NSA On Snowden's Claims Of Passing Around Nudie Pics: We Totally Wouldn't Allow That... If We Knew About It

from the but-they-don't,-so dept

Following on the news that Ed Snowden told the Guardian how NSA employees routinely passed around pictures they had intercepted of "extremely attractive" people who were naked, the NSA has issued one of its typical non-denial denials. In an email to Forbes' Kashmir Hill, NSA spokesperson Vanee Vines basically said, "If we knew about it, that wouldn't be allowed":
“NSA is a professional foreign-intelligence organization with a highly trained workforce, including brave and dedicated men and women from our armed forces,” said spokesperson Vanee Vines by email. “As we have said before, the agency has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities or professional standards, and would respond as appropriate to any credible allegations of misconduct.”
Except, of course, what nearly every story talking about this has left out is that this is hardly the first such revelation. The NSA has a history and pattern of this kind of thing. Back in 2008, it was revealed that NSA analysts had been listening in on and passing around tapes of Americans having phone sex:
Not only were calls between Americans listened to and recorded on a regular basis, the "good parts" (i.e., phone sex) were sent around to other operators to listen to as well. One of the operators said that on a regular basis messages would be sent around with messages like: "Hey, check this out. There's good phone sex or there's some pillow talk, pull up this call, it's really funny, go check it out."
Even if we take the NSA at its word that it has a "zero tolerance" policy for this kind of thing, that actually makes the story even worse. Because it just shows how weak (to non-existent) the NSA's "100% auditability" really is. Keith Alexander insisted that everything done by people with access to these databases was tracked and audited. But it's becoming increasingly clear that that's not true at all. And it makes you wonder just how much abuse is going on that the NSA has no idea about -- potentially for things even worse than listening in on phone sex or passing nudie pics around the office.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 1:39pm

    Sounds like...

    ...butt-hurt cause they weren't in with the inside folks. (wink...wink)

     

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  2.  
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    AricTheRed (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 1:51pm

    Now I know why my job application was denied there...

    "...employees routinely passed around pictures they had intercepted of "extremely attractive" people who were naked..."

    None of the folks I was going to work with wanted me there as they knew (due to the warrantless mass surveilance of my internet porn viewing so they could use it to embarass high profile targets the rest of the world cares about) I'd be passing around the intercepted pics and videos of the "extremely un-attractive" people too!

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Now I know why my job application was denied there...

    "Hey, check out this cow."

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 1:57pm

    Why at this point is anyone listening any more to the NSA about what they claim they are or are not doing?

    Every time you turn around it's a new lie they've been caught in.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 2:00pm

    Remind me again why are we letting these perverts and voyeurs keep their jobs?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 2:00pm

    See you guys later when moderation isn't such an issue on comments.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 2:03pm

    This doesn't excuse it in any way, but this isn't an NSA-specific breach of trust. There's a reason that geek sites like ThinkGeek sell t-shirts that say "I read your e-mail." It's a personality trait based on power and control that is shared by many sysadmins and other tech professionals. An open console is intoxicating to people like this, whether they work for NSA or not.

     

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  8.  
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    AricTheRed (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    Nahuh!

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 2:09pm

    I guess we now know what the NSA and GCHQ are doing with the millions of Yahoo webcam images they illegally seized.

     

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  10.  
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    AricTheRed (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Latest Snowden REVELATION!

    The undisclosed "internal use only" name of the Bluffdale Utah data center.

    The Spank-Bank

    It's no wonder they needed so much storage.

     

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  11.  
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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 3:07pm

    Do you expect us to spy on people in our offices? How rude and unconscionable!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 3:22pm

    You should check if their porn collection is worth all the tax money.

     

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  13.  
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    Groaker (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 3:30pm

    2008 scandal

    In 2008 the NSA frequently targeted the romantic communications of US military stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan and their SO's. Such invasions of the privacy of men and women putting their lives on the line, by desk jockeys is anathema.

    And needless to say, the NSA has only increased the depth and breadth of its criminal behaviors.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 3:38pm

    NSA Sex Addict The Newest Novel by James "Under the Desk " Clapper , I just couldn't help myself there was just so much to see and I couldn't stop even when I stepped down I kept a database filled with these Sex tapes and and Images I was living the voyeurs dream When they revoked my password and asked me to remove my hand from under the desk i replied "From My Cold Dead Hand"

     

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  15.  
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    Yastreblyansky, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 4:04pm

    Re: 2008 scandal

    No they didn't, it was military posted there that were doing that http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/exclusive-inside-account-us-eavesdropping-americans/story?id=5987804 Similarly in this case I bet it was the contract workers. Which is why Ed knows about it and the bosses don't.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 5:33pm

    Nobody believes you, NSA.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 6:13pm

    Want to know why Whatever, kenichi tanaka and vancedecker think this is all okay?

    They're secretly exhibitionists.

     

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  18.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Re: 2008 scandal

    " Which is why Ed knows about it and the bosses don't."

