NSA Delayed Installing 'Anti-Leak' Software At Site Where Snowden Worked Because Of 'Insufficient Bandwidth'

from the because-reasons dept

Reuters is reporting that the NSA apparently had "delayed installing" the "most up-to-date anti-leak software" at the site in Hawaii where Ed Snowden was based:
The purpose of the software, which in the NSA's case is made by a division of Raytheon Co, is to block so-called "insider threats" - a response to an order by President Barack Obama to tighten up access controls for classified information in the wake of the leak of hundreds of thousands of Pentagon and State Department documents by an Army private to WikiLeaks website in 2010.

The main reason the software had not been installed at the NSA's Hawaii facility by the time Snowden took up his assignment there was that it had insufficient bandwidth to comfortably install it and ensure its effective operation, according to one of the officials.
It's unclear from this reporting if "insufficient bandwidth" means, literally, insufficient network bandwidth, or insufficient time for local sysadmins to get to this project. If it's the former, then, huh? That makes no sense. There's no way they had insufficient network bandwidth, or if they did, then the NSA has some serious problems. If it's the latter, then, what? Good thing the NSA is now getting rid of 90% of its sys admins, huh?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: anti-leak software, bandwidth, ed snowden, nsa, sys admins


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    blaktron (profile), 18 Oct 2013 @ 2:08pm

    If I had to guess it was in a project pipeline for a subcontractor to implement. Generally 'lack of bandwidth' in official gov-speak means 'we never got around to it because other more important stuff kept coming up, but we will soon, we promise!'

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2013 @ 2:10pm

    After working with a three-letter agency in far flung places (Guam, Cuba, Japan), this actually isn't surprising. DLP software can require a significant amount of persistent bandwidth based on the configuration.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2013 @ 2:12pm

    Yes we wouldn't want those "insiders" to expose government criminal behavior. Lets throw some millions at it so we can make sure no one sees.

    They must be covering up soooo much more stuff. I bet the most criminal most unconstitutional stuff they have done we have yet to even see.

    Seeing as oversight is non-existent anywhere else or they just get lied to we will need the noble insider whistle blowers to be our oversight.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2013 @ 2:12pm

    Re:

    When they say insufficient bandwidth, they mean it in the technical sense. There simply aren't a lot of secure circuits to the islands where they operate.

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

  5. icon
    Nick (profile), 18 Oct 2013 @ 2:16pm

    One man's insider threat is another man's whistle blower.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2013 @ 2:21pm

    I wonder if Snowden had any say if the new software got installed or not

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2013 @ 2:50pm

    Patriots are Threats!

    The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants.

    Do not forget, it is very possible for our own government to become the tyrants.

    The tree is dying.

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

  8. icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 18 Oct 2013 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re:

    They could have pulled a Google and used UPS.

    UPS, the highest bandwidth network known to man.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2013 @ 3:26pm

    I guess they didn't have enough network bandwidth due to all that material that was already being sucked through by snowden :)

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

  10. identicon
    the answer man, 18 Oct 2013 @ 3:46pm

    bandwidth

    Bandwidth is a common IT term which has two meanings. The standard bandwidth in regards to throughput or speed.
    The other being the ability to handle additional work or "bandwidth" - in this case the NSA is saying they didn't have enough people/resources to make it a priority.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2013 @ 8:38pm

    Re: bandwidth

    It is almost as if they have a sudden shortage of system administrators or something due to an idiotic knee-jerk reaction or something.

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

  12. icon
    Bergman (profile), 19 Oct 2013 @ 3:09am

    Re:

    Going by his actions in the past (CIA, etc), he was probably reprimanded for suggesting they needed it.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.