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 Twitter39Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook29Google+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
bmaz Also in the totally awesome to meet at #NN2014 department: @StephanieKelton @NadiaKayyali and @alexisgoldstein
46mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @RaysBaseball: That moment when a pitcher who hasn't batted since high school executes a perfect safety squeeze. @JakeOdorizzi http://t.…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Despite their limited stay no two more fun+incredibly awesome people I finally personally met at #NN2014 than @astepanovich + @McElweeWhite
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @TBTimes_Rays: You can only hope to contain #Rays C Jose Molina, who swiped his 3rd bag of the season at the back end of a double steal.…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @ArifCRafiq: Please also visit Gaza. MT @MikeBloomberg This evening I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to demonstrate that it is safe…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @WilliamOckhamTx Pretty much that whole area of the world appears to be GohmertLand.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The only way in the world @John_Dingell could earn more love is to say he doesn't know similarly worthless chumps Kanye West, JayZ+Beyonce.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz I have never been prouder of @John_Dingell in my life than him not knowing squat about the worthless Kardashian idiot clan.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @onekade: The rockets are extremely dangerous and horrible but also Israel is open for business as usual, nothing to fear! Ok
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz It appears the Ukranian government has the combined credibility of Peter King and Steve Stockman. #GoodEnoughForJoshEarnestAndCNN
3hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @Ali_Gharib: We are so terrorized by rockets that we need to make war. We are so safe that you should fly all your planes here.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel After Bloomberg proves it's save to fly into Ben-Gurion, can he also prove it's safe to sail a relief flotilla into Gaza?
3hreplyretweetfavorite