NSA's catch-22: we can't tell you anything, because everything we do is a secret

Your overall point is quite a simplification, with a rather large number of unsupported suppositions. So many that your agenda is showing.

My reply to that finagling would be that the principle behind, and existence of FOI requests was long established before these NSA honkies developed their sooper seekrit processes, so bad luck. If they want their processes to survive FOI requests, they should design them to be robust. These scumbags have a dozen half-baked excuses for their malarkey, but they haven’t got anything approaching a justifiable reason for disappearing your freedoms at a stroke.

I apologize for my lack of clarity. There is no evidence to show that Snowden is getting financial compensation for his disclosure. There is evidence to show that his actions are not based on money.

My first point is simply Snowden’s loyalty to the NSA appears to be weak, because his ties to the NSA are weak. He has stated that his loyalty to the NSA was superseded by other things. They include his loyalty to the spirit and intent of the US Constitution and his belief that public discourse can fix the wrongs that he observed. He has acted consistently with his public statements. I have no reason to doubt him.

My second point is that the issues that weakened Snowdens loyalty to the NSA appear to be widespread at the NSA. Snowden is not the only one with reduced loyalty. Consequently, the NSA’s ability to keep secrets has probably been greatly reduced.

Please feel free to correct any mistakes. I make them all the time.

But your post appears to contain the same mistakes that you apply to me. You have simplified your post to the point of failing to support your suppositions. You also appear to have an agenda. Isn’t this fun! We could do this all day…

Lets try this another way. I will attempt to iterate my postulates. Then you can identify the ones that you feel need more support:

  1. The NSA is currently using a large number of external contract employees.
  2. External contract employees lack many of the loyalty creating benefits of direct employees. These deficits include:
  3. External contract employees are not directly paid by the NSA, They have not taken the 'Kings Shilling'. In Snowden's case, he was paid by Booz/Allen/Hamilton.
  4. External contract employees can not look forward to stable, decades long employment by the NSA, followed by a NSA sponsored pension.
  5. External contract employees can not expect job progression within the NSA hierarchy.
  6. For all these reasons, external contract employees have less loyalty to the NSA then internal, direct employees.
  7. And yet, Snowden had access to many 'secrets' that can not be revealed to the US public.
  8. Snowden is not unique, many of the NSA's 'secrets' are disclosed to other, less trustworth people.
From those postulates, I conclude that many of the NSA's 'secrets' are secrets in name only. They are disclosed to a wide, untrustable community. They have probably already escaped to many of the enemies of the US.

I was wrong to fail to disclose my agenda. My biases begin with, I am a security professional. For the last 10 years, I have done network and computer security for a university. My professional experience has led me to believe that secrecy is bad for security. I created a YouTube video to discuss these problems at:

My bias about security secrecy is:

Secrecy is to security as strong medicine is to the prescription drug addict. We can’t control ourselves. Our access to secrecy must be restricted. Our use of secrecy, carefully monitored. Some secrecy is justified, but usually the bigger the community, the more damaging the secrecy. Secrecy does not enhance meaningful community security.

  • Secrecy blinds security.
  • Secrecy blinds the community.
  • Secrecy isolates security from it's community.
  • Secrecy favors the illegal over the legal, the attacker over the community.
But we love secrecy to excess. And, after the orgy, the stench of secrecy remains and security is gone.

Hopefully, my suppositions, agenda and bias are now completely exposed. Feel free to tear my logic apart.

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There’s this. I disagree with this. The contract employees have taken oaths, been vetted, and are liable under federal law. The crime in question (If proven) is the same crime for direct federal employees as for subcontractors.

Your supposition seems to treat Snowden as nothing more than a mercenary that B/A/H got to before some other nation or some other nations temp agency, hired him.

I don’t think that s the case here.

Good reply, by the way.

I think part of our problem may be that we are being deceived by the English language.

The plural of oath should not be oaths.

  • 1 oath produces devotion.
  • 2 oaths create division.
  • 3 oaths foster delusion.

A dutiful person faced with conflicting oaths can only see damnation.

A creative person presented with conflicting oaths can find unlimited opportunities for justification.

Good analysts are almost infinitely creative. When Snowden was presented with a conflict between his oath to defend the Constitution and his oath to protect government secrets, he found a new path of duty and loyalty.

This conflict exists for hundreds of thousands of people. I would not expect secrecy to be the universal outcome.

So, our path forward should include a new declension for oath:

  • I took a single oath.
  • She uttered two divisions.
  • He swore multiple delusions :^)

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