Next NSA Boss Thinks NSA Just Needs Better PR; And Kicks It Off With A Bunch Of Cyberwar FUD

from the new-boss-same-as-the-old-boss dept

Vice Admiral Mike Rogers (not to be confused with Rep. Mike Rogers) is pretty much all set to take over for Keith Alexander as both the new head of the NSA and the new head of US Cyber Command. These are the two organizations that the government likes to pretend are separate, but clearly are not (same boss, same offices, same basic goals). While the Senate has no say in approving the NSA appointment, they do have a say in approving the head of US Cyber Command, so the hearings are really covering both positions. Appearing before the Senate, Rogers has made it clear that he’s cut from the same cloth as Alexander, and will basically continue the same kind of misleading FUD. When asked about “takeaways” from the past few months, Rogers claimed that the NSA really just needed better PR:

“I believe one of the takeaways form the situation over the last few months is that as an intelligence professional…I have to be capable of communicating in a way that highlights what we are doing and why to the greatest extent possible,” Rogers said to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Yeah, like that’s going to work. And, by “better communicating” it appears that Admiral Rogers really means spreading more FUD about how we need to ramp up our “offensive” “cyber” attack capabilities. This is the same crap that Alexander has been pushing for years, when the simple truth is that the US (NSA) has been among the most aggressive on that front already, and the “threats” that it discusses are almost always things that the NSA/USCC are actually doing itself, rather than things that are being done to us.

As for any actual reform? Don’t expect that under Admiral Rogers, as Marcy Wheeler highlights, Rogers seems to have the obfuscation-about-things-already-public game down pat.

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 “Next NSA Boss Thinks NSA Just Needs Better PR; And Kicks It Off With A Bunch Of Cyberwar FUD”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
AricTheRed says:

Re: Do you think they are going to change the tune now?

II was thinking now that Barry “Oath Breaker in Chief” Obama has appointed Rep Mike ” Traitorous -abettor” Rodgers’ clone in Village People clothing Admiral “I’m willing to break my oath too” Rodgers to replace The Clapp as the head of the NSA…

Are they finally going to replace Hail to the Chief with The Imperial March at official functions?

for your reference and listening pleasure…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

No, they don’t need better PR. They need to be shot like the actual traitors they are.

And make no mistake, these guys are traitors – they believe that they know beteer than everyone else who the bad guys are.

Here’s a hint – If you’re the only ones being questioned about an ethically grey activity in a room full of such people, then chances are you’re the bad guy, and the sooner these cancers are excised, the better.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s true that their handling of the situation has been abysmal, and strictly speaking that falls under the “better PR’ department.

But what they need to do better is, if they aren’t going to stop being abusive, at least stop all the bald-faced lying. It doesn’t take a PR expert to recognize that. It takes integrity.

I’ve changed my mind. They need integrity more than anything else.

St. Pat says:

Just Once

You know, just once I’d like to be able to visit Techdirt and read about how the new guy supports massive reform, or how a bill has been passed limiting NSA spying, or *something* good on that front (“be able” in the sense that it actually happened).

Then again, maybe I already used up my one good thing happening on SOPA. Ok, just twice.

Anonymous Coward says:

Clearly, it’s a PR problem.

So please tell me Mr. new NSA chief, how does spying on Petrobas, Belgium telcos, all EU and UN officials, and every single person on the planet help with terrorism?

What’s that? Oh, you’re not only spying to catch terrorists, but mainly for political and economic interests, just like you’ve been accusing China of? That’s what I thought.

Anonymous Coward says:

NSA employees need to start thinking about their future.

I would never consider a current or former NSA/CIA/DOJ employee for a position due to the criminal nature of their jobs.

I also consider the extent of a companies involvement with these organizations and their employees before deciding if I will do business with them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cyberware FUD: Bad idea

Raising FUD about Cyberwar just shows that they seriously suck at it. Great idea bringing it up when they have sabotaged defences with their instance on backdooring everything. Do they really think that will help when they are known for undermining the security of everything you can get your treasonous little hands on? Isn’t that a bit counterproductive? Like talking about the importance of protecting our children when you’re a convicted child molester?

vastrightwing (profile) says:


PR = Spin
Communicating = Spinning
Spinning = lying and covering up.
Highlights = obfuscates
What we are doing = Not what we are doing.

Now I will parse his statements:
Unlike my predecessor, I will lie and cover up my agency’s spying better than anyone before me. I will use malware attacks, terrorism threats, security theater, dis-information, wiretapping, sting rays, license plate readers, facial recognition, the corporate media, copyright laws, judges and secret laws in a way that make the past seem like child play. I will strong arm private business to allow backdoors in published software and firmware. I will make private business accountable to me personally if they don’t play nice with the NSA. I will work with other agencies like the IRS to threaten and intimidate citizens to do the right thing. In short, I will be everything my predecessor was not.

Any questions?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Have you tried 'Not constantly lying'?

Just saying, but ‘Not lying’ is generally a good way to boost public image and perception of an agency/company/group.

Well, unless the truth is far worse than people could have expected, in which case lying is probably the less of the two evils, but I’m sure that couldn’t possibly be the reason for it… /s

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...