    Which doesn't let the NSA off the hook at all. When you use contractors, you are just as responsible for their actions as you are for regular employees.

     

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  19.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 10:45pm

    Re:

    There's a reason that geek sites like ThinkGeek sell t-shirts that say "I read your e-mail."

    I have that shirt, and wear it an awful lot. I do not, however, read the emails on my mail server that weren't sent directly to me or end up in abuse. Just because people wear the shirt doesn't mean that they really do it.

    I had a coworker in a previous job who would periodically wear a shirt that said "I miss crime." and he never was arrested or even accused of any crimes.

    Often times when I see people wearing shirts like that, it is usually an inside joke.

     

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  20.  
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    Lleuad Ci (profile), Jul 19th, 2014 @ 5:40am

    Core Business

    Voyeurism is a standard personality trait for control freaks.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2014 @ 9:00am

    How about google collecting same stuff via webcams and flash software (set default to to harvest). Where does that get stored? Any hints?

     

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  22.  
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    1st Dread Pirate Roberts (profile), Jul 19th, 2014 @ 10:44am

    Har! I want that FOIA request

    Request copies of all NSA employee (and contract employee) emails containing attachments which would be considered NSFW under Federal Government policy. The requested time period would be during the tenure of Edward Snwden. Attachments should be provided in the original resolution.

     

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  23.  
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    1st Dread Pirate Roberts (profile), Jul 19th, 2014 @ 10:45am

    Re: Must have something yanked?

    Must have had a post yanked, huh?

     

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  24.  
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    Jonathan Hughes, Jul 19th, 2014 @ 12:13pm

    the nude body

    God is not evil. How can the nude body be evil observing it?

     

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  25.  
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    McCrea (profile), Jul 20th, 2014 @ 6:25pm

    This is why I wear underwear when I shower.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2014 @ 10:52pm

    Re: the nude body

    We're sorry but, "What Is and Is Not Evil" is now based on the current reinterpretation of the word "evil" made by the duly appointed reinterpretor staff of the National Security Agency, and the determination of whether a particular God is evil or not depends entirely on which particular God you've selected and the day on which you selected it.

    This week, all Muslim, Babylonian, Pakistani and Greek Gods are to be considered legally evil.

    To have your God removed from this list, please fill out form 6667fGGEDR33, or wait one week.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2014 @ 10:55pm

    Re:

    "Every time you turn around it's a new lie they've been caught in."

    Hell, I didn't even get the chance to turn around this time.

     

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  28.  
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    GEMont (profile), Jul 20th, 2014 @ 11:00pm

    Re:

    Because their jobs are protected under the War Measures Act, meaning "You Don't Have A Say In The Matter, And Must Pay Their Wages Until The Federal Government Declares Peace."

    According to George Dubya Bush and The Plan For A North American Conquest, that'll be in about 90 years.

     

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  29.  
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    GEMont (profile), Jul 20th, 2014 @ 11:05pm

    Re:

    Amazing!

    I post "conjectures" that even a card carrying conspiracy nut would find impossible to believe, yet I've never had a post pulled.

    Perhaps you should try adding some content to your insults. :)

     

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

  30.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 21st, 2014 @ 6:09am

    Elim Garak on lying

    "... because lying is a skill like any other and if you want to maintain a level of excellence you have to practice constantly.". -- Elim Garak, simple humble taylor

     

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  31.  
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    DaveHowe (profile), Jul 21st, 2014 @ 8:54am

    Remind me again why are we letting these perverts and voyeurs keep their jobs?

    Because they have a wealth of blackmail material on those who are supposed to be regulating them?

     

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  32.  
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    Groaker (profile), Jul 21st, 2014 @ 1:14pm

    Let us not forget that the military has its say in the matter. Lt General and undersecretary of state Boykin said amongst many other things:

    Among several quotes, the article revealed Boykin giving a speech about hunting down Osman Atto in Mogadishu: "He went on CNN and he laughed at us, and he said, 'They'll never get me because Allah will protect me. Allah will protect me.' Well, you know what? I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol." Boykin later clarified this statement, saying that he was implying that Atto's true "god" was money."

    How in hell does a guy who says such idiotic things in public ever get to be a Pvt E2 , never mind a Lt Gen?

    Wikipedia

     

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  33.  
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    GEMont (profile), Jul 24th, 2014 @ 9:44pm

    Wars of the Gods

    "How in hell does a guy who says such idiotic things in public ever get to be a Pvt E2 , never mind a Lt Gen?"

    Actually, I think that making such statements, and apparently meaning them sincerely, is now a prerequisite to attaining high US military rank.

    However, normally the Deity referred to as "my God" by Boykin, is Odin, not Jehovah, just for the record.

    ---

     

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  34.  
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    Yastreblyansky (profile), Nov 17th, 2014 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: 2008 scandal

    "Which doesn't let the NSA off the hook at all."

    No, it doesn't, but supports my belief that they are more incompetent than criminal. (Sorry, just noticed this months later.)

     

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


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