Both These Things Cannot Be True

Last Friday, NSA’s Compliance Director John DeLong assured journalists the violations NSA reported in 2012 were “miniscule.” (I noted that the report showed some of the most sensitive violations primarily get found through audits and therefore their discovery depend in part on how many people are auditing.)

Today, as part of a story describing that NSA still doesn’t know what Edward Snowden took from NSA, MSNBC quotes a source saying NSA has stinky audit capabilities.

Another said that the NSA has a poor audit capability, which is frustrating efforts to complete a damage assessment.

(We’ve long known this about NSA’s financial auditing function, and there have long been signs they couldn’t audit data either, but apparently MSNBC’s source agree.)

For the past several months, various Intelligence officials have assured Congress and the public that it keeps US person data very carefully guarded, so only authorized people can access it.

Today, MSNBC reports NSA had (has?) poor data compartmentalization.

NSA had poor data compartmentalization, said the sources, allowing Snowden, who was a system administrator, to roam freely across wide areas.

Again, there have long been signs that non-analysts had untracked access to very sensitive data. Multiple sources agree — and possibly not just non-analysts.

While I’m really sympathetic for the people who are reportedly “overwhelmed” trying to figure out what Snowden took, we’re seeing precisely the same thing we saw with Bradley Manning: that it takes a giant black eye for intelligence agencies to even admit to gaping holes in their security and oversight.

And in NSA’s case, it proves most of their reassurances to be false.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

18 Responses to Both These Things Cannot Be True

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV Can you imagine the "brainstorming" sessions when O'Keefe and his buddies come up with new plans? #TheStupidBurns #OpSecNotAStrongPoint
8mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @DavidCornDC: A hoot. James O'Keefe puts on a disguise mustache & goes undercover-but tweets out a pic of his undercover self. http://t.…
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @granick Maybe whole Comey thing is just a pose he and Apple worked out to give them cred while they comeup w/new way to obtain neat data?
21mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @jljacobson You might find him a fun -- neon -- wig. I used to wear mine when I needed energy for high energy social events.
35mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel People people people. As Jim Comey assured you Apple doesn't need to secure its products. http://t.co/GrBNgfi7my
37mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Has anyone yet asked Jim Comey what he thinks of Apple's location/query collection? Good or bad marketing ploy, per him?
44mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @New_Narrative: How the FBI uses social media to find potential terrorist recruits (it involves catfishing) http://t.co/TtFcx9lh3E http:…
46mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @dandrezner Can I interest you in being appointed the Bird Flu Czar?
57mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @speechboy71 Busy. I've been finding a document govt didn't but should have given to FISC a day lately. Hard to keep up w/them all.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @seanpaulkelley: When @AmbassadorPower smiles with Henry Kissinger you know your foreign policy is utterly and irredeemably fucked. http…
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @eljefekenney It's like a "Where's Waldo" game except the war criminal taking shots w/all the Dem gals.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel "This is me talking abt war crimes w/Hillary on my lap. & me talking about torture chatting up Sam Power." --Heny Kissinger, depressing base
1hreplyretweetfavorite