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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emptywheel @GregDjerejian Feel like @NSArchive released new evidence of details on cutting oil prices to hurt Russia in recent years.
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emptywheel @GregDjerejian Didn't we do something similar to kill oil prices in the Reagan days?
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emptywheel @GregDjerejian Oh, his oligarchs will get hit, but w/o the profit constraining limits of actual sanctions. Best of all worlds!
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emptywheel Loving that Torture Report coming out, bc I can loathe lying self-interested apologists like John Rizzo as much as Stewart Baker.
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bmaz There are over 100 bills pending in the AZ State Legislature, w/only 1 week scheduled to go. The mental midgets can still do LOT of damage.
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emptywheel @GregDjerejian Plus heads up may me worth more than actual sanctions.
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emptywheel RT @GregDjerejian: De minimis expectations around GVA UKR statement amply manifested by 'head's up' to hedgies more sanctions in offing: ht…
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bmaz I have been informed Kiki wants To Get Her Ya Yas Out #NationalRecodDay http://t.co/rqybpi5c4c
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bmaz Man my Mott Live album sounds like it was used as a hockey puck at some point. Which I actually kind of faintly remember....
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bmaz More start of National Record Day: Mott the Hoople Live now spinning at Case de bmaz #LoudIsBeautifulIfItsClean
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bmaz @erinscafe True fact: @dcbigjohn tried to ride a Shetland pony once. Killed the pygmy pony right in its tracks.
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