NSA Claims It Doesn't Do Online Attacks; That's A Different Organization… Run By The NSA

from the who-do-they-think-they're-kidding dept

There are times you just shake your head and wonder who the NSA top officials think they’re kidding with their statements. Take, for example, some recent comments from the NSA’s number two guy in charge, Chris Inglis, the Deputy Director, who gave an interview to the BBC where he tried to paint the NSA as not being quite as bad as everyone says, but admitted that there could be more transparency. That’s all the usual stuff, but the following tidbit caught my eye:

The job of the NSA, Mr Inglis said, was to exploit networks to collect intelligence in cyberspace and to defend certain networks – but not carry out destructive acts.

“NSA had a responsibility from way back, from our earliest days, to both break codes and make codes,” he said. “We have a responsibility to do intelligence in a space we once called the telecommunications arena – now cyberspace – and the responsibility to make codes or to defend signals communications of interest.

“That’s different than what most people conceive as offence or attack in this space.”

That task of destructive cyber attack, if ordered, lies with the US military’s rapidly expanding Cyber Command.

Except, as we’ve noted more than a few times, US Cyber Command is the NSA. It’s run by Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, and it’s housed in the same place as the NSA. For all intents and purposes, US Cyber Command is the NSA, and Alexander has no problem at all swapping hats depending on what’s most convenient. He regularly tries to talk about “protecting the network” when it suits him, ignoring that the same efforts he’s looking at (greater access to corporate networks) would also make it much easier for the NSA and US Cyber Command to launch offensive attacks — which Snowden’s leaks proved the NSA did hundreds of times.

Pretending the two are different, and that the NSA only focuses on “breaking codes and making codes” is yet another bogus claim from an NSA official, adding to a very long list.

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Comments on “NSA Claims It Doesn't Do Online Attacks; That's A Different Organization… Run By The NSA”

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20 Comments
John Fenderson (profile) says:

CIA

let’s never forget what the CIA was originally intended to do: it wasn’t spying or field operations of any sort. Originally, its purpose was to collect intelligence gathered from the myriad intelligence agencies of the US and analyze them as a cohesive whole. That’s it.

Now, however, the CIA is a full-fledged spy agency, does spying of its own and engages in active field operations and all sorts of sketchy activities.

The NSA is clearly following the same trajectory.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: CIA

Government agencies* – like goldfish – tend to grow to the limits of their enclosure.

If we don’t enforce those limits, they will just grow, and grow, and grow…

These limits used to be defined by the constitution, but the government that swore to defend it seems to want to treat it like a mere piece of paper – a mere historical curiosity, nothing more – so these limits are no longer in effect.

The result is predictable, and made evident by stories like this one.

* or anything government related, really

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: CIA

The CIA was not formed simply by renaming the OSS. The CIA was part of an attempt to reform the intelligence community — the main problem they wanted to solve was that every branch of the military and law enforcement had their own spy department, and all those departments were competitive with each other and refused to share information with each other.

The CIA was intended to resolve that by becoming a central clearing house for all the various agencies intelligence information.

The connection to the OSS is a straight line in this sense: that was exactly what the OSS was intended to do during wartime. It, too, exceeded its mandate and began spying. The CIA was intended to rectify that problem as well.

out_of_the_blue says:

"times you just shake your head and wonder"

Again, YOU are not the audience, Mike. I’ll give you that much. But you need to get out of your like-minded crowd now and then to at least read the “YES, WE NEED MORE POLICE STATE!” opinions of “Red state” rabble to see how outright lies are accepted without question. Those people are frighteningly jingoist: just wave a flag and they parrot lies even if contradict the lies of yesterday; point to a dark-skinned “enemy” and they howl for blood. Example: the US is now supporting “al-Qaida” in Syria with money and weapons, besides was just barely dissuaded from bombing in support; the former “existential threat” is now US proxy to overthrow other dictators! We are DEEP into “1984” and “Brave New World”.

scrivener50 (profile) says:

U.S. Cyber Command No-touch e-tortures Americans: veteran journalist

President Obama must know by now that a celltower- mounted speed-of-light “multifunctional radio frequency directed energy weapon” grid deployed everywhere (U.S. Pat. 7629918, Raytheon), under operational control of Lockheed Martin, prime cyber-contractor to the U.S. government, has both surveillance and offensive attack capabilities — and is being used by U.S. Cyber Command to silently torture, impair, subjugate, harm and slow-kill citizens who are extrajudicially condemned as “dissidents” or “undesirables.” The veteran major market journalist who first exposed this “torture tower” grid also believes that the “Obama debate trance” exhibited at the first presidential debate in October 2012 was induced by rogue elements with access to this weapon system — along with those public bouts of forced sleep experienced by Vice President Biden. The danger now is that the President may think he can put down what amounts to a silent coup d’etat by issuing orders and shuffling personnel, when the remedy to this cancer on the Republic is public exposure — the only way to ensure that a seditionist security cult within is held to account. See viclivingston(dot)blogspot(dot)com/2011/12/u.html

Hans says:

NSA TREASON

Sometimes it is hard to tell which is more amazing NSA et al criminality or lies. I guess they land up coming from the same sociopathology where they have a higher calling & therefore r self righteously above the law. I’m convinced the solution lies not in more govt but more accountability of govt. When the punishment is sufficiently sever to deter criminal behavior we will see that behavior change.

JTReyn (profile) says:

SPIES GONE WILD will never stop

NSA thinks what it’s doing is OK, but it is all wrong, as these comments overwhelmingly agree. Many acknowledge that they’re not going to stop. The system is broke, and logic dictates that we take matters into our own hands. Not to violate the law, but to protect ourselves from invasions of privacy wherever possible. Start using encryption, stop using public cloud storage and move everything to a Cloudlocker (www.stoamigo.com) which works the same but stays in your home where they still need a warrant to get it. I’m sure good ol Yankee ingenuity will come up with more inventions like this to protect us from the people supposed to protect us.

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