While the story of Monti Te’o’s non-existent girlfriend dominated the news for most of the day, another caution against online aliases arose from Washington, D.C. Deadspin’s exposing of Teo’s imaginary sweetheart inspired a wave of ridicule, as did news last month that outgoing EPA administrator Lisa Jackson had sent 12,000 emails under the alias, “Richard Windsor.” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) yesterday issued a letter reminding the outgoing Jackson not to leave D.C. before providing a list of all aliases used within the agency to conduct official business.
Why? Jackson’s “public” email account had allegedly become unwieldy, so the alias allowed her to communicate more efficiently internally.
Issa’s primary concern is that any search of government email archives will be complicated when non-existent people are part of the mix. Issa’s letter asks Jackson to comply with the request for a list of fake email accounts by Jan. 29. “Richard Windsor” arose from the combination of Jackson’s favorite pet and her home town; we’ll be curious to see just how many imaginary friends Mr. Windsor had in the EPA.