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Former NSA Director Reflects On Snowden Leaks
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Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
10/8/2014 | 10:58:30 AM
NSA training
Alexander said, "The people who touch [this] data go through 400 hours of training on how to deal with this data. That's more [training] than we give pilots."

That doesn't give me a whole lot of confidence about the next time I step onto an airplane. 
Some Guy
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Some Guy,
User Rank: Moderator
10/8/2014 | 6:10:52 PM
If you were surprised by NSA scope, you weren't paying attention
If anyone was surprised by the types and scope of NSA's activities, I can only conclude they weren't paying attention. For the most part I agree with Gen. Alexander's assessment that what they were doing was legal. I think it's unfortunate that Whistleblowers in the NSA really have no choice beyond blowing up their lives; there has to be a middle path that identifies potential problems, allows for the fully informed electorate and discourse that has been missing and gets them fixed without having to give up one's country.

My big criticism of NSA is their bad for not having the data encryption at rest and sufficient, timely and appropriate access & audit controls. The harm was completely preventable. Snowden shouldn't have been able to take anything with him.
xyzzy-lwpi
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xyzzy-lwpi,
User Rank: Strategist
10/13/2014 | 3:59:42 PM
We're doomed
While the NSA Director is correct in his assessment that what the NSA did was legal, no one ever bothered to ask, "should we be doing this?".  This is where the ethics break-down occurs.  Collecting the data of U.S. citizens (and even many of our allies) is wrong.  The entire U.S. Gov't response to 9-11 was the contemporary equivalent of a sledgehammer wielded by Steinbeck's Lenny - bound by the constraints of political correctness - looking for a nail to hit. 

For example, just look at airport security.  Who can honestly say it's NOT security theater?  Who can honestly say it has made us more secure?

This program has saved lives?!?! Really?  Show me.  Prove the value that any exclusive component of this program has saved a life.  And even if it somehow managed to save a life, how little return has been proven and at what cost?  The potential cost of our freedom by the not unforeseeable misuse of our data.  Or maybe the insane amount of resources spent on this program that could've been better used in actual proven security measures, like say, I dunno, documenting everyone who comes into this country, especially if they're coming from high security risk countries, profiling individuals and tracking where they go and maybe even raising red-flags if they sign up for extracirricular activities... like flying lessons.


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