NSA Claims It Doesn't Do Online Attacks; That's A Different Organization... Run By The NSA

from the who-do-they-think-they're-kidding dept

There are times you just shake your head and wonder who the NSA top officials think they're kidding with their statements. Take, for example, some recent comments from the NSA's number two guy in charge, Chris Inglis, the Deputy Director, who gave an interview to the BBC where he tried to paint the NSA as not being quite as bad as everyone says, but admitted that there could be more transparency. That's all the usual stuff, but the following tidbit caught my eye:
The job of the NSA, Mr Inglis said, was to exploit networks to collect intelligence in cyberspace and to defend certain networks - but not carry out destructive acts.

"NSA had a responsibility from way back, from our earliest days, to both break codes and make codes," he said. "We have a responsibility to do intelligence in a space we once called the telecommunications arena - now cyberspace - and the responsibility to make codes or to defend signals communications of interest.

"That's different than what most people conceive as offence or attack in this space."

That task of destructive cyber attack, if ordered, lies with the US military's rapidly expanding Cyber Command.
Except, as we've noted more than a few times, US Cyber Command is the NSA. It's run by Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, and it's housed in the same place as the NSA. For all intents and purposes, US Cyber Command is the NSA, and Alexander has no problem at all swapping hats depending on what's most convenient. He regularly tries to talk about "protecting the network" when it suits him, ignoring that the same efforts he's looking at (greater access to corporate networks) would also make it much easier for the NSA and US Cyber Command to launch offensive attacks -- which Snowden's leaks proved the NSA did hundreds of times.

Pretending the two are different, and that the NSA only focuses on "breaking codes and making codes" is yet another bogus claim from an NSA official, adding to a very long list.


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  1.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    CIA

    let's never forget what the CIA was originally intended to do: it wasn't spying or field operations of any sort. Originally, its purpose was to collect intelligence gathered from the myriad intelligence agencies of the US and analyze them as a cohesive whole. That's it.

    Now, however, the CIA is a full-fledged spy agency, does spying of its own and engages in active field operations and all sorts of sketchy activities.

    The NSA is clearly following the same trajectory.

     

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  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 11:11am

    "times you just shake your head and wonder"

    Again, YOU are not the audience, Mike. I'll give you that much. But you need to get out of your like-minded crowd now and then to at least read the "YES, WE NEED MORE POLICE STATE!" opinions of "Red state" rabble to see how outright lies are accepted without question. Those people are frighteningly jingoist: just wave a flag and they parrot lies even if contradict the lies of yesterday; point to a dark-skinned "enemy" and they howl for blood. Example: the US is now supporting "al-Qaida" in Syria with money and weapons, besides was just barely dissuaded from bombing in support; the former "existential threat" is now US proxy to overthrow other dictators! We are DEEP into "1984" and "Brave New World".

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 11:25am

    Re: "times you just shake your head and wonder"

    Your random sentence generator broke again.....

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: "times you just shake your head and wonder"

    Actually, he's making sense.

     

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  5.  
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    Michael, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 11:29am

    Once again, he talks about the job of the NSA, their responsibilities, and what they are tasked with - and completely avoids discussing what they have done and what they are doing.

     

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  6.  
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    Vic Livingston, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 11:29am

    U.S. Cyber Command oversees no-touch "e-torture" of Americans: vet journo

    As seen on Twitter:

    @AmbassadorRice US CYBERCOM/LOCKHEED CELLTWR NEUROWEAPON SLOW-KILL TORTURE OF 'DISSIDENT/UNDESIRABLE' AMERICANS-jrno http://viclivingston.blogspot.com/2011/12/u.html

     

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  7.  
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    scrivener50 (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 11:36am

    U.S. Cyber Command No-touch e-tortures Americans: veteran journalist

    President Obama must know by now that a celltower- mounted speed-of-light "multifunctional radio frequency directed energy weapon" grid deployed everywhere (U.S. Pat. 7629918, Raytheon), under operational control of Lockheed Martin, prime cyber-contractor to the U.S. government, has both surveillance and offensive attack capabilities -- and is being used by U.S. Cyber Command to silently torture, impair, subjugate, harm and slow-kill citizens who are extrajudicially condemned as "dissidents" or "undesirables." The veteran major market journalist who first exposed this "torture tower" grid also believes that the "Obama debate trance" exhibited at the first presidential debate in October 2012 was induced by rogue elements with access to this weapon system -- along with those public bouts of forced sleep experienced by Vice President Biden. The danger now is that the President may think he can put down what amounts to a silent coup d'etat by issuing orders and shuffling personnel, when the remedy to this cancer on the Republic is public exposure -- the only way to ensure that a seditionist security cult within is held to account. See viclivingston(dot)blogspot(dot)com/2011/12/u.html

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 11:50am

    Re: CIA

    Government agencies* - like goldfish - tend to grow to the limits of their enclosure.

    If we don't enforce those limits, they will just grow, and grow, and grow...

    These limits used to be defined by the constitution, but the government that swore to defend it seems to want to treat it like a mere piece of paper - a mere historical curiosity, nothing more - so these limits are no longer in effect.

    The result is predictable, and made evident by stories like this one.



    * or anything government related, really

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Re: "times you just shake your head and wonder"

    Hence it being broken!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 12:19pm

    I seems like they missed an important part of "plausible deniability" here.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 12:37pm

    Such a huge mistake to let the Cyber Command be run by the NSA. It should be run by Pentagon. At least then it would be limited to ACTUAL WAR TARGETS.

    When it's run by NSA - ANYONE - can be a target.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 12:50pm

    Since when was misdirection anything new? We've been hearing a continual stream of lies, misdirection, and propaganda, ever since they got their tail in a crack over the Snowden disclosures.

    Trust is not a word you use when talking about government agencies anymore.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 1:10pm

    Liying by omission

    "Not under this program", meet "not under this acronym".

     

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  14.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    ?que?
    *as if* the defense spooks have not shadowed and spied on civilians ? ? ?
    think again...

    frankly, it don't matter WHICH gummint branch is doing the actual spying, they ALL are NOT trustworthy under Empire...

     

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  15.  
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    Hans, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 2:21pm

    NSA TREASON

    Sometimes it is hard to tell which is more amazing NSA et al criminality or lies. I guess they land up coming from the same sociopathology where they have a higher calling & therefore r self righteously above the law. I'm convinced the solution lies not in more govt but more accountability of govt. When the punishment is sufficiently sever to deter criminal behavior we will see that behavior change.

     

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  16.  
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    peter, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 2:26pm

    minor correction

    "....swapping hats depending on what's most convenient."

    should read

    ".....swapping hats depending on what's most convenient lie."

     

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  17.  
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    steell (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 2:45pm

    Re: CIA

    Ever hear of the predecessor to the CIA? It was called the OSS and it was very much an active organization taking part in the events of WW2. So you are mistaken.

     

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  18.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: CIA

    The CIA was not formed simply by renaming the OSS. The CIA was part of an attempt to reform the intelligence community -- the main problem they wanted to solve was that every branch of the military and law enforcement had their own spy department, and all those departments were competitive with each other and refused to share information with each other.

    The CIA was intended to resolve that by becoming a central clearing house for all the various agencies intelligence information.

    The connection to the OSS is a straight line in this sense: that was exactly what the OSS was intended to do during wartime. It, too, exceeded its mandate and began spying. The CIA was intended to rectify that problem as well.

     

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  19.  
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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Oct 14th, 2013 @ 6:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: CIA

    Given that we STILL seem to have that problem of next to zero communication between the US' current batch of alphabet soup agencies, perhaps it's time to reform the intelligence community again...

     

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  20.  
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    JTReyn (profile), Oct 15th, 2013 @ 9:02am

    SPIES GONE WILD will never stop

    NSA thinks what it's doing is OK, but it is all wrong, as these comments overwhelmingly agree. Many acknowledge that they're not going to stop. The system is broke, and logic dictates that we take matters into our own hands. Not to violate the law, but to protect ourselves from invasions of privacy wherever possible. Start using encryption, stop using public cloud storage and move everything to a Cloudlocker (www.stoamigo.com) which works the same but stays in your home where they still need a warrant to get it. I'm sure good ol Yankee ingenuity will come up with more inventions like this to protect us from the people supposed to protect us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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