua, New York address. As you probably know, that only proves who owns the domain, not where any physical hardware is located.

The Daily Banter has a great article that sheds a lot of light on the "homebrew server" nonsense:


Well, all the facts in the article point to a small but professional IT system. Think of a boutique high class law firm with two partners, a few professional assistants, some secretaries and reception staff, maybe 8-10 people in total. You would totally expect them to have their own in-house IT infrastructure including an email server.

Do you really think an ex-President and (probable) future President would trust their email to a local ISP with god knows who having full access to their email? Not a chance. I agree the "home brew" angle is nonsense, their IT systems will be professional.


What surprises me is the Bengazi committee must have previously received emails as part of their discovery. This means that they know that the emails came an went through a non-government server. It would have been clear in the emails themselves. Clinton's team would have had to really go out of their way to hide that. If it wasn't a problem then, why is it now?


It wouldn't surprise me if the GOP was sitting on this so they could trot-out "Clinton hid emails on server at secret Illuminati base" at a hot point in the presidential race. I'm guessing the NYT fronted this now to deflate it before 2016.


Because its just another way the can stand up and beat their chests and scream Benghazi again. They know full well people are way to stupid to understand the nuance.

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Okay, so the MX record for "" shows that mail was front-ended by MX Logic, which is a SaaS enterprise offering for perimeter email security (spam, phishing, viruses, etc.).

The IP address for ( currently dead-ends to a "private customer" downstream from InterNAP. However, it previously directed to, which resolves to the domain, used for Cablevision/Optimum Online's business-class static IP service. (In fact, if they were, as per the Banter article, actually using Cablevision as their hosted email provider, I think I'd be even more concerned from a security standpoint -- Optimum doesn't do colo.) So the evidence is that the email setup was a professional job, using enterprise front-end security coupled with (if netcraft can be trusted) what looks like a Window Server 2008 backend, all of which suggests a competent IT team. (Though I'm surprised they weren't using a leased t-cxr line.)

This is, of course, distinct from the fact that the freaking Secretary of State should absolutely, unquestionably be using her email address for all official business. We wouldn't accept this kind of behavior from the mayor of Paducah, let alone the head of the US government's foreign service arm.


The trouble is that the word Clinton brings out the worst in the media. And that is not confined to the Right. CNN and MSNBC are also in the hunt. It does not matter what HC says, The response is: "You are guilty, your job is to prove your innocence". And every scribbler gets to add his/her ten cents worth. The amount of self-righteous bs and the indignation that "questions are not being answered immediately" tells one that we are heading back to the mid-to- late 1990's. Different gasbags, same response. Tweety must be frothing at the mouth!!!!!

This was my guess from the beginning; that they or, more likely, a professional acquaintance of theirs helped them set up an email service. I personally don't think it matters where the box resides. I just found it funny that the media latched on to this incredibly, poorly researched notion of a "homebrew server". But I guess it helped along the "uber secretive" narrative of the story.

I completely agree and that's probably why that resolution passed, but that's really a moot point now. Clinton wasn't breaking any laws and previous cabinet officials also used their own private emails. This story only has life because 1) the perpetual Benghazi investigation 2) Clinton's going to run for prez.


I don't think it exonerates her (and I'm not sure there's really much she needs to be exonerated for), but I've been thinking the same thing, both with regards to Republicans on Capitol Hill and the White House, to whatever extent it now seeks to distance itself from this. Anyone who exchanged an email with Hillary for those four years got one from this address. So they had to know she wasn't using a Clearly everybody at the White Hosue is going to be in that category and many on Capitol Hill. Certainly the House folks knew after even the most limited of discovery.

I'd hazard to guess that 99.9% of Congress/government workers (excluding the IT folks) actually wouldn't notice this or, depending on how they view mail, be able to figure it out.

I'd put it at 99.9% who would notice it especially IT people. How could one not notice a domain that had "clinton" in it?

Use a declared display name and make it "Hillary R. Clinton" or something similar without the originating domain explicit. Everyone assumes..., OK, it comes from wherever it should.

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Agree. The name would show, not the address. Display name could include '"State Department." Of course, that would be some kind of wire fraud.

Hillary set up this system so she could have private mail. All government officials should have private mail. We all have private mail provided by the post office.
Email is a faster form of private mail. I am sure that we all benefited from the effective use of email by Hillary. She was able to communicate at the speed of light.

The rules and laws governing the use of government computers should not prevent Hillary from communication from her own server.

Sarah Palin

LOL! Sarah Palin trusted an ISP....and was hacked. Which means she was either not ever truly a serious candidate, or she is a bimbo.

Lets try to understand the utility that Hillary achieved with her home server.
She was able to file her emails into the stream of emails on the same topic.
So she designed her file system to help her in her work as Secretary of State.
I do not know everything that a server can do to help professionals and executives.
What else could Hillary do with her home server?

When you get down to it, nothing with the potential aside of personal convenience.

It would be more accurate to call it her private server than to deem it her home server. That aside....

If challenged on the email issue by Jeb Bush, it seems like Clinton would have an opportunity to remind voters about G.W.'s administration in an unflattering manner.

Coming out of your brother's presidency, the State Department had very serious security issues with a lot of data in the hands of contractors that were not taking adequate security measures or properly screening and supervising their employees. We had problems with attacks on State Department mail servers, raising additional security concerns. It took a great deal of time and effort to clean up the problems and restore adequate security.

During the time we were cleaning up the problems we inherited, under the rules we also inherited from your brother's administration, it was permissible for a cabinet member to use a private email server and I followed that practice. While he was serving your brother as Secretary of State, Colin Powell used a private email address. Condoleezza Rice almost never used email, but that's no solution. Email is a very important communication and management tool and a cabinet member should not have to be afraid to use it.

My use of private email was not a secret practice -- every email I sent as Secretary of State disclosed my email address, and I sent many emails to Republican legislators over the next four years without receiving a single objection. My server had no security issues and was not the source of any leaked information. Fortunately, the Obama Administration has resolved the security problems it inherited to the point that cabinet members no longer faces the same security concerns we faced in 1999 and there is no longer a need for private email servers.

(How might Jeb and Hillary reference the past administrations of their relatives -- would we hear "your brother / your father" and "your husband", or will the candidates try to dance around each other's relationships with past presidents?)


I just took a look at my email. In Mac mail, the actual address is displayed. In Outlook, it isn't in the current email header, but it is very visible in replies below the current email. iPhone email works the same way.

I think that you're right that @clintonmail would have been pretty noticable.