Next NSA Boss Thinks NSA Just Needs Better PR; And Kicks It Off With A Bunch Of Cyberwar FUD

from the new-boss-same-as-the-old-boss dept

Vice Admiral Mike Rogers (not to be confused with Rep. Mike Rogers) is pretty much all set to take over for Keith Alexander as both the new head of the NSA and the new head of US Cyber Command. These are the two organizations that the government likes to pretend are separate, but clearly are not (same boss, same offices, same basic goals). While the Senate has no say in approving the NSA appointment, they do have a say in approving the head of US Cyber Command, so the hearings are really covering both positions. Appearing before the Senate, Rogers has made it clear that he's cut from the same cloth as Alexander, and will basically continue the same kind of misleading FUD. When asked about "takeaways" from the past few months, Rogers claimed that the NSA really just needed better PR:
"I believe one of the takeaways form the situation over the last few months is that as an intelligence professional...I have to be capable of communicating in a way that highlights what we are doing and why to the greatest extent possible," Rogers said to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Yeah, like that's going to work. And, by "better communicating" it appears that Admiral Rogers really means spreading more FUD about how we need to ramp up our "offensive" "cyber" attack capabilities. This is the same crap that Alexander has been pushing for years, when the simple truth is that the US (NSA) has been among the most aggressive on that front already, and the "threats" that it discusses are almost always things that the NSA/USCC are actually doing itself, rather than things that are being done to us.

As for any actual reform? Don't expect that under Admiral Rogers, as Marcy Wheeler highlights, Rogers seems to have the obfuscation-about-things-already-public game down pat.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 7:42am

    I did a spit take the first time I read that a 'Mike Rogers' would be taking over.

    Even if it's not Mike 'CISPA' Rogers this is still weak...

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 7:42am

    Think of how they've communicated to the public so far. Of course they need better PR.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 7:54am

      Re:

      No, they don't need better PR. They need to be shot like the actual traitors they are.

      And make no mistake, these guys are traitors - they believe that they know beteer than everyone else who the bad guys are.

      Here's a hint - If you're the only ones being questioned about an ethically grey activity in a room full of such people, then chances are you're the bad guy, and the sooner these cancers are excised, the better.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 8:13am

      Re:

      It's true that their handling of the situation has been abysmal, and strictly speaking that falls under the "better PR' department.

      But what they need to do better is, if they aren't going to stop being abusive, at least stop all the bald-faced lying. It doesn't take a PR expert to recognize that. It takes integrity.

      I've changed my mind. They need integrity more than anything else.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    St. Pat, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 7:46am

    Just Once

    You know, just once I'd like to be able to visit Techdirt and read about how the new guy supports massive reform, or how a bill has been passed limiting NSA spying, or *something* good on that front ("be able" in the sense that it actually happened).

    Then again, maybe I already used up my one good thing happening on SOPA. Ok, just twice.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    crade (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 7:56am

    Dear Everyone:

    If you ever think you need better P.R., find out why you need better P.R. and fix that.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Pragmatic, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 9:54am

      Re: Dear Everyone:

      ^This. A thousand times this.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 9:55am

      Re: Dear Everyone:

      On the flipside remember: if they're doing "good citizen" PR it means they're already doing something evil and need to cover it up. It is the ultimate sign of a guilty conscious. See the advertising of Philip Morris, BP, and others.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 7:58am

    The terrible 2s

    Great...one for every day use and a backup

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 8:09am

    Clearly, it's a PR problem.

    So please tell me Mr. new NSA chief, how does spying on Petrobas, Belgium telcos, all EU and UN officials, and every single person on the planet help with terrorism?

    What's that? Oh, you're not only spying to catch terrorists, but mainly for political and economic interests, just like you've been accusing China of? That's what I thought.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 8:10am

    NSA should be disbanded.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 8:14am

    Not for the public

    Make no mistake, this PR is for congress alone.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 8:22am

    NSA employees need to start thinking about their future.

    I would never consider a current or former NSA/CIA/DOJ employee for a position due to the criminal nature of their jobs.

    I also consider the extent of a companies involvement with these organizations and their employees before deciding if I will do business with them.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 8:27am

    Typical politician, if the people do not like what we are doing we are not explaining it correctly, because we could never be doing the wrong thing.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    edpo, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 9:03am

    Rogers is like the last Nazi off the assembly line in 1945 who had no clue the world had passed him by...

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 9:50am

    Cyberware FUD: Bad idea

    Raising FUD about Cyberwar just shows that they seriously suck at it. Great idea bringing it up when they have sabotaged defences with their instance on backdooring everything. Do they really think that will help when they are known for undermining the security of everything you can get your treasonous little hands on? Isn't that a bit counterproductive? Like talking about the importance of protecting our children when you're a convicted child molester?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    vastrightwing, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 9:57am

    Definitions

    PR = Spin
    Communicating = Spinning
    Spinning = lying and covering up.
    Highlights = obfuscates
    What we are doing = Not what we are doing.

    Now I will parse his statements:
    Unlike my predecessor, I will lie and cover up my agency's spying better than anyone before me. I will use malware attacks, terrorism threats, security theater, dis-information, wiretapping, sting rays, license plate readers, facial recognition, the corporate media, copyright laws, judges and secret laws in a way that make the past seem like child play. I will strong arm private business to allow backdoors in published software and firmware. I will make private business accountable to me personally if they don't play nice with the NSA. I will work with other agencies like the IRS to threaten and intimidate citizens to do the right thing. In short, I will be everything my predecessor was not.

    Any questions?

     

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

  •  
    icon
    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 10:12am

    Terrorism is alive and well

    courtesy of the US government.
    -
    There is a Cyber War going on... its the US Gov VS. everyone else.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    connermac725 (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 12:44pm

    better pr

    better pr!!! right a shiny turd is still a turd though

     

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

  •  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 2:08pm

    Have you tried 'Not constantly lying'?

    Just saying, but 'Not lying' is generally a good way to boost public image and perception of an agency/company/group.

    Well, unless the truth is far worse than people could have expected, in which case lying is probably the less of the two evils, but I'm sure that couldn't possibly be the reason for it... /s

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

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