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Clapper and L 'il Bub

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The two recent stars of Tumblr have more in common than you might think. The two recent stars of Tumblr have more in common than you might think. Defense Department and AP file photos

Who knew the director of national intelligence had a soft spot for The Most Amazing Cat on the Planet? When our friends at the D Brief wrote this morning that “Jim Clapper talked about his big trip to North Korea last week with some amazing details,” they weren’t kidding. We highly recommend that anyone interested in the hermit kingdom, U.S. intelligence or cybersecurity read the text of Clapper’s fascinating remarks at Fordham University Jan. 7, where he addressed the International Conference on Cybersecurity.

Clapper spoke at length about his extraordinary mission to Pyongyang last November to win the release of two American prisoners. He also discussed steps companies should take to enhance their cybersecurity. Our favorite takeaway, though, was this gem:

Two years ago, I didn’t know what a “Tumblr” was. Two weeks ago, Tumblr featured our site, the IC’s site, as one of a select few “Big in 2014” sites for their end of year review. We were right up there with “L’il Bub.”

I’m here to tell you, sharing the stage with a famous cat—on the Internet—that’s how you know you’ve arrived. 

Katherine is deputy editor of Government Executive Media Group, a division of Atlantic Media, where she oversees editorial coverage for GovExec.com and Government Executive magazine. She previously was executive editor of Nextgov.

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