Some Help on NSA Programs

The MSM occasionally still produces helpful journalism. Here are two pieces on the NSA question that are useful in following the issue.

First, General Alexander speaks to the Black Hat hacker conference. This is what the best defense of NSA looks like, constructed for a conference of people whom the NSA knows will see through any obfuscations. So this is the upside.

Second, an analysis of similar testimony presented to Congress. This is part of what the downside looks like.


Anonymous said...

Ok, so the writer at Slate refuses to accept the distinction between compiling a database and searching it. Why couldn't he just say that in the introduction, instead of accusing the NSA of lying? Such an article would have been more useful, because it would have been easier for both sides to frame the very real hazards involved.

Instead, this article poisons the debate with accusations of bad faith that are, upon examination, unfounded. Why are we wasting time on this? Could it be because the writer from Slate is dishonest, or merely to inept to understand what he has read?

This is an important debate with far-reaching effects, and both sides have serious interests that must be properly balanced. The Slate article is no help. Perhaps Slate should consult someone with the appropriate technical background, to interpret.


Grim said...

That's one way of reading the Slate article. Another way of reading it might be to notice that the NSA is using technical definitions of terms that don't match their everyday meaning in order to elide past the important aspects of the debate.

When they talk to the Black Hats, they know they can't get away with it, so you get a straightforward argument: here's roughly how it works, and here are the benefits we have obtained in exchange for what you may see as problematic intrusion into your privacy.

When they talk to Congress, you get a very different kind of explanation -- not a lie, except for Clapper's one remark, but the kind of explanation that Bill Clinton was so famous for a few years ago. It's true, as long as you understand how to parse all the words in just the right way.

It's important to keep that in mind when we are trying to evaluate the scope of these programs. We need to be sure to be clear on exactly what they mean by all the terms.

Ymar Sakar said...

The details of the program won't matter when Obama, Ayers, and Leftist operatives control it from the top, the bottom, and the sides.

No organization has EVER been 100% proof against Leftist hijacking and infiltration. As much as the NSA sneaks their threads through the threads of human fate and lives, the Left has been doing a lot more, for a lot longer.