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.

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18 Responses to Both These Things Cannot Be True

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @Johngcole Yes. But they will drive you nuts sooner or later too. There is no great solution in the morning unfortunately.
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bmaz RT @kashhill: I’m just going to go ahead and assume Nicholas Cage is playing @benwizner in the Snowden movie http://t.co/ID1S4EbWR9 http://…
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bmaz @benwizner @kashhill Yeah, okay, this is perfect.
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bmaz @espinsegall @OrinKerr Well, yeah as to Scalia, but he is a dead ender+will have to be carried out. If Dem Pres in 2018 RBG might retire.
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bmaz This is a nice story. https://t.co/IL7uso8h7w
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JimWhiteGNV Why racists burn black churches http://t.co/plXXFDguem
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bmaz RT @OrinKerr: What are the odds that no Supreme Court Justice will retire until after the election of 2020?
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JimWhiteGNV Has the time come to organize volunteer night watches at black churches? No weapons, just flashlights and cell phones. Count me in if so.
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bmaz @AlyonaMink @Ali_Gharib Seconded. However, when Ali says he is having a baby, this comes to mind: http://t.co/WpOfcGeqIw
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bmaz Those are not "legal experts" they are neanderthal bigots. But @thehill stenos the bigotry unchallenged. https://t.co/Zc6e6IlwUI
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bmaz @Travis_Waldron @BlanksSlate Also, as to FIFA when even Mike Garcia thinks your ethics are bad, they are REALLY bad, b/c Garcia is a snake.
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bmaz @Travis_Waldron @BlanksSlate DOJ's jurisdiction is manufactured+for shit. Not to mention, if they have it, should be in SDFL. #Showboating
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