Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Submission + - NSA doesn't know what Snowden took. ( 8

WOOFYGOOFY writes: Part of the assurances the NSA has given Congress and the public that the databases of internet activity can't be abused is that each database access is carefully audited and recorded. The NSA claims such audit trails are both deterrents to abuse and sure methods of catching abuse post hoc.

However, as reported by NBC News, " two separate sources briefed on the matter told NBC News that the NSA has been unable to determine the full extent of the data he removed." NBC goes on to report that "NSA had poor data compartmentalization", permitting sys admins "to roam freely across wide areas.".

The article characterizes the NSA as " “overwhelmed" trying to account for what Snowden took" . While another source said the "NSA has a poor audit capability, which is frustrating efforts to complete a damage assessment."

How unattractive a picture is going to be painted before this is over ? Poor audit trails is a wide open door to abuse, and further directly contradicts — yet again- the assurances public officials have made to Congress.

For those of us who consider that the NSA performs a desperately needed function in fighting people who want to destroy the basis of civil society itself, I want to ask the question- have you lost faith in the integrity of the intelligence gathering process and what could the NSA and the administration do to restore and maintain your faith?

This discussion was created for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NSA doesn't know what Snowden took.

Comments Filter:
  • For those of us who consider that the NSA performs a desperately needed function in fighting people who want to destroy the basis of civil society itself,

    so, NSA is fighting itself?

  • Considering the fact that the central issue is that the government as a whole and the executive branch and the NSA in particular have abused the trust the American people have placed in them. At this point any solution that comes from the White House or the NSA is tainted by this breach. When the president announced that a team would be set up to audit what the NSA has done to determine if abuses occurred with the data collected he placed the very person that lied to congress and the American people in the
    • The integrity of Bitcoin is predicated on the concept of an uncontradictable log. One aspect of it is it's distributed, which means , to fake it, you would have to control the majority of the logs ( and as a practical matter, the vast vast majority since mere majoritarianism is not going to still the voices of those who know they're being robbed).

      I am not an expert. I am wondering if there is a technical way to establish an indubitable audit trail, or it it impossible in that any such scheme would

      • The ends do not justify the means, just because by doing this we have a chance to catch more terror cells does not make what is being done legal in any form. The founding fathers knew they could not foresee all the problems that could arise so they made the constitution a living document and provided for the ability to change it without tearing it down and starting over each time. But they also knew that they did not want the central government to possess any more power than was needed to carry on the funct
        • I am willing to argue the contrary, which is not to say I am espousing it. I just want to see what people say in reply.

          The problem with your argument as I see it is that the destructive force a terrorist organization could bring, either now or in the near future means we have a real concern not so much about the number of "normal" terrorist attacks but of the kind.

          The argument that we give up too much to catch a few more terrorists doesn't deal with the reality that just ONE terrorist wielding the right vir

          • You are arguing that in order to meet this threat we must set aside our most basic laws. Once we set aside the rule of law then we disenfranchise ourselves in the name of safety because we have decided that the rule of law no longer applies and those in power can do anything they wish as long as they label it terrorism related. I want you to consider something for one moment. You come home to find your entire home has been gone through, nothing taken but every letter you have has been opened, every one of
            • >>You are arguing that in order to meet this threat we must set aside our most basic laws

              No , I'm genuinely not. I am asking a question about the nature of reality - a reality that none of us can control but which nevertheless has the power to impact each of our lives dramatically and even overturn our civil liberties even if we are ALL in agreement don't want that to happen because it becomes a matter of pure survival.

              That scenario, to my mind, is to be avoided at nearly all costs . We probably agr

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal