NSA’s best employees are "leaving in big numbers"

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/07/nsas-best-employees-are-l.html


propagating an image of the NSA that causes people to believe they are being spied on at all times by the U.S. government regardless of their independent actions.

"…even though we are. "


Could they be leaving because Trump is coming into office and they know he will asked them to commit crimes against the American people? Are they leaving to protect themselves from eventually getting slapped with a felony? Is this a rejection of the coming administration?


like Booz Allen Hamilton? same job, better pay, less public attention?


Director of NSA is a four-star officer (O-10). Annual salary $180,000, plus housing, officer clubs, benefits, perquisites, lifetime pension, benefits, consultancies.

Yes, that looks quite paltry compared to his fees now:

$600,000 to as much as $1 million per month as a cybersecurity consultant


Good? Bad? I am not sure what this means.

Snowden encouraged good people to stay and work for the NSA, as the main way to change it is through internal forces.

Will this weaken the ability of the NSA to spy on the populace? I am ok with that.

Will it only leave people who are more willing to do even shadier shit? I am not really sure that is what this means at all, but if it does, that’s bad.


I was about to say the same thing. That and they know that the stink of doing cyber spying for Trump admin won’t wash off easily.

1 Like

right, 'cause the last five presidents certainly didn’t do that.


No, they simply don’t have enough staff to spy on everyone. It’s not so much that you are being spied on at all times but that there is a probability that you are being spied on at all times and you have no way of knowing.[quote=“Mister44, post:6, topic:90755”]
Will this weaken the ability of the NSA to spy on the populace? I am ok with that.

Will it only leave people who are more willing to do even shadier shit? I am not really sure that is what this means at all, but if it does, that’s bad.

Employee A: I can’t believe the media is making it seem like I just sit around LOVEINTing all day. I quit.

Employee B: Hmm… I think I could make more in the private sector, but then I couldn’t just sit around LOVEINTing all day.

(or maybe, “but then I could only LOVEINT employees of the company as opposed to anyone.”)


LEAVING leaving, or just becoming contractors for the big payoff?


Maybe Trump will outsource some of this work to Russia.



Perhaps the NSA could investigate how meter maids and TSA screeners are somehow able to put on their big-girl pants every day for like $8 an hour. I mean, if maintaining Stasi-like records on everyone really is at least as necessary to a free society as, say, confiscating breast milk.


When you leave a government job, you abandon all of those things that you can’t get in the private sector: Good health care, retirement benefits, employment protections, and a sense that you are working to deliver a useful service or product to the public. Large private sector firms seldom deliver any of those things and frequently labor to eradicate them from the face of the Earth.

In my experience, people abandon such jobs when management becomes particularly unhinged. Government workers are already accustomed to bad press and persist working under the belief, illusory or not, that their work is not well understood by the public.


Maybe this president will be much worse.


But no whistle-blower protection as a certain someone found out.


Is there a qualitative difference between an agency harvesting every bit of information about your life and probably not doing anything with it and actually taking the time to review that information? Regardless, it’s clear that the public did not “ask them” to do this.


You said benefits twice.

I like benefits.


“Government once again disconcerted to discover that most people, quite inconveniently, have ethics: film at 11.”


Yeah the SS and Gestapo were asked to protect the German people. Or at list the right German people.

I remember a story I heard a long time ago from some prison warden. When asked by a family member why they never received mail from their loved one who was serving time for some non violent offence, He explained that the prisoner in question was their most dangerous felon because he did not think what he did was wrong. Getting the same vibe off he NSA guy here.


The pay is paltry. For anti-corruption reasons, all government pay is on a scale that considers military rank, education, and years of service. There’s no room to reward stand-outs.

Depending on where you are, the pay might look good, but you have to remember that the greater DC area (heck, the Atlantic northeast in general) basically suffers from localized inflation. Everything there is pricey. Back when I was in a better position to re-locate, all the research available suggested I would have to double my salary if I wanted to move to the northeast and keep the quality of life I had in central Texas. That’s just crazy.

Most people who do government work do it because they love the field, despite poor pay. When things get sour, most of those domain experts don’t have an alternative employer to run to. But quants, techs, and spooks? Those can go anywhere. And now that they have lost faith in the mission, they are.