A bunch of folks have sent over this story of Joseph Bonneau, an engineer from Google, who happened to win the NSA's award for "Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper"
for 2012, for his paper on The Science of Guessing: Analyzing an Anonymized Corpus of 70 Million Passwords
. In response, Bonneau took to his blog to first thank those who helped with the research... and then to explain why mass surveillance is bad and why the NSA should go away
Like many in the community of cryptographers and security engineers, I’m sad that we haven’t better informed the public about the inherent dangers and questionable utility of mass surveillance. And like many American citizens I’m ashamed we’ve let our politicians sneak the country down this path.
In accepting the award I don’t condone the NSA’s surveillance. Simply put, I don’t think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form.
When even the people the NSA is handing out awards to are publicly speaking out against the NSA's practices, perhaps it's time for the NSA to change?