NSA's Response To Snowden Leaks Isn't To Stop Spying, But To Make It More Difficult To Blow The Whistle
from the wrong-lesson dept
In response to the revelations, via Ed Snowden, that the NSA's surveillance apparatus is sweeping up a lot more information on the public than most people realized, you might think that the proper response would be to stop collecting so much information. But, of course, the NSA's actual response is to try to make it more difficult for the next Ed Snowden to leak information by instituting a "two-person rule" for accessing information.
The director of the N.S.A., Gen. Keith B. Alexander, acknowledged the problem in a television interview on Sunday and said his agency would institute “a two-man rule” that would limit the ability of each of its 1,000 system administrators to gain unfettered access to the entire system. The rule, which would require a second check on each attempt to access sensitive information, is already in place in some intelligence agencies. It is a concept borrowed from the field of cryptography, where, in effect, two sets of keys are required to unlock a safe.Basically: we won't fix the actual problem, we'll just makes sure it's much more difficult for the next whistleblower to expose us. That's not particularly comforting.
From government agencies to corporate America, there is a renewed emphasis on thwarting the rogue I.T. employee. Such in-house breaches are relatively rare, but the N.S.A. leaks have prompted assessments of the best precautions businesses and government can take, from added checks and balances to increased scrutiny during hiring.