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White House Evaluating New Court Ruling Declaring NSA Data-Collection Program Illegal
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Elose
Elose,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/14/2016 | 4:56:09 AM
Re: Must We Confront the Question?
how can we stop the NSA? There is more privacy ..
RetiredUser
RetiredUser,
User Rank: Ninja
5/8/2015 | 5:19:46 PM
Must We Confront the Question?
In Docket No. 14-42-cv, it is stated that we "must confront the question whether a surveillance program that the government has put in place to protect national security is lawful.  That program involves the bulk collection by the government of telephone metadata created by telephone companies in the normal course of their business but now explicitly required by the government to be turned over in bulk on an ongoing basis."

It is noted in that same Docket that:

"Considering the issue of advocacy in the context of deliberations involving alleged state secrets, and, more broadly, the leak by Edward Snowden that led to this litigation, calls to mind the disclosures by Daniel Ellsberg that gave rise to the legendary Pentagon Papers litigation."

This is interesting as I have read many articles in which Daniel Ellsberg is quoted praising Snowden's actions as indicators of his moral character.

On that note of "considering" Dr. Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation places in every email the following statement:

[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider  
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,      
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example.

What all of this means, then, is that Information Security is more than the sum of its technical pieces, more than the data in various states and the need to protect that data in each state. But does that mean we as caretakers of sensitive data have to change our mindset because of "the question" posed in Docket No. 14-42-cv, or posed by Edward Snowden, Daniel Ellsberg, or Dr. Stallman? No, not at all. Because as caretakers of data it is not our job to ask that question, or to answer it. It is to protect the data we've been charged to protect.

I would say that once you start going down the road of asking the question, you may need to step away from your InfoSec role. I don't mean you step away from moral obligation - by all means, answer that call if you feel in your gut, as Snowden did, something is wrong and you believe you must help right that wrong. But don't mix that activity up with Information Security, with National Security, because that is how holes are formed and how we make mistakes when we aren't fully focused on the job we were tasked with.


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