Congressional Reps Ask Bruce Schneier To Explain To Them What The NSA Is Doing, Because The NSA Won't Tell Them

from the look-at-that dept

This is both depressing and good news at the same time. A group of Congressional Representatives (who are among the most critical of the NSA) apparently asked Bruce Schneier to come brief them on what the NSA is doing because the NSA won’t tell them:

This morning I spent an hour in a closed room with six Members of Congress: Rep. Logfren, Rep. Sensenbrenner, Rep. Scott, Rep. Goodlate, Rep Thompson, and Rep. Amash. No staffers, no public: just them. Lofgren asked me to brief her and a few Representatives on the NSA. She said that the NSA wasn’t forthcoming about their activities, and they wanted me — as someone with access to the Snowden documents — to explain to them what the NSA was doing. Of course I’m not going to give details on the meeting, except to say that it was candid and interesting. And that it’s extremely freaky that Congress has such a difficult time getting information out of the NSA that they have to ask me. I really want oversight to work better in this country.

There’s really not much more to be said about that, other than it shows what a complete joke it is for anyone to claim that Congress has real oversight over the NSA. It’s great that these Reps would reach out to someone with qualifications like Schneier to have this kind of conversation. It’s depressing that such a thing was necessary.

Filed Under: , , , , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Congressional Reps Ask Bruce Schneier To Explain To Them What The NSA Is Doing, Because The NSA Won't Tell Them”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

To be fair, when this whole debacle started it wouldn’t have been that surprising if Obama hadn’t known a thing about what the NSA was really doing, since the NSA brass has shown no hesitation lying to anyone else, so it’s not too hard to believe they’d have been lying to him to.

After all the info on the NSA started coming out though… if he doesn’t know what they’re doing now, it’s because he doesn’t want to know.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

According to a report in the National Journal, the Republicans are hoping to pin the blame on the donkey for surveillance.

Let’s not fall for partisan tricks, as both parties are equally responsible. That there’s no real oversight is down to Lofgren, et al, not acting sooner. If we’re to have real oversight, we need to stop voting the same people back in and we need to hold the people who are in office now to account for their actions.

As for the president, I recall reading an article in TD that says he gets his info from the papers first. That’d explain why he knows very little about what’s going on. He needs to stop being cautious and remember he’s a Constitutional scholar. Or has he forgotten that?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

According to a report in the National Journal, the Republicans are hoping to pin the blame on the donkey for surveillance.

And desperately hope that no one points out that a number of these programs were first put in place by Bush, a republican, I’m guessing?

Yeah, they’re both to blame, any attempt to play ‘No, it’s all their fault!’ to score points with the voters and dodge responsibility needs to be shut down immediately and pointed to as the cheap dodge tactic that it is.

Jake says:

Re: Re: Re:

And if they are, they shouldn’t have been. Wasn’t it President Truman had a sign on his desk saying, “The Buck Stops Here”?

And yes, I know that applies to the current President as well, but I’m not entirely convinced the NSA are actually taking orders from the Oval Office at this point.

vancedecker (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The point is that the real abuse is happening in a way that the upper levels may not even be aware of.

If Snowden gained this much access, other probably have it as well. Companies, Private Investigators, Foreign Government pay a lot of money for information obtained from blackmarket sources.

How many Snowdens are out there whose purpose is purely profit driven?

Anonymous Coward says:

Funny the public hears every week what the NSA claims it isn’t doing. All the efforts so far going into calling them to account aren’t working. Judges for the FISA court are claiming it’s too much work to hold them accountable. The oversight committee gets lied to and no one is out for blood over it. The president sends out a committee to investigate and then pretends to act on it, all the time doing cosmetic changes that have no real meaningful effect.

The public is pissed off about it and it is not going to blow over. So far, a $4 billion contract to sell military jets has been cancelled, AT&T has been denied bidding rights to a setup in Europe, France has found it has a white elephant on it’s hands in the terms of a satellite found to have spy stuff hardwired in and the UAE won’t proceed with the purchase, and various companies such as Crisco are finding out they are no longer welcome in the China market. This stuff is just getting started on the market side. We’ll be hearing more of that for years.

And in all this, we have an Intelligence Committee that acts anything but intelligent. The house can take care of this really fast. Clear it right up. All they have to do is end financing the NSA until it can come up with answers that can be believed and so far, the answers coming out of the NSA can’t.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re:

The house needs to stop playing partisan games and remember they represent us. I predicted it’d take a financial hit to wake them up, and now that it’s happening, they’ll have to do something.

Get the popcorn: it’s corp v corp and it’s going to get ugly.

BTW haven’t we forgotten the warplane deal with Brazil that went belly up over this?

Anonymous Coward says:

for these guys to properly understand this stuff they need to briefed on the material by someone who understands the material and can answer questions, being unclassified lets everyone interested in the room so afterward their is meaningful debat on policy, possible laws. NSA prraticed compartmentalisation with the informatioh, even if an opposed politician was concerned, how could he discuss it with those who helped him draft lesislation.

SandiM says:

Deitybounce (NSA exploit)

The ant catalog indicates that Deitybounce installs on Dell PowerEdge servers. I found it on one of my computers at home. It told my Sony desktop that is was a Dell PowerEdge 2850 and began to load. It changed my single partition disk into five partitions with Drive I as the boot drive. It later converted this to the C Drive. It patched the MBR and the volume’s boot sector. It is memory resident and I suspect it has changed the hpa on my hard drive. It also left the backdoor open for other exploits to install. I have 3 laptops and 3 desktops which are all infected. This would be criminal if you or I did this but apparently it’s okay for the NSA to change the quality of my life and destroy over $15,000 worth of equipment.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...