NSA Deletes Fact Sheet On NSA Spying After Senate Points Out It's Actually NSA Lying

from the transparency-needed dept

The joke around the NSA used to be that the acronym stood for “No Such Agency” as its very existence was denied for years. While the NSA is now very official, it’s still probably the most secretive agency out there. That’s to be somewhat expected, given its mission, but it appears that when it needs to be transparent, it doesn’t do very well at all. We noted yesterday that Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall had called the NSA out for flat out lying on a “fact sheet” the agency had posted about its section 702 surveillance efforts. The NSA’s response? They quietly deleted the pdf document from their website. Because it’s not like the internet notices when you suddenly delete the document you put out to defend your overreaching surveillance techniques… You’d think that, of any agency out there, the NSA would recognize the most that simply deleting something on your local computers doesn’t make it actually disappear from the world. But, here’s the best part:

Separately Tuesday, another NSA official said the removal of the fact sheets and letter from the senators were unrelated.

Ah, yeah, I’m sure it had absolutely nothing to do with that whatsoever…

In more “unrelated” news, NSA boss, General Keith Alexander has also admitted that perhaps the fact sheet wasn’t fully accurate:

“After reviewing your letter, I agree that the fact sheet that the National Security Agency posted on its website on 18 June 2013 could have more precisely described the requirements for collection under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.”

Oh, I’m sure that the original wording was fairly “precise.” It’s just that it was precisely misleading, which is the sort of precision that the NSA seems to specialize in when it comes to any sort of public discussion.

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Comments on “NSA Deletes Fact Sheet On NSA Spying After Senate Points Out It's Actually NSA Lying”

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17 Comments
Skeptical Cynic (profile) says:

I love the internet!!!

I laughed so hard at this! This is a case of some stupid bureaucrat saying “I want this and this posted and it needs to be worded this way.”

The conversation probably went something like this.

Bureaucrat: “Put something or other up on the web thingy to say this and this and this”

Smart Guy: “But, but that is not correct. That is not what is really going on”

Bureaucrat: “So what they will never figure that out. So do it!!!! Or lose your job!!”

Smart Guy: “Ok, but once we post this it can’t be removed and if they do find out it is not true it won’t look good”

Bureaucrat: “If they do find out we will just change it or delete it with that special key on the keyboard. Now no more talk do it and I don’t want to discuss it anymore!! I have lunch to get on tax payers money!”

Smart Guy: “sighs”

Spaceman Spiff (profile) says:

Hiring interview at the nsa (parts redacted)...

Interviewer: Do you ever lie.
Interviewee #1: yes
Interviewer: Sorry, we can’t use you.
Interviewee #2: no
Interviewer: You are just the person we are looking for!

Comment provided by the Department of Irony Department with help from the Department of Blazing Sarcasm Department, all rights reserved… 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Why don’t they just classify it. That would make it disappear, at least as far as the government is concerned.

That’s the problem. You have the DOJ and Obama up there hollering the laws used to justify actions can’t be revealed because they are state security issues. It’s very convenient that it also just happens to be evidence that could be used against just what is being done with all this spying.

You have the NSA doing the very things the US government is marching it’s Secretary of State around the world saying you are supposed to do like us, allowing human rights, privacy, freedom of expression, and unfettered democracy to occur, while doing the very things it is advocating against.

The US has become the laughing stock of the globe over it’s hypocrisy and has very little creditability left. It’s position on political prisoners has been shot with it’s pursuit of Snowden. It’s position on the rights of prisoners for their day in court shot with the NDAA. The list just grows longer the more you look at it.

Now we have the NSA, well known for it’s paranoia and lack of truth telling basically saying ‘Trust us’, while continuing to do anything but tell the truth.

Jonjo says:

Department of Common Sense

Short for DCS.

I would open up a DSC division that allows for only regular citizens to volunteer their time. The department presents policies and legislation in plain 3rd grade English and have the volunteers filter policies on common sense. for example.

You want to collect phone call logs on the basis of National Security without a warrant and no pending investigation all being approved by a secret court.

“What are you f***ing stupid?” Denied!!

Loki says:

Ah, yeah, I’m sure it had absolutely nothing to do with that whatsoever…

They didn’t say they had absolutely nothing to do with each other, they said they were unrelated. Just as one has to understand the differences between “proper” English and “American” English, one has to understand the fine “nuances” of “Federal government” English. Clearly cause and effect is not the same as being related in FedSpeak.

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