Former US Official: Edward Snowden Was Too Brilliant To Work For The NSA
from the well,-that's-comforting dept
But what of Snowden himself? How do those experienced in government view him. Well, according to this fascinating report that details how Snowden got his hands on those documents, some think he was absolutely brilliant and that being so smart should have disqualified him for the job.
“Every day, they are learning how brilliant [Snowden] was,” said a former U.S. official with knowledge of the case. “This is why you don’t hire brilliant people for jobs like this. You hire smart people. Brilliant people get you in trouble.”My, how comforting. Here's the deal: if you are going to run a data-collection program on most of the known world, including on your own people, you damn well better have the smartest, most brilliant people you can find involved. The wrong-headed thinking that there are people too smart to work for your organization is tipping the scales towards epic. Perhaps brilliant people lock security down better so that thousands of system administrators can't get their hands on roughly all the documents. Maybe brilliant people devise better ways to get the intelligence so greedily sought after without running afoul of our commanding national legal document. And, hey, just maybe enough brilliant people in the room would have resulted in a program that wasn't so foul, wasn't so ripe for abuse, and wasn't using what is commonly considered to be decades-old technology and procedures.
Jason Healey, a former cyber-security official in the Bush Administration, said the Defense Department and the NSA have “frittered away years” trying to catch up to the security technology and practices used in private industry. “The DoD and especially NSA are known for awesome cyber security, but this seems somewhat misplaced,” said Healey, now a cyber expert at the Atlantic Council. “They are great at some sophisticated tasks but oddly bad at many of the simplest.”Look, it brings me back to something I've said about my government before: lie better. That's your job now. Sure, it would be nice if you simply represented the people as your mandate requires, but nobody alive is gullible enough to believe that's going to happen any longer, so your new job is to at least secure all the nefarious bullshit you pull. You've got my data and you're housing it on technology that predates the iPhone? You know who might be able to help get your house in order?
Brilliant people. Too bad you don't want to hire them.