It’s bizarre. For an organization so secretive, a stunt like this is the precise opposite. Plus, they just needed one truckload? A fish tale, if I ever heard one.
Apparently cognitive dissonance is at the heart of wack job thinking.
If she’s bragging and it’s a fish tale, then it’s worse than that time my uncle claimed to have caught a dozen hagfish in the family cabin’s outhouse…
Do the fucking what now?!
The NSA is technically meant to be something like a domestic counterpart to the CIA… So they do have authority to operate in the states and do stuff to American citizens on American land… Technically. And really with the Patriot Act, they can basically kill and imprison whoever they feel like, because Bush was too stupid and inept to say no to Cheney under any circumstances, because he’s an inbred oligarch with no real education and no internal sense of morality. It all came from either his religion, or his puppeteers.
Yeah, I’m just going to go ahead and call bullshit, full stop.
There was no truck of severs headed to a retail store.
There was no call from the NSA.
And there sure as shit wasn’t an “NSA Police Car”
But none of it matters, as it seems the Republican hopefuls are all about talking about how they wish things were instead of how they actually are…
Land of the Brave… Home of the Free… for a given value of “Brave”… and a given value of “Free”…
As long as “brave” means cowardly, and as long as “free” means totally willing to trade all of one’s personal freedoms for the hope of a little temporary security.
At a minimum, this is a gross misuse of taxpayer funds.
Buying a “truck” of “retail” servers isn’t cost-efficient at all- they’d have been much better of spec-ing a bulk order of custom servers. Price per unit (or, as google calculates these things, price per computing cycle) goes down radically.
Of course, the truck and the call and the “retail” bound servers didn’t really exist, so this is all meaningless conjecture.
Even if it weren’t true, as you say, and I’m inclined to agree: It’s still a shameful thing to have even bluffed about… Helping the NSA at all is shameful. If it wants to do something to hurt people for stupid or evil reasons, it can do it on its own, against my will at all times. Perhaps we have different interpretations or ideas of the minimum harm they have claimed or been found out to have done.
Or this was something completely different - I could imagine that every NSA outfit has a small server cabinet, for stuff like AD controllers, local file storage, some terminal server etc. Nothing fancy, typical services found everywhere - be it a small business or some spooky government agency.
The old servers were EOL, HP won the contract and shipped some COTS boxes, Fiorina tries (and fails) to use this to make a point.
It’s the whole ridiculous argument that “they should have every tool available…” that bugs me.
We define ourselves as much by what we choose not to do as what we do.
We used to be able to say “we don’t torture people” or “we don’t routinely spy on all our citizens” or any number of other things. We’ve lost some of that high ground (if we ever really had it is another question for another time).
The crowd that believes the NSA needs these powers are the same people that still think nuclear weapons are a viable option. I’d rather we define ourselves as saying “Yes, we’ve got those, but no, we won’t use them.”
But Chekhov’s gun and all that.
But in truth… Chekhov had two guns…
What you did there; I sees it.
No, they’ve always been authoritarians who perceive themselves as rugged individualists.
I read the quotation in the boingboing post and thought, “Well, that’s not exactly boasting, all she’s saying is that at some point in time the NSA needed computers and she sold them lots of computers, it hardly makes her complicit in the surveillance.”
Then I read the actual piece. Boasting of security clearance and aggressively promoting mass surveillance, eh?
I find it exceptionally hard to believe that one of the most secretive USGov’t agencies would be perfectly okay with accepting a truckload of servers, built and intended for commercial use, at the drop of a hat. “Yeah, sure, we’ll just send out a car to follow the truck and everything will be just fine!” Yeeeeaaaahhhh, no–I don’t see that happening.
That said, the NSA does make mistakes, and maybe this whole episode was one of those loosey-goosey moments in gov’t history where the supply chain wasn’t working as it normally does. A recent story in The Intercept talks about other weirdness at NSA:
CBS Interactive listed her among the 7 worst CEOs back in 2012 - before she even began her political career…
I wouldn’t doubt, when I worked for Dell we contributed plenty of servers to weapons manufacturers or other high security projects.
I don’t doubt that the USG makes use of commercial computing hardware from major suppliers (Dell, HP, etc.). What I find hard to believe is that a truckload of servers, not sourced for or by the NSA, would so easily be routed away from basic commercial enterprise situations and accepted into one of the most secure and secretive US government agencies in the stable.
That said, since Fiorina was the head of HP, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that she made the call and redirected the servers